Saturday, February 15, 2003

The weekly update: Journalists' stories, war links and more:
I'm a sucker for books about newspapers or journalists. I'll pick up any one I find. This week I've read three:
Al Neuharth's Confessions of an S.O.B is over 10 years old now, and has been on my shelf for a long time. Picked it up last week and read it in a couple days. A guide to success in business, it's still full of some fascinating stories about his time as a Miami Herald reporter/editor, then with Knight Ridder in Detroit, and with Gannett when it changed from a Rochester-based small NY state newspaper chain to the biggest chain in the country with Florida Today and then USA Today. I remember when Gannett went public the year I graduated from college. I actually considered buying stock in this home-town company. Too bad I didn't.

John Brecher and Dorothy Gaiter's Love by the Glass. A perfect Valentine's week read, a love story about two journalists who met at the Miami Herald, fell in love with each other and wine. This one kept me up all night. Because I knew Dotty and John (mostly Dotty), I was mesmerized. Even if I hadn't, the story of a black woman from Tallahassee and a Jewish man from Jacksonville becoming America's guides to drinking wine -- and their obsession with Dotty's face -- is wonderful.

First Job, by Rinker Buck. A name I recognized, maybe because I read his earlier book about a childhood cross-county plane trip years ago. The story of a young man's first job out of college, as reporter at The Berkshire Eagle, one of America's most respected small-town papers. Wonderful stories of hard-core journalists, beautiful mountains, and intriguing girlfriends, capped by a lifetime friendship with a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer. This is worth a read, if only for the tornado and John Wayne/Norman Rockwell stories. And maybe even more, for insight into what journalism, politics, and sex were like in 1973. Very different, and fondly remembered.

War stuff:

  • War Coverage Resources from Assn of Electronic Journalists. Great collection of terrorism/bioterrorism/war links.
  • Links to antiwar organizations in the US and UK, others.
  • Iraq War Wire from EIN News wire. Original stories require subscription, but this page has links to news from lots of other sources.
  • Iraqwatch from the Wisconsin Project, collects information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Includes searchable database of suppliers, much more, including this:
  • Government documents on Iraq great page of links to documents from governments worldwide.
  • Latest National Guard, Reserves called up list dated 2/5.
  • Duct Tape? National Institute for Chemical Studies actually recommends it in a chemical emergency in this study: Shelter-in-Place. People living near the Anniston Army Depot have lots to worry about (links from contributors to NICAR-L listserv).

    And more useful links....


  • U.S. Statistical Abstract, 2002 latest edition.
  • Human Rights Watch World Report 2003
  • NGO Research Guide from Duke library.
  • Ocean World from TAMU (Texas A&M), has lots of oceanography data.
  • Geode USGS maps and data to download using an online reader. Includes South Florida map/data.
  • Best and worst states for taxes report from the Tax Foundation.
  • GeoNet Names Server database of foreign geographic feature names, from National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).
  • State by state smallpox vaccination report from CDC.
  • How many bills did your congressperson sponsor (or cosponsor) in last Congress? This report in Thomas will tell you.
  • new U.S. government science portal, search or browse for science info.
  • Congressional Pictorial Directory, 108th Congress get photos of legislators. (105th - 107th also available).
  • LEGISInfo search Canadian Parliament documents online.

  • Why Won't Johnny Read? story on youth reading habits in Newsday.

  • NBA Team Valuations new, from Forbes. Need to register to see (free).

  • Today in Florida History new site under construction from Florida Historical Society
  • Vote for the Florida quarter design
  • includes downtown guide, city news, chat rooms.
  • New on City of Miami website: Current bid solicitations, Commission Agendas
  • South Florida traffic cameras: see what the road looks like before you head out. Or dial 511 plus location code go get reports by phone.
  • Miami-Dade is a top pick among counties, and Pembroke Pines is a top pick among cities' websites in the MuniNet annual survey.

  • NewsNext a news planning site for British journalists.
  • NewsFox provides European press releases.
    Public Records

  • Collier County (Florida)Courts: a new version but still requires software download that won't work on my work PC.
  • Texas marriages index for 1966-85 and 1985-2001; Texas divorces, 1968-2001.
  • Tennessee real estate assessments for 90 of 95 counties.
  • North Carolina voter registration search
  • , People, Statistics: no
    links this week.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • How bloggers make news Sheila Lennon's Providence Journal-based Weblog is now linked daily from the paper's front page. This week, among other fascinating things, she tells of an Iraqi Weblogger: I'd seen links to his blog on other sites, but Sheila read deeper and reports that this Iraqi in Baghdad is finding solace from another Weblog -- in Israel. A strong tale and one of the many stories Sheila pulls from the blogosphere...
  • Bibliolatry an interesting library Weblog.
  • Clarín: Weblogs new Weblog en español, including lots of info about Weblogs, how to set up, etc.
  • The Shuttle: When is too much news not enough? good analysis by journalism Weblogger Tim Porter of two columns questioning amount of Columbia stories in most newspapers. Fascinating quotes from the Wall St. Journal column cited here:
    "War, Ambrose Bierce once observed, is God's way of teaching Americans geography...The tragedy of the Columbia is God's way of teaching Americans about the geography beyond our own solar system and of urging us to consider profound questions about our role there."
  • The Arcata (CA) Eye "America's most popular obscure small-town newspaper". Especially good for the police reports, with entries like this:
    5:17 p.m. The footbridge was the wrong place to be right about now, what with that fortyish “transient type” man in a knit cap of doom. After firing off verbal abuse and even death threats at someone with the callous temerity to walk past, he was arrested on a public drunkenness charge and taken to a steely haven.
  • Grade inflation at Virginia universities nice investigative report in Virginian-Pilot.
  • Last closeup of Columbia on ground fascinating, detailed photo.

  • These weapons of mass destruction cannot be displayed weirdest 404 message yet.
  • Disco Squirrels


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