Monday, June 30, 2003

The things you find....
On your way to looking up something else. Did you know Desk Set was written by Phoebe Ephron, who is the mother of Nora and Delia and Amy? Wow. What a family of smart women, and what a legacy of wonderful movies and stories!

Sunday, June 29, 2003

News Researcher:
Katharine Hepburn died today, at 96. News researchers and librarians love her performance in Desk Set. She played the head of a TV network's research department in this movie, threatened with replacement by a computer introduced by an efficiency expert. She outperformed the computer. As we all do. The movie is scheduled to show next Monday on AMC. IMDB cast, credits, description

(Added later:) I must say, though, that as much as I enjoy this movie it does reinforce one thing that I think is a bad reference habit: the researchers breezily answer questions without checking just to show how smart, or well-informed, they are. You want the names of Santa's reindeer? No problem, I just rattle them off. That's something that always concerns me. I try to always say, yes, I know the answer but I'm looking it up anyway. Don't want to get it wrong. It's like the Dave Barry column that Jim Meier reminded me of the other day:
"But basically, we try to be accurate. When we're writing our stories, we don't guess about facts. If we have ANY question, we thoroughly check the fact out by taking a poll of the journalists sitting around us in the newsroom.
For example, if we need the name of the U.S. secretary of state, we yell, ``Anybody know the name of the U.S. secretary of state?'' Then we listen to the various opinions of our cubicle neighbors. Only when we have carefully weighed their views do we proceed with writing the story (``The U.S. secretary of state, a short little lady possibly named `Marge,' said today that . . . '')."
(Miami Herald, 4/30/2000)
These bad habits drive me crazy.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Blogger woes:
I tried to post the update this morning but kept getting a "big post error". I didn't think the post was any bigger than my normal Saturday posting...oh well. So I broke the post into two parts; you'll find them below.
Also, last night I tried switching my archive from weekly to monthly, and seem to have wiped the entire archive out. Guess the new Blogger is not error-free. Luckily I've kept copies of the archives on my computer so can post them all to my Web space if necessary. Guess it doesn't pay to try to change things....

Saturday update: The weekly reference collection/research gleanings:
News researchers were debating this week where to find the most up-to-date list of Iraq casualties. It's shocking the Defense Department doesn't provide this; although you can get daily press releases on latest deaths there they don't update a list. Best lists suggested:
Iraq casualties: Army Times has database by date or by name (last entry was about a week ago when I checked last). Alphabetical list (by service/zone) from Can't tell when this Defense site was last updated. Also: CNN's tally of deaths is updated daily so seems to me to be the best list, but it is alphabetical so if you need recent deaths you have to work through the entire list.
Why doesn't Defense provide a database, sortable by hometown/state/service/place/type of death? Seems the least they could do...

For seasonal information:
  • Summer resources: lists of useful links from Poynter's Dave Shedden.
  • Fireworks-related injuries info from CDC.
  • Census Facts for Features: Fourth of July
  • Fourth of July Celebrations database from a prof at American U.

    The useful links....

  • San Francisco historical photo collection searchable digital photos from SF public library.
  • Three sites below come from the Time 50 best Websites list:
  • mega-baseball site has links to three great sites by same authors: BaseballReference, BaseballNewsstand, and BaseballPrimer. A one-stop shop.
  • new version of the old Human Languages page, which is a great directory of language sites.
  • Compilation of State Rankings from U.S. Statistical Abstract, from Uncle Sam's Reference Shelf at Census.
  • BBC News Feeds if you use a newsreader/syndicator, you can now get BBC news by category.
  • Calendar of Politics annual calendar listing upcoming political events (DC based), from The Hill.
  • Stateline reports on varied state laws on exotic animals.
  • GENDER GAP, GOP EDGE IN SMALL DONATIONS COULD LOOM BIG IN 2004 ELECTIONS. New report from OpenSecrets. A finding: women who work donate predominantly to Democrats, "Housewives" to Republicans.
    Public Records:
  • Harmful Error Center for Public Integrity does a project (headed by Steve Weinberg) on local prosecutor misconduct. Includeds a database of judicial ruling. "...the Center found many prosecutors who were cited multiple times for misconduct. These prosecutors give recidivism—a word usually used to describe those they work to put behind bars—a disturbing new meaning." In the state-by-state breakdown, 567 cases found in Florida.
  • Missouri Court Historical Database covers Missouri Suprmeme Court decisions from 1783 to 1871.
  • More lawsuits against Lexis, Choicepoint, Accurint, most in Florida: list from Virtual Chase.
  • Maine criminal records search available online for $25, results (if available) emailed within 2 hours.
  • HotBot deskbar Do you use a search deskbar? I have Google's installed on all my computers, couldn't live without instant access to the search. Some other search engines have deskbars too: this new one from HotBot gives you search (HotBot's is still highly recommended), plus instant dictionary, thesaurus, weather access.....
  • Rand McNally maps recommended by Time as a better alternative to Mapquest et al. I tried and found it seems to have better detail than the others.....but the one (800 mi.) route I asked it to plot turned out to be more tortuous than directions I've gotten from other sites....
  • Florida court clerks under attack for putting court records online: story in Orlando Sentinel. Concerns cited here may get records closed eventually?
  • California Births database searchable 1905-1995 data. Other years available at cost.
    Journalism, Business: no links this week.

  • Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • In the land of Guantanamo in NYT Sunday mag.
  • Baghdad Bulletin new English-language magazine covering reconstruction of Iraq.
  • Points South Poynter summer fellows, J-students, publish this blog with stories, news, St Pete-area guide, etc.
  • ...on obituaries!
  • Skipping Stones: a lovely story about a Cuban father and his son. Note this is on a Blog called Dean's World, by Dean Esmay. He writes about the news from Cuba weekly. He explains why here.
  • Phonecam blog: a new concept.
  • A New York Daily News photo intern is doing A photo blog of his experiences...
  • The Smoking Gun says this is the scariest mug shot ever. Yup.
  • The Buzzwords of Bob Graham in Slate.
  • Appropriate, after the commemoration at Wounded Knee: Black Elk Speaks, now available fulltext in HTML or PDF..." It was a good winter day when all this happened. The sun was shining. But after the soldiers marched away from their dirty work, a heavy snow began to fall. The wind came up in the night. There was a big blizzard, and it grew very cold. The snow drifted deep in the crooked gulch, and it was one long grave of butchered women and children and babies, who had never done any harm and were only trying to run away."
  • Video of GWBush's reaction to news of 9/11 attack (warning, it's 5 minutes of GWB listening to kids read. You can look at the stills.) From Memory Hole.
  • Scanned flowers: Wow!
  • Vatican Museums Online see the Sistine Chapel ceiling, more.
  • Victorian visions of the year 2000: moving sidewalks, televisions (sort of), personal flying machines, moving houses (entire blocks, on railroad tracks). But they thought we'd still be dressing the same....
  • New Joisey edition of Windows XP from J.D. Lasica.

  • Friday, June 27, 2003

    When there's big news:
    The local paper should go all out, and this Strom Thurmond obituary package in The State (Columbia, SC) gets rave reviews for its multimedia aspects, including a Strom blog.

    Something new:
    I'm trying out a new RSS reader/aggregator: Feed Demon. It's in beta now, til August, and so of course may have some bugs. Once it's released there will be a cost, but not yet determined. I went for it, though, simply because of the author: Nick Bradbury wrote HomeSite, the great HTML editing software that I use at work (it has since been absorbed into DreamWeaver). HomeSite is so intuitive that I figured this might be the RSS reader for me. So far, I love it! It has lots of preprogrammed channels, it's easy to add new ones, and you can set it up to view the Web page the posting comes from in a window. You can even have it display in 'newspaper' format (although I haven't figured this out yet):

    Tumult in the newsroom:
    I found this New Yorker article pretty interesting, even though I tired of posting New York Times references weeks ago. But this is by a NYer staffer who worked in the Times newsroom for 14 years, starting on the copy staff. Always interesting to see what the support staff has to say.....

    Speaking of tumult, the Herald is losing managing editor Mark Seibel to KR Washington. Interesting times ahead.

    On another newsie note, Ann Coulter was supposed to start blogging Monday but no sign yet. Guess she's too busy smoking cigars on Miami Beach? Or doing book interviews? Others are waiting, too to see what she's going to say next.

    Thursday, June 26, 2003

    Back again...
    Yesterday my blog was switched to the new Blogger format, so was unavailable for editing most of the day. Back to normal now, though....
    I was going to link to this Jimmy Breslin column, which today also appeared in The Herald. As of yesterday, only a couple blog mentions, so was glad to see my local paper picking it up. He raises disturbing questions (but then, he always has). Hope the threat to quit journalism is only rhetorical...

    Also, was intrigued by this column by Steve Outing in E&P. He outlines some ways that newspapers can improve credibility by making clearer who's responsible for stories, including putting the email address of the editor on every story. I expect there'd be some resistance to this in newsrooms....but a valid approach, it seems to me.

    Baseball news:
    This was sent to me by Jim Meier, formerly of Sporting News:

    Dressed to the Nines
    This is part of a new online exhibit from the Baseball Hall of Fame. The rest of the exhibit is OK, but I wanted to focus on the Uniform Database. With permission, they have scanned Marc Okkonen's fantastic book, Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century, and made it accessible online. This book is one of my top 15 baseball reference books, both fun to look at for general readers and very useful for researchers, especially those trying to date old black and white photographs. It's not too easy to find in print anymore and needed an update. The scanned images online aren't quite as clear as what you would get if you had the book in your hands, but they are still pretty good.

    King Kaufman on had a column on the exhibit. I found Kaufman by reading the Clutch Hits blog at Baseball Primer

    I found Baseball Primer mentioned in a Time magazine story on their 50 favorite sites

    I think I saw the Time link mentioned on someone else's blog, but can't backtrack it now. Amazing how one step leads to another.


    Yes, Jim, it is amazing. I think you're ready to start your own blog! I had seen the baseball link on the Time 50 sites (found that through another blog, too...I think it was Al's Morning Meeting) and was going to add it on Saturday.....but hadn't noticed the Clutch Hits blog. This is a perfect example of how blogging helps us all to be more aware.

    Wednesday, June 25, 2003

    Wish I were in Washington, D.C., today for this: Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
    The days are gone when I could go to the Folklife Festival and see the like of Merle Travis, Doc and Merle Watson, Maybelle Carter, Mike Seeger, and Elizabeth Cotten. But there's a whole new batch of folklife stars out there that I haven't seen yet, and they'll be there. Go if you can.

    Tuesday, June 24, 2003

    Revolting developments:
    Lots of concern in the library world: Links on the Supreme Court decision on library Internet filters from Shifted Librarian blog.

    Concern in the journalism world about this: Nexis, Choicepoint sued for violating rights of Florida motorists. Journalists, who need to be crystal clear on identities when they write about people, need access to public records databases (like driver licenses) to avoid identification mistakes. This suit will even further muddy the privacy/rights waters.

    Computer concerns: I've heard a lot about 'spyware' and 'scumware' and wasn't too concerned about it, but have been wondering for a few months why my home computer kept on running even when nobody was near it. Lately it was getting sluggish and out of memory. Didn't really know what to do about it but recently have seen blog posts (most recent: Mike Wendland) recommending using Ad-Aware, free software from LavaSoft. I downloaded and installed last weekend, and when I ran it, it found something like 170 suspicious files. After removal, the computer has been nearly back to normal. Except for a message when I shut down saying "RNAdmin is still running", did I really want to shut down? Solution: uninstall Real Audio. Now my computer acts like it should. Having similar problems? Can't hurt to try this....

    Sunday, June 22, 2003

    Blogging and journalism
    I'm writing an article for NLN so am thinking about this topic anyway; I found this discussion about newsroom blogging at the Dead Parrot Society blog interesting. And it reminded me that for a perfect example of what papers can be doing, see Blogging at the Spokesman-Review; the Spokane paper maintains several blogs covering local sports, politics, health, commuting and more.

    The Blog Estate, in Media Bistro.

    Now we know
    Dave Barry explains how newspapers print errors:
    "First, the REPORTER gathers information by interviewing PEOPLE and trying to write down what they say, getting approximately 35 percent of it right. The REPORTER then writes a STORY, which goes to an EDITOR, who bitterly resents the REPORTER because the REPORTER gets to go outside sometimes, whereas the EDITOR is stuck in the building eating NEWSPAPER CAFETERIA ''FOOD'' that was originally developed by construction-industry researchers as a substitute for PLYWOOD."
    ...Sounds right to me.....

    Saturday, June 21, 2003

    Best blog name found this week:
    No More Mister Nice Blog; subtitled, "It's Karl Rove's world, we just live in it"....

    The weekly reference collection: research gleanings:
    Although it seemed like a slow week, lots of useful sites/reports came available.
    In blogging news, Sheila Lennon continues to use her blog to report the story behind the news. In her blog yesterday: Journalists, police, nurses, no longer eligible for overtime? Unless they make less than $22,000, that is. That's part of new proposed labor rules.
    Have you heard about this anywhere else? I haven't.

    The useful links....

  • from the Westchester (NY) county library, this is a browseable directory of Websites by topic ("just like a library"). For first-time Net users, pretty simple stuff.
  • Yacht Links giant directory of boating.
  • What do Wonderbra, bitch-slap, and skunk works have in common? They're among the new worlds added to Oxford English Dictionary recently....
  • Directory of Open Access Journals: looking for a story in an academic journal? Check here to see if it's available online for free.
  • SARS Geographic Information Systems from ESRI China.
  • Encyclopedia of Television from the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Great biographical and other info.
  • interested in history of New York's highways? It's all here, as well as a link to BostonRoads and PhillyRoads.
  • Hispanic Population of the U.S., 2002 latest Census report.
  • Juveniles in Court statistical report from Justice dept.
  • U.S. Trade and transportation trends, 2003 statistical report from BTS.
  • Top defense contractors, 2003 report from Washington Technology.
  • World demand for commercial aircraft, 2003, report from Boeing.
  • Uniform Crime Report, 2002; preliminary, from FBI.
  • Nation Master look up individual or comparative stats on any country in the world. Example: did you know three countries have more televisions per capita than the U.S.? And that two of them are islands? Answer here.
  • The Condition of Education 2003 annual report from Natl Center for Education Statistics.
  • Farm Labor statistics and information from USDA's Economic Research Service.
  • Pinch, Power, and the Paper media column in NY magazine.
  • New Nexis databases: Al Jazeera, from 1/03; Birmingham News (AL), 1/03; PC Magazine, 10/02; Philadelphia Mag, 1/02; Press Journal (Vero Beach, FL), 12/97; Stuttgarter Zeitung, 2/03.
  • Government Surveillance information on wiretapping, patriot act, lots more, from Center for Democracy and Technology.
  • The Clinton Top 100: Where are they now? Center for Public Integrity report on ex-admin staffers' new jobs.
    Public Records:
  • New Nexis databases: Public Records: Arizona and Nevada mortgages, Idaho tax assessor records.
  • PACER help: Nature of suit codes: need to know what a federal lawsuit is about and all you get is a code? Here's the explanation. More PACER help here.
  • New searches at Accurint: When you run a comprehensive report in Accurint, you now have a choice of running "supplemental searches" for $1 extra. This file includes: Merchant Vessels (All states)
    FAA Certifications (All states)
    Hunting & Fishing Permits (AK, Al, CT, DE, FL, GA, MS, MO, MT, ND, NV, NJ, NC, OH, OK, UT, VA and WI)
    Concealed Weapon Permits (AR, FL, LA and ND) AND
    Voter Registration Information (AK, AR, CO, CT, DE, DC, LA, MI, MA, NJ, NV, NY, NC, OH, OK, RI, TX, UT, and WI ).
  • See Florida.
  • Technorati keyword search find words in recent blog entries.
  • Seven Tricks that Web users don't know Do you?
  • FDLE criminal background searches: cost increases from $15 to $23 starting July 1. Also: Career offender search now available.
  • Forbes' Celebrity 100
    Business: See People, Statistics.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • On Bloggers and the Howell Raines resignation story in OJR with links to other stories/blogs.
  • NYT archives, Weblogs and RSS comments by Dave Winer on archive availability....
  • Deception and Democracy: the selling of the Iraq war long report in New Republic.
  • BookLab II lovely examples of bookbinding, illustrating.
  • Decorate Martha's Cell: contest entries, from Worth.
  • Cable Clock: keep this on your desktop.
  • Dali Gallery
  • Tinfoil: listen to ancient recordings, wax cylinders, etc.

  • Friday, June 20, 2003

    Whole Earth Notes:
    As someone who became an adult in the mid 1960s, my life was shaped in part by the Whole Earth Catalog. During the 1970s and 1980s I was a devotee of Co-Evolution Quarterly and later, the Whole Earth News, quarterly magazine successors to the Catalog. Whole Earth is still around at Been reminded of them lately by some nostalgia hits:
    Today I found a link to Kevin Kelly's website, which contains a page called Recomendo. It's like a page out of the Catalog, with recommendations of great tools for living in blog format. Former editor and publisher of Whole Earth Magazine, Kelly is a founder and editor at large of Wired but remains involved with Whole Earth too.
    And, at SLA last week, I got to hear Whole Earth founder Stewart Brand talk about projects he's interested in these days. He was the keynote speaker on Tuesday and discussed his Long Now Foundation and the 10,000 year clock they're building.
    Another focus of Brand's interest is libraries. He's concerned that our history will be lost if we don't find a way to archive digital media, and cites a Library of Congress project at
    A joint project of Kelly and Brand is also fascinating: The All Species Foundation is trying to document every species living on earth within the next 25 years. A worthy project.

    In another big nostalgia burst, I found a new CD by Jesse Winchester (Live from Mountain Stage) today. I was playing one of his old albums last weekend and was wondering what'd happened to Jesse. Now I know. Had a chance to listen to a song or two and his voice sounds great. Last time I saw him live, he was playing Western Carolina U, not long after he was freed from his Canadian exile by Jimmy Carter's Vietnam amnesty. Must have been a hard slog for a boy from Mississippi:
    "I don't have no heavy hip boots
    I don't have no furry hat
    I don't have no long-john underwear
    No layer of protective fat
    I'd take a plane right to sunny Spain
    Oh, but I don't have the dough
    But I'd build a bridge and I'd walk there
    To get away from all that snow
    Oh, I'd build a bridge and walk there
    To get away from all that snow"
    -- Jesse Winchester, 1971 album....

    Christian Science Monitor finds it relied on forged documents for a story which implicated British mp George Galloway in Iraq dealings. Since the original story was a couple days after the Telegraph story, not sure if this was responsible for Galloway's resignation; in any case, this is a disturbing report.

    A Metafilter post today recommends visiting the Historical Society of Southern Florida website for the interesting exhibits there....I've been checking the site last couple of days to see if they've posted anything on the Miami photographers exhibition that opened last night, but nothing yet. But there's stuff on the Everglades, Cuban music, Florida folklife, and more. Definitely worth a visit. (Puffer fish, from exhibit on Cuban flora and fauna)

    The Boston Globe is working on a 7 part profile of John Kerry: John Kerry: Candidate in the making 6th part today...

    Speaking of newspaper credibility, this story by Greg Palast on The Cynthia McKinney quote is worth reading: the GA congresswoman lost her job after reports she'd claimed Bush admin knew about Sept 11 beforehand; Palast investigates and can find no record of the quote despite NYT reporter's claims it existed.....

    Thursday, June 19, 2003

    In case you missed it....
    Jeff Postell is one of America's hottest batchelors...

    In The Herald today:
    The missing 727 in Africa is owned by a Miami company: background from The Herald's Ina Cordle.
    Woman on trial for stalking news anchor shot a friend, aspiring TV journalist, to death in Chicago in 1986.

    Assignment Miami: News Photographers Online gallery of photos from various Miami Newspapers (including the defunct Miami News) from an exhibit at Historical Museum of South Florida (opening tomorrow).

    Tuesday, June 17, 2003

    Long awaited:
    Joe Adams' home page is now online. Called "", it's devoted to Joe's specialty, public records. Joe's the author of the Florida Public Records Handbook, recently updated, and gives seminars on using public records in Florida. If for no other reason, this site will be useful for the regular handbook updates Joe will be posting here. Also, Joe's listing stories using Florida public records, the latest by Matt Pinzur in The Miami Herald on class size. There are lots of other good stories mentioned here, too. Check it out!

    Tuesday stuff:
  • Lots of discussion in the blogworld about GWB's failed Segway ride (although I did see another photo of GHWB and GWB riding two Segways, competently...) A discussion about how he could have fallen (with photos) from American Prospect....And, also on this topic, "President's tumble off a Segway seems a tiny bit suspicious" by USA Today's Kevin Manley.
  • I'm reading an Andrew Greeley book set in Dublin on Bloomsday, and so it was, yesterday!
  • The Washington Post makes another run at the Jessica Lynch story.

  • Monday, June 16, 2003

    Random gleanings:
  • Watchblog a new three-part multi-editor blog covering the 2004 election: topics are Third Parties, Democrats and Republicans. Created by Cam of Camworld with guest editors.
  • Another Gary Price Presentation: this one from his IRE panel, on search techniques 'beyond Google'.
  • David Akin Weblog from a Toronto Globe & Mail reporter. A fun link here: look for the link to Nigerian letter writers' convention.
  • NYT archives, Weblogs and RSS comments by Dave Winer on archive availability....

  • Sunday, June 15, 2003

    In The Herald today:
    An ad for a new organization I'd not seen before, (Act against) Impunity, in crimes against journalists. This organization, a project of IAPA with Knight Foundation help, works to solve murders of Latin American journalists. The list of cases is frightening.
    Carl Hiaasen writes a speech about the search for WMDs for GWB.
    And, cartoonist Jim Morin on real priorities:

    Saturday, June 14, 2003

    The weekly reference collection: research gleanings:
    Compilation of a few things from last couple of weeks, before/after my trip to DC and NY. Most of these you've probably seen elsewhere over the period, but just in case:

    The useful links....
  • NOAA Nautical Charts entire electronic charts available for download, ZIPped. Also: chart updates, wreck survey, historical charts.
  • Veterans' History Project from Library of Congress.
  • MEDLINE Plus: Monkeypox news and links.
  • Great Lakes Atlas
    Governments, Politics:
  • Sept 11 Detainees long report in PDF from Dept of Justice.
  • Administration quotes on WMDs; Quotes on Iraqi democracy; both lists compiled by blogger "Billmon", with links to original sources.
  • Database of contacts for public interest advocates from Trial lawyers' assn.
  • From Dept of Education statistics: Public school students, staff, and graduate counts by state, 2001-2; Overview of public elementary and secondary schools and districts, 2001-2
  • 2003 World Refugee Survey from U.S. Committee for Refugees.
  • DataWeb: databases from Census and other government agencies: Web version of Data Ferret.
  • Judicial Facts and Figures caseload stats from U.S. courts.
  • U.S. International Trade and Freight Transportation Trends, 2003 new stats from BTS.
  • Reporting Skills: Gun tracking from Center for Investigative Reporting.
  • World News Connection the former FBIS database has moved to Dialog. Subsciption and new ID/password required.
    Public Records:
  • Lee County property appraiser has changed its Web address, with no forwarding from the old one.
    People, Business, Florida, Tools: No links this week.
    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Keeping Current on the Web presentation from Gary Price on blogs, online newsletters, and site monitors. This talk was given at SLA convention this week (I was there but couldn't get into the room, Gary is so popular).
  • Blogstreet RSS Directory find RSS feeds from thousands of Weblogs (via Sabrina Pacifici).
  • Virus Myths
  • Radio Lovers listen to old radio shows, free.
  • Sean Penn's fullpage ad in NYT

  • Friday, June 13, 2003

    Catching up....
    I apologize if the photos and header graphics are missing again. My personal space at Earthlink has been unavailable a lot lately, ever since the domain name changed. Bummer.

    Some interesting things I ran across today (after a week off the Web):
  • On Ben Bradlee's speech at IRE I was there. It was great.
  • Dangerous job: newspaper vendor in S. Florida in Brow/PB New Times.
  • On Marty Baron's chances at NYT job from Boston Phoenix.
  • On blogging and the NYT resignations in Online Journalism Review.

    I'll update more in my regular Saturday update tomorrow.

  • Thursday, June 12, 2003

    Fun in New York:
    Just posted a couple photos from the News Division's Monday night awards dinner boat trip around the tip of Manhattan on the Newsliblog. This one, view from the Inamorata's top deck:

    Murphy strikes back:
    An article in Sunday's Atlanta Journal Constitution about the people of Murphy NC reinforces what I said last week about stereotyping by the media. Interesting that most of the stories about Murphy by outside reporters have quoted the coffee shop manager. Is that the only store reporters feel comfortable entering? And I especially loved this quote from her:
    "That London Times writer sat right here in the shop and wrote all this stuff and didn't even go out to see it," said coffee shop manager Johnson. "We had to show him how to send his story. He didn't know how to use his computer. If we're so stupid, how come we had to show him how to get his story in?"

    Where's Liz?
    After IRE, I've been at the Special Libraries Association convention in New York. The News Division had some fantastic panels and programs and I learned a bunch. When I could get access to the Net, which was rare, I've been posting to a blog we set up for conference news: Newsliblog. A couple other librarians/researchers have been posting, too. The biggest news from the conference was that SLA is still SLA because the motion to change the name to Information Professionals International failed in a vote this morning.
    I'll be updating this blog tomorrow, and back to normal, since I'm back in Miami now.

    Friday, June 06, 2003

    Greetings from IRE:
    I'm at the Investigative Reporters and Editors convention in Washington, D.C. Posting may be sparse since I haven't found much Net access yet. But I'm trying to update a blog for news researchers that will hopefully carry news from the SLA convention next week. Not much there yet, but check out Newslib blog.
    We were pleased to have 5 panels with news researchers speaking during yesterday's Computer Assisted Reporting day; we got to hear from Gary Price and Anne Mintz, Margot Williams, Alice Crites, Toby Lyles, Alice Hart Wertheim, and me. Nice to see researchers so well represented at IRE, since we contribute so much to investigative reporting.
    I spoke on organizing Web links, if you'd like to see the handout it's available in the left-hand column. Handouts from all the other panels will be available on the IRE website.

    Wednesday, June 04, 2003

    In the news today:
    Seems there's a lot more turmoil over the question of Iraq WMDs in the UK than in the US: the Independent features photos of "ordinary Britons" asking Blair for answers:
    (from Sky News).

    The Pew Oceans Commission report, released today. Lots of great background, statistics on this site.
    If this concerns you, check this Seafood Lovers' Guide from Audubon, which I linked to last month. Interesting. Did you know, for example, that eating wild Pacific salmon is better for the environment that farmed salmon?

    Can't make IRE convention this year? A group of journalism students from several J-schools will be posting news from the panels on a Website hosted at UMd:

    Tuesday, June 03, 2003

    On the FCC ownership decision:
    The Herald's Jim Morin:

    And, a useful chart in the Business section outlining big media company properties, compiled from the Center for Public Integrity database and other sources (AP and other sources. Unfortunately the chart doesn't seem to have made it online.) TV critic Glenn Garvin, though, has some out-of-the-mainstream comments on the decision:
    "You say you don't want to pay for radio? Well, 25 years ago, nobody wanted to pay for TV. Times change, even if the people protesting Monday's FCC decision don't realize it."

    Monday, June 02, 2003

    On the Rudolph story:
    Open letter to Jeff Postell, officer who captured Eric Rudolph, from Robert Gabordi, editor of Asheville Citizen-Times.
    "Being a cop who did the best possible job, being "the man who captured Eric Robert Rudolph," ought to be valued by society at at least 1.1 percent of what a kid out of high school (Lebron James) gets to... well, the truth is, he hasn't done anything just yet.
    And if it gets offered, take the money, pay for mama's needed hip replacement surgery, help your church, take the chief out to dinner and put the rest away for a rainy day. Maybe even take a little vacation. But then get back to work.
    We need people like you out on the streets, just doing their job, and putting a person like Eric Robert Rudolph behind bars."

    And glad to hear that The Daily Grind coffee shop in downtown Murphy is doing a bangup business:
    "At the Daily Grind coffee shop, Amy Johnson is doing some rare Sunday business. She's ringing the register all day long, selling drinks from her new menu: "Caught Ya Coffee," "Eric Espresso" and "Captured Cappuccino." (Also in The Citizen).

    Sunday, June 01, 2003

    Murphy stands up:
    I'm pretty proud of my (future) adopted town and was thrilled to see the police chief and mayor interviewed yesterday along with 21-yr-old Officer Postell. I've been hearing for years about the support of white supremacists and religious fanatics in the mountains. But I know, from having lived in another small town in the NC mountains, and from my many visits to Murphy and the surrounding area, that the stories are exaggerated. Individuals, yes. Rural, yes. Uninterested in pop culture, big cites, traffic, and high-stress occupations? Caring for others, even wrongdoers? Yes. These folks showed their upstanding and tolerant natures. My kind of place. The time I've spent in the Appalachian mountain areas has been the most relaxing, joyous, and soul-satisfying in my life. I'm ready to get back, especially now that we've chosen a place to live in Murphy.
    The local paper, The Cherokee Scout, has put out an early edition to cover the unusual big local news. This is a paper that last fall FOIAed 911 tapes to uncover the story of a death in the county jail, a story that was later heavily investigated by the Asheville Citizen. There is good journalism going on in these small towns. I'm pleased.
    Coverage in The Citizen-Times is full and detailed, including a quote from a 1998 story:
    "The FBI is keeping it pretty hush," said Chris West, the assistant police chief of Andrews. "We could have given them help with the terrain, shown them spots they need to check out - caves, caverns, old mountain homes. But they haven't asked us."
    West says it won't be federal agents and their big-city credentials who flush out Rudolph, who many believe is hiding in the area's abundant forest, perhaps with help from others.
    "It's going to be us that finds him," he said. "We know what to look for. When the feds start pulling out of here, we're going to get him."

    Take that, Ashcroft.