Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Random things for Wednesday:
  • Reported on NewsLib today: Word of Mouth: New Internet scam tells people they can get anonymous reports on what people are saying about them...for a fee, of course. explains.
  • The Siegal committee report from NYTCo on the Times' newsroom's troubles. Among recommendations: an ombsbudsman (E&P story).
  • Liquid man: move your cursor to make him float...(via Metafilter).

  • Tuesday, July 29, 2003

    Newspapers lose lawsuit:
    The Miami Herald and S. Florida Sun-Sentinel lose a federal lawsuit to overturn a prohibition against street vendors in traffic. (Herald story).

    Mushroom cloud:
    If you're online right now (6 pm Tuesday), check the Heraldcam for an amazing cloud formation over Miami Beach.

    Derek has a lovely remembrance on the 50th anniversary of the Korean War.

    Monday, July 28, 2003

    NYT front pages
    Ryan at Dead Parrot Society tells us how to find an archive of NY Times front pages: about 18 months' worth.

    Via Sheila Lennon: Ms. Musings, a blog on "Women, Media, and Culture" by Christine Capaiuolo on Ms. magazine's site.
    And, from a message to NewsLib from Barbara Semonche: Links for copyeditors tip sheet for a class by Semonche, librarian at UNC's Journalism library. Thanks for the mention, Barbara!

    Sunday, July 27, 2003

    That truck....
    The Miami Herald's Tere Figueras talks to the men who outfitted an old Chevy flatbed and sailed it to Florida. And about that Coast Guard sinking:
    "''Nos engañaron,'' Basanta said, quietly. They tricked us."

    Saturday, July 26, 2003

    Weekend update: The weekly reference collection/research gleanings:
    I was really surprised and happy to see the new Herald blog promoted on the front page of yesterday (pointed out by Mike Meiners in Newslib-L). Since I suggested it (and it took awhile to make it happen) I was never sure if there was a place for a blog in the Real Cities plan (although, of course, Dan Gillmor's blog at is extremely popular, and a couple other KR columnists have tried temporary blogs). So it's nice to see it actually coming together.

    So now that there are two blogs, where will the reference links go? I'm still planning on putting any new useful links I find here, even if I've also posted them on the Herald blog. But I don't want to duplicate everything so some of the guides and newsy things I might post there won't also show up here. I still think of this blog as the 'News Research' blog so this is where journalism and research news will remain. I still need to get a feel for what the other blog will be, but since it's on The Herald's site and aimed at 'Herald readers' it will certainly be less personal than this independent blog. Maybe it'll be a little like the difference between Derek's Scoop and Blandiose blogs....(Derek, you continue to be an inspiration....)

    The useful links....

  • Archivos Virtuales papers of Latin American artists, from Smithsonian.
  • Aesop's Fables has over 600 fables online!
  • Older Adult Drivers factsheet from CDC. Also: Safe Senior Citizen Driving: a guide.
  • Household Products Database from National Library of Medicine, find out whether those things under your sink are safe.
  • Hearth: home economics archive, from Cornell University. Scanned books and articles from 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Global Edge great source for access to international statistics and country profiles, from Michigan State.
  • Charles Bowen (Reporters' Digital How To) in E&P writes on the County and City Data Book, 2000 from Census. This is a great resource I sometimes forget to check when looking for city/county rankings and data....
  • RocketInfo: now a 'breaking news and weblogs search engine'. This has been a useful news search, now also finds news from blogs.
  • Google News advanced search lets you pick source, terms in headline, date, etc.
  • Two new Websites that compile current news from news sites and blogs: Daily Whirl (legal news) and Daily Rotation (tech news).
  • Tour de Francia 2003: great graphics from El Mundo, españa.
  • James Davis NYC council member killed in shootout. His "Stop the violence" Website.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Government gazettes online a worldwide directory.
  • Encyclopedia of Campaign 2004 Part of GWUs' Democracy in Action site; has great collection of information from endorsements to media coverage, to candidate info including staff bios.
  • GoogleAlert sign up to get email notice of any time your search terms appear in Google (this is not connected to Google).
  • Google News advanced search lets you pick source, terms in headline, date, etc.
  • Report from the Moblogging conference in Online Journalism Review.
    Public Records:
  • Los Angeles County criminal courts search need to register and pay per search.
  • A guide to the U.S. federal legal system from LLRX, this is very complete, with links.
  • WWI service records from Florida archives, scanned card files with each serviceman's record, including home address, time overseas, wounds or disabilities.
  • Sun-Sentinel property search: get recent sales by neighborhood, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
  • Monroe County occupational license search (by company name, see pulldown in lefthand column for owner, occupation searches).
  • BizLink nice guide to business reference from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library.
  • Canadian Naturalization Database: find people naturalized between 1915-1932.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Fast Forward a new media blog from NDN (New Directions for News).
  • Peoria Pundit by Bill Dennis, former author of the "Bill's Content" blog.
  • find lots and lots of blogs on baseball.
  • Beautiful photos of Mont St. Michel

  • Thursday, July 24, 2003

    Read this:
    Are online search tools lulling journalists into laziness? in Online Journalism Review. This should be required reading in every newsroom and j-school.

    On the Iraq situation:
    The author of Liberal Media Bias blog has a powerful statement about the Iraq casualties....

    Salam Pax had a lot to say about the Uday/Qusay situation:
    "...Sanchez speaks only in Militar-ese, meaningless words come out of his mouth while we are all hanging on the edge of our seats waiting for one single picture, definitive proof. It is so easy, all it takes is to show us the friggin’ corpses. They do have them. Someone did see them and when asked why it wasn’t sown to the public they came up with the moral issues stuff. Habibi it didn’t bother you that all those Iraqis, Americans and British are being killed for dubious reasons, so why suddenly become so squeamish? Give the Images to Jazeera, moral issues have never stopped them from showing gruesome images, let them do your dirty work."

    And this is what he said yesterday: "just to tell you that i would be really dissapointed if Uday and Qusay were really killed in Mosul. this is just the easy way out for them. they should have been humiliated in public, images of them handcuffed and being pushed around."

    ...Photodude has a different opinion on the decision to release the photos....

    More on the blog:
    I suggest if you want to bookmark the Herald blog, you book mark the intro page at Because the blog isn't done with blogging software, the permalinks are only linked to the page they're on, and once I start moving files into the archive, I'll have to create new pages for the current blog if I want to keep the permalinks working. That means the page the blog's on today ( won't remain current. Unless I can figure out a better way to do this.......

    Wednesday, July 23, 2003

    OK, you have to see this:
    We've had some interesting stories about Cuban rafters over the years, but this one may beat all: Cubans try to 'drive' over Florida Straits. Check out the photo.

    Let's try this again:
    Last week I posted, a bit prematurely, it turned out, a link to a new blog I'm doing on the Miami Herald Website. The blog existed and was expected to go live but it took a week longer than expected. Although some tweaking still has to be done (the link will be under Columnists), there is now a cover page for the blog. This is the direct link.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2003

    News flash!
    Readers want more coverage of U.S. military casualties in Iraq, according to the reaction to last week's Editor and Publisher story. It just makes sense.

    Monday, July 21, 2003

    New on Monday:
    Tony Blair for president: interesting concept. Constitutionally unsound.
    An AOL journal: first test of the new blogging service by Dan Gillmor.
    Dallas Morning News' EdBlog: editorial board comments and answers to readers' questions.
    Are you a threat to the Bush administration? Take this quiz and find out.

    Sunday, July 20, 2003

    Sunday night:
    ...and time for a few new photos: Daylilies and firecrackers:

    more photos....

    Journalism stories:
    Don't you love 'em? Miami's Gene Miller, who's heard a lot of them, tells a few in The Herald today. Is this a great news town or what? (Note my contribution, at the end.)

    Also in The Herald: Columnist Robert Steinback starts a new Q&A Forum, where he takes readers' questions/comments on his columns or any other topic they want to discuss.

    And: the uncomparable Enrique Fernandez on Celia Cruz. As he did with Compay Segundo a few days ago, he gets to the essence:
    "Celia was a contralto, with the power of a tenor. There was something paradoxically androgynous about her. She sang with a man's brute force -- even the voice of the great Beny Moré was more delicate. Yet she danced, moving an hourglass body that was almost mythically female."

    Weekend update: The weekly reference collection/research gleanings:
    A little late again this weekend, I liked the sunflower photo (below) so much I wanted to keep it at the top of the page as long as possible....

    The useful links....


  • Google University Search search college Websites.
  • Encyclopedia of Television from Museum of Broadcasting.
  • Chicago Manual of Style
  • USDA Plants Database you can download a national or state plant checklist, look up individual plants, get lots of info on plants & environment.
  • Middle East Directory: guide to Websites.
  • Online Etymology Dictionary is looking for word sponsors.
  • AllChin Files: this Website has lots and lots of good reference files, calculators and the like. Among them, USA driving distances between cities, and World air distances between cities (Miami not included). One I'll use: Web colours (via Al's Morning Meeting).
  • Immigration: Shaping and Reshaping America detailed report from Population Reference Bureau.
  • Population Reference Bureau's Graphics Bank has population-related Powerpoint slides.
  • 2003 Metropolitan areas info on the newly redefined MSAs.
  • Foreign Language Newspapers online a directory from MIT libraries.
  • Liberia: information from National Geographic.
  • Liberia page: guide to resources from U. Penn. African Studies dept.
  • U.S. Postal Service team, Tour de France has daily tour logs and photos.
  • World Press Review still around, and even better online, with special features on topics like China's Three Gorges.
  • Oxford American has shut down (again). Does that mean the end of the music issue?
    Governments, Politics:
  • First Read: new daily political news/gossip from NBC.
  • Buying Influence special report from Center for Public Integrity on 527 committees' campaign contributions.
  • On this note, the IRS has created a new Political Organization Filing and Disclosure site, where you can search for 527s and forms 8871 and 8872.
  • 2004 presidential election contributions analysis from
  • U.S. Elections Atlas has detailed results, including presidential results from 1789 on, down to counties....
  • Unstacking the Deck new book on understanding campaign finance from IRE. One of the authors:'s Derek Willis.
  • Future of online journalism interview with editor of Online Journalism Review Michelle Nicolosi in She says newspapers should embrace blogs.
    Public Records:
  • Yahoo's public records online Chris Sherman of SearchEngineWatch on personal information available from Yahoo! (via
  • Even Shredded documents can be reconstructed: NYTimes story; Research report.
  • More Crayons: lots more colors (over 4000) for Web designers.
  • TEK search: MIT offers a search for people with no access to high-speed (or even medium-speed) internet. You submit a search and get results emailed to you w/in 24 hours.
  • A new Florida blog: South of the Suwanee, on "Society, history, and politics".
    Business, People: no links this week.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • From Romenesko: Reading this story warrants a visit from the FBI? (Just keep this in mind....
  • Also: The St Pete Times gets the real story on the Naples lemonade stand.
  • British political blogs links to blogging MPs and others from The Guardian.
  • Macon reacts to Sex and the City slur.
  • Rhode Island police raid Naragansett smoke shop 'native American' cigarette sales no longer exempt? A good story for any paper near reservations (we have Miccosukee and Seminoles, with casinos and smoke shops, here). This report (with links) on Sheila Lennon's blog.
  • John Dean says the WMD case needs a special prosecutor.
  • The Trouble with Google: good dissection in Slate.
  • Coming soon: a Salam Pax book.
  • A new Florida blog: South of the Suwanee, on "Society, history, and politics".
  • Liberal Bias Media, a blog: "You've heard the media talk about a liberal bias media, but always wondered ''where is it?'' Well, this is it!" by "Heckraiser".
  • The Periodic Table of Dessert.
  • Disneyland Postcards
  • Turner Online a favorite visit at the Tate Gallery.
  • 1 World Recipes from around the world, concentrating on spicy, from Dave DeWitt, former publisher of Chili Pepper magazine.
  • Dave's making trouble again....

  • Friday, July 18, 2003


    A perfect summer photo, from Cornwall. Charles Winpenny seems to be away, and has posted some of his best recent photos on the Cornwallcam site, so maybe that means this photo will stay for a few days, at least...

    Meanwhile, in Murphy....
    Officer Jeff Postell given an award by NC legislature; story in the Cherokee Scout. Also in the Scout: Postell catches another fugitive (look down the page in Townsend column). Love that small-town news.

    Who copyedits blogs?
    The perpetual question, and one that there's no answer for, except, that bloggers fact-check/edit each other. Well, here's my contribution: in Poynter's E-Media Tidbits, yesterday's entry on the death of Celia Cruz says she died in Miami. Not so, it was in Fort Lee, NJ, her longtime home. Her body is being flown to Miami today for a viewing but will be returned to New York for burial.

    Need a heartwarming story?
    How about this one: Love trumps poverty in custody dispute by Carol Marbin Miller in the Miami Herald, about an unemployed mom finally getting to adopt the son she's raised for four years.

    Noticed this morning:
    Republicans for Dean, brand new blog.

    And: more on the Bob Graham NASCAR truck team by Cammy Clark in the Miami Herald. What a story: first major sponsorship by a presidential candidate, first win in its first race with the Graham logo, driven by Jon Wood of the legendary racing Wood family. Cool!

    Thursday, July 17, 2003

    Some interesting things today:
  • What's the true number of coalition deaths since end of the Iraq war? This article in E&P points to Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, which says 85 have died since May 2, not 33. (They're also counting non-combat deaths.) Is this the database I asked for last week?
  • Slate answers today's burning question: How do you pronounce 'Niger'?
  • Bob Graham's campaign stop in Roanoke featured NASCAR and bluegrass. How can he lose?
  • A new Florida blog: South of the Suwanee, on "Society, history, and politics".
  • LA Blogs covers the Santa Monica market tragedy.
  • Future of online journalism interview with editor of Online Journalism Review Michelle Nicolosi in She says newspapers should embrace blogs.
  • Operation "Air Conditioner" group trying to help troops by sending staples, getting AC. Note Baghdad weather report at bottom of page. Looks like it's working.

  • Wednesday, July 16, 2003

    Another Cuban legend:
    Celia Cruz dies , from Miami Herald; from the Sun Sentinel.

    Want to publish a book?
    Now you can Do it online. CafePress will now take a PDF file you send them (and give you a link to software to convert to PDF), help you design the book online and set a price, and sell it. They take about $4-5 per book, you decide how much more to charge. If you have a Website you can advertise a link to order form.

    Iraqi women:
    Insecurity driving Iraqi women indoors: new report from Human Rights Watch (story). Text of report.

    Involving researchers in investigations:
    St. Paul Pioneer Press special investigation finds state politicians (including the governor) were paid fees by a phone company which cheated customers. This giant project involved several reporters and researchers and lots of documents posted to their Intranet. (Note researchers' credit on story.)

    Tuesday, July 15, 2003

    Can't resist posting this one:
    Ancient British...lasagne? recipe found in a medieval cookbook. From BBC.

    And: Welcome to the Blogosphere from USA Today.

    In Tuesday's Herald:
    Enrique Fernandez on the real Compay Segundo: "Repilado was Eros and Orpheus rolled into one, fueled by a sexual energy that defied age and interpreted by a masterly combination of instrumental dexterity and seductive voice."
    (Added later:
    the Sun-Sentinel has a music review, coverage of the Havana wake, and AP coverage of today's funeral.)

    And, Tom Fiedler announces a new management team for The Miami Herald: four managing editors, a first?

    Monday, July 14, 2003

    Compay Segundo:
    If you're a fan of Cuban music, you're probably mourning this legend (Reuters story). Some links: Obits in Granma, Juventud Rebelde ; info in AfroCubaWeb, includes discography, other information and links, and two Granma profiles in English. Bio from American representation agency International Music Network; Information, photos, album lists, from; Bio and interview en español from La casa del son.

    Sunday, July 13, 2003

    New journalist blog:
    Via Metajournalism, report of a new blog from the Newsroom-l discussion group. This is brand new, but purports to be a public face for the discussions on the listserv, something we're still thinking about for the Newslib discussion group's blog .

    Weekend update: The weekly reference collection/research gleanings:
    The update didn't happen on Saturday since the power company was moving a pole behind our house (the existing wires went too close to the new monstrosity being built right next to our property line). Of course, although FPL reps did warn us the day before that they would be doing the job, they didn't bother to tell us before they disconnected the wire. Good thing I had just saved my work before I walked away from the computer for a few minutes. When I came back, all was dead. We had to leave the house for a couple hours, since inside a Miami house in July is not the place you want to be when there's no air conditioning, or even fans, running. Just another annoyance in the ruination of our once-pleasant neighborhood. How long can we take this? Just the workers' noise and trash is enough to drive us batty....

    Anyway, back to the research links, including some different takes on current news:
  • The Guardian's take on Terry the coma boy is a bit more interesting than the wire story. Note the "what's happened since 1984" section at bottom: "Someone should tell you about Aids, but perhaps we'll let you recover a bit first...Phones are now mobile, discs are now compact and computers are now personal. You can still get digital watches, however...Victoria Principal didn't marry Mark after all; she woke up and found Bobby in the shower and realised it was all a dream. Falcon Crest has been cancelled."
  • Timeline on Niger uranium claim from Howard Dean website; from DNC (via Oliver Willis).
  • From Victory to Success: Afterwar policy in Iraq: new report from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

    The useful links....

  • Funding for the Arts a national database of publications, awards, grants, etc.
  • CheeseNet everything you could want to know....
  • Toxic release inventory latest data from 2001 now posted at RTK net. This is EPA data on pollutants.
  • Neighborhood Preservation Center database: search for links, resources on neighborhoods.
  • Hispanic Population of the U.S. latest stats from Census.
  • Article discussing value of online news archives in Searcher magazine.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Supreme Court arguments in MP3 format from Oyez, Oyez. Has several cases from 1950s and 1960s, adding more.
  • Report on Diebold elections systems failures: possible to 'rig' elections using this system? (Used in A lot of Florida counties.....) Main Black Box Voting website.
  • Nevada's online Census the state has created a database that lets you search names or data from the Censuses of 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920. Very cool.
  • Football salaries database from USA Today.
  • Fundacion nuevo periodismo hispanoamericano
  • First Amendment Center
  • Harvard magazine publishes fake obit (the alumn decided to get off the mailing list by declaring himself dead -- and wrote his own obit). This in blog of Harvard news service's librarian, Jessica Baumgart.
  • Moblogging: the future of journalism? in Online Journalism Review.
  • Forbes' Global 2000: the world's biggest companies.
  • Canada's Power Book: top 1000 companies and other lists from Toronto Globe and Mail.
  • AmLaw 100 nation's largest law firms, from American Lawyer.
    Public Records, Tools, Florida: no links this week.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • a new journalism weblog.
  • this site provides free templates, software and space for writers' weblogs.
  • 8 Good People: unemployed journalists telling stories.
  • How to keep up on news about search engines and comparisions, article in LLRX.
  • Maproom Blog a weblog about maps.
  • has information on mangos (including how to eat them) and lots and lots of recipes.

  • Friday, July 11, 2003

    Bad news from Miami:
    Zo's going to the Nets. The final blow for the Heat's hopes: Jason Kidd's staying. Zo wants to play with Kidd.

    New use for the Web:
    Broward County, FL, schools will put students' attendance records online, so parents can check to see if their kids played hooky today. Herald story;, Virtual Counselor.

    Miami Herald legend retires:
    Anne Baumgartner has edited The Herald's Action Line column for over 30 years. This is one of the longest-existing consumer help columns in newspapers, and one of the paper's most popular features. Action line staff must be researchers and reporters in one and Anne is the best. We'll miss her. Too bad the lovely photo that ran in the paper didn't make the online edition.

    Thursday, July 10, 2003

    Florida news in RSS:
    Good news for those who use newsreaders: TCPalm has RSS Feeds. This is site of Florida Treasure Coast papers (Stuart, Ft. Pierce, Vero Beach). (via Nathan Ashby-Kuhlman).

    You think you get bad assignments? How about this one, the Stinkmeister, at the Philly Daily News?

    Another Knight Ridder writer does a blog: Charlie McCollum, Mercury News' TV writer.

    News researcher makes the news:
    St. Petersburg Times researcher Caryn Baird tracked down the little boy who put a message in a bottle in 1984: he died 5 years ago today. His mother, visiting Florida from her Ohio home trying to forget, gets the bottle and the message from her son. A Message from Roger, a great example of what news researchers can do with public records and newspaper databases.

    Wednesday, July 09, 2003

    Back again:
    After a short trip (in days, not miles). It's refreshing to get out and see America, even if just for a short time, especially on the 4th of July.
    I was reminded today by a mention in Al's Morning Meeting of the wonderful E-Podunk website that highlights small town America. A nice place to go for old postcards, information about towns (including, now, census data), and special features like one on the Erie Canal. I'm even more impressed with E-Podunk now that I've found out it is run by former journalists.
    Also ran into a couple sites today highlighting places I love: Finger Lakes Region provides (finally) a guide to this wonderful upstate New York area of wineries, lakes, and history (underground railroad and women's movement, especially).
    And Apalachicola Bay area, guide to Apalachicola and St. George's Island area of the Florida Panhandle (white beaches, oysters, and more history).
    It's nice to be able to look up information about places like this. There are hundreds more great sites like this out there.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer did a very interesting story yesterday on The Smoking Gun. This site does something that daily newspaper reporters don't always get to do: they go to the courthouse and get the documents. Basic journalism.

    And, if you missed it, Glenn Garvin's profile of Bill O'Reilly in The Miami Herald this weekend is worth a read. Too bad the Web version doesn't have the 1970s photo of O'Reilly as a Catholic high school teacher in Miami, all blue-eyed, long-haired intensity (well, not TOO long). One of his former students:
    "And, yeah, he could be a smart aleck. I laugh when I see him on TV now because he's exactly the same way he was back then.''

    Thursday, July 03, 2003

    Eve of the 4th
    ...and trying to figure out whether to face the highways this weekend. At any rate, will probably not be blogging for a few days. The weekly update will probably be combined into next week's but meanwhile, the most interesting things out there this week:
  • Whatever happened to Max Cleland? The defeated Ga. senator is bitter about the state of American government. In Wash. Post.
  • Picking workers' pockets NYT's Bob Herbert on new proposed labor regs eliminating overtime for many workers.
  • How to keep up on news about search engines and comparisions, article in LLRX.
  • Re-thinking objectivity fascinating article in Columbia Journalism Review.
  • What presidents did on the Fourth of July Every president, every year. Impressive project by an AU librarian.
  • Article discussing value of online news archives in Searcher magazine.
  • has a searchable database of marinas around the world.
  • The National Map from USGS, has nationwide geospatial data, including infrastructure data. Straight to the map viewer.
  • new govt site for acquiring maps and map data.
  • Postmaster Finder finds all post offices and postmasters since 1986, and many from before that, going back many years in some cases.
    Happy Independence Day!

  • Wednesday, July 02, 2003

    Wednesday stuff:
  • Why journalists should blog in LostRemote. Says it's a way of showing readers we're real people.
  • What happened to the Florida state library? PB Post's Jim Ash follows up.
  • this site provides free templates, software and space for writers' weblogs.
  • a new journalism group weblog, based on the metafilter concept.