Friday, April 30, 2004

In the news:
I'm blogging on the strange things going on in and about Iraq, on the other blog, along with other things. This seems to be one of those weeks when the news is really fascinating.

For some really good background on Google, see this from Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineWatch. Lots and lots of financial data. Also see Poynter's Al Tomkins for a good collection of links to info on IPOs.

For all of us who will miss Bob Edwards: NPR Tribute to Bob Edwards on his last day at Morning Edition.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Journalistic Integrity:
The Miami Herald's photo department got together to express their committment to truth in photography, in this report which appeared on The Herald's Opinion page today. What could be more forceful than the words of individual photographers like Tim Chapman, who says: "How would people believe that 912 people killed themselves in Jonestown, Guyana, or millions of Jews were killed by the Nazis -- unless they saw photos? I think that the reader knows whom to trust." There's an accompanying photo of most of the photo staff, posed on top of the Herald building.
The project was in reaction to an Op-Ed piece by j-prof Ed Wasserman (a former Herald business editor) who expressed his concern about 'Photoshopping'.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Trying out Gmail:
After reading several reviews, it sounded too good not to try. Message me there at edonovan -at-

Research help:
More help from Al's Morning Meeting: Al Tomkins has a good collection of links to info on IPOs today, for help with the story on Google's upcoming offering. Good stuff.

And more:
  • Did you see...this Washington Post story about an 85-yr-old man in Orcas Island, WA, who's building a boat to sail to Cuba? Wonderful.
  • Hack Roast: good article in Reason by Matt Welch on factchecking Web sites.

  • Tuesday, April 27, 2004

    Another news aggregator site
    A British test of Microsoft's Newsbot is up and running on MSN UK. It doesn't have quite as much news upfront as Google News, but looks good. The search retrieves a lot of MSNBC content, but also finds a good range of newspapers and wires. (via Journolist, who warns you need to use Microsoft IE for it to display properly.)

    Lots more:
    On the blog on

    Has some lovely photos of Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Especially the picture of Oscar Wilde's gravestone covered in lipstick kisses.

    Sunday, April 25, 2004

    Tales of Key West:
    If you find this funky place intriguing, check out the reporting from there by Cara Buckley, in The Miami Herald. She's been finding some good stories there. Today's is about the sudden reluctance to allow X-rated public activities there. Strange happenings in this town, where:
      "... during the annual bacchanalia known as Fantasy Fest, schoolgirls and grandmas make canvasses out of their bare chests and 60-year-old men saunter about with spray-on thongs. Where clothing-optional inns, bars, restaurants and topless charter fishing outfits flourish. Where the Girls Gone Wild knockoff, Real Wild Girls, filmed enough collegiate vice to fill two video volumes."

    More reporting from the Keys here.

    Saturday, April 24, 2004

    Weekend update: Other things I found last week:

    As a Blogger user, I have the invitation to sign up for Google's GMail. Should I? I already have too many email addresses....

    Some of these are a little old as I didn't update last week, but here they are for the record:

    The links....
    Reference :
  • The Art Milennium: huge encyclopedia of art images by over 1000 artists.
  • MSU Global Access: detailed country information, including news, from Michigan State.
  • Directory of School sites on the Internet
  • Spalding Base Ball Guides, 1889-1939: wonderful baseball history resource from Library of Congress.
  • Africa South of the Sahara: a good directory from Stanford U. library.
  • U.S. News and World Report photo collection now at Library of Congress.
  • IWS: Information Warfare Site includes watches on terrorism, homeland security, and Iraq war.
  • A9, the new search engine from This is interesting for the tab that finds results in book texts.
  • Redesigned: National Geographic's Map Machine.
  • Datedex: great resource for finding what's happening/happened on a certain date, and what's coming up.
  • Skipease: nice collection of people finding searches, including a mail drop search, cell phone identifier, etc.
  • VA Cemetery search: find U.S. war veterans' burials.
  • Online searchable death indexes: find what's online by state.
  • 2004 Baseball team valuations from Forbes.
  • Top U.S. Corporate Brands from Forbes.
  • Plain Vanilla Shell has data, statistics, on retail and shopping center real estate, including a database of tenants. Must join to get access.
  • new site for business reporters/editors/designers.
    Governments, Politics:
  • this site tracks presidential campaign polling.
    Public Records:
  • Public Access to Court Records, a great clearinghouse for information.
  • Refugee and entrant arrivals in Florida, 2002: lots of stats from DCF.
  • Miami-Dade Planning Department: Census information. Useful tables.
  • FloridaDEP: new Dept of Environmental Protection Web site.
  • Florida Charts: get stats on health indicators for Florida.
  • U.S. Statistical Abstract: Historical! Now you can get stats from old versions of the book, going back to 1878!
  • Census of Population and Housing, 1790-2000 now online, in PDF format (not all years, all volumes, yet....)
    News: no links this week

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Word Spy: I linked to this once before, but find this even more fascinating. They do a great job of looking up new word usage. A couple of the latest ones: "Purple states" refers to those too close to call red or blue on the political spectrum, like Florida. "Rino" = "Republican in name only".
  • Washington Monthly's Web site is now "Political Animal" blog, by Kevin Drum (formerly Calpundit).
  • NK Zone: blog by CNN correspondent covers North Korea, lots of info on the train explosion.
  • Oxblog: by a couple Rhodes scholars.
  • John Kerry's military service record, including documents.
  • Witmer family Website: from the family with 3 girls in Iraq, one killed.....
  • Sabernomics: interesting blog applies economic principles to baseball study.
  • From the Kerry campaign: The middle-class misery index.

  • Friday, April 23, 2004

    Photo frenzy:
    Most interesting news today seems to be the reaction to the various postings of military coffin photos from Iraq. I've linked to several things about it on the other blog. Today, the sudden revelation that many of the photos posted on Memory Hole from Dover AFB were of the Columbia astronaut remains. The Washington Post has a correction online, as I suppose many papers who ran them will. It's an understandable error, as Memory Hole's FOIA request was for 'all military remains from 2/1/2003 to present'. The Columbia remains returned soon after that date. Drudge, who made a huge deal of the photos yesterday (and ran many himself) now is in a tizzy about the 'error'. Meanwhile, Memory Hole is out of service, apparently due to an attack. There is a mirror. Links on the other blog.

    Thursday, April 22, 2004

    New to me:
    ..or did I see some of these earlier?.....
  • Readership Institute: the Northwestern study.
  • site for business reporters/editors/designers.
  • Washington Post obit of Mary McGrory by David Von Drehle.
  • Datedex: resource for finding what's happening/happened on a certain date, and what's coming up. (via Researchbuzz.)

    Lots more on the Herald blog.

  • Wednesday, April 21, 2004

    After the break:
    Took a few days off but will be updating soon. Meanwhile, what about blog on The Herald site? Has anyone stopped going to it since went to registration? Will this keep potential readers away? I'm thinking about moving the Herald blog to a public site, something like KR Washington bureau has done with the Hot off the Trail blog, on Blogspot....

    Tuesday, April 13, 2004

    Lots more...

    ...on the other blog today, including new Googlebombing outbursts, military dead photo sites, presidential religion help, and Michael Palin's travel books online.

    Online award: blogger:
    The Sigma Delta Chi awards, announced today, include work by a blogger who encouraged me to get started on this, Derek Willis:
    • Public Service in Online Journalism(Independent): “Silent Partners: How political nonprofits work the system,” Derek Willis & Aron Pilhofer of The Center for Public Integrity in Washington D.C. Brought attention to questionable tax-exempt organization activities.

    Another winner i'm impressed by: the Hartford Courant's Rinker Buck. Haven't read his newspaper articles, but have enjoyed two of his books, especially the latest, First Job, about his time working at the Berkshire Eagle in the early '70s. Wonderful book.
    Buck also won a Pulliam award for his story of the first marine killed in Iraq. I must read it.

    Note the Toledo Blade team won this one, too. Impressive.
    (via J.D. Lasica.)

    Monday, April 12, 2004


    ...and more backyard photos

    Saturday, April 10, 2004

    Weekend update: Other things I found last week:

    With Iraq on all our minds, again, some new sources that may be useful:
  • Administration quotes on al-Qaeda sortable by source, and with links to original transcripts. Note links to collections of quotes on WMD and Iraqi democracy. Collected by Billmon via Iraq Coalition Casualty Count.
  • U.S. Occupation Facilities in Iraq. Maps and info from Global Security.
  • Detailed Iraq Chronology 1980-2004 from DoE.
  • Background on Muqtada al-Sadr from Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Keeping the Shiites Straight from the The Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College.
  • Muslims, Islam, and Iraq from University of Georgia.

    The other links....
    Reference :
  • Butterflies of North America from USGS.
  • New York Times theater pages have been redesigned. Included here: All theater reviews back to 1905 (Peter Pan), and an archive of 93 Hirschfeld drawings.
  • Athens 2004 Olympic Games
  • Sports Facility Reference list from Institute of Sports Law at Marquette, has great information about facility financing, construction, etc. Click on Facility Update charts for info on specific stadiums/arenas. (from an answer on NewsLib.)
  • Historical portraits in the public domain, a nice collection from the UT library.
  • CandyUSA: everything you would want to know about.....
  • Phishing archive: list of fake emails trying to solicit account numbers, PINs, etc.
  • Ask Jeeves now has a function to find biographical info on celebrities. Look for 'biography' in 'related links' list on right-hand side of results. Here's the Colin Powell results. (via Resourceshelf.)
  • New York City Deaths: searchable archives covering turn of the century.
  • Forbes 2000: the world's leading companies
  • Ad Age: Fact Pact 2004, large PDF of supplement with advertising/marketing facts, rankings, etc. Interesting stuff here. Top U.S. Marketer? Verizon. AT&T also beats Ford and Chevrolet, by a mile.
  • Noted Now: Latest breaking political news from ABC News' The Note.
  • Facts About Newspapers, 2003 from NAA.
    Governments, Politics:
  • U.S. Blue Pages a newly-created site for finding government phone numbers. Searching by city/state/agency doesn't get any Florida listings. But I searched 'miami' in the text search box, and got 466 listings, including INS offices all over the state. You can sort by agency, so this may work.
  • Homeland security alerts to techical/research reports from NTIS.
    Public Records:
  • New address for New York State E-Courts: New address for online decisions and future appearances Not all counties available for criminal cases, 21 courts.
  • Maryland DoC inmate locator.
  • Illinois VINElink: locate offenders' custody status.
  • Louisiana VINElink.
    Statistics: no links this week

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • The Four Corners: a lovely group blog, DC-based, about history and place.
  • Living in Europe: a group blog. Note links to other 'Living in....' sites.
    New sites making fun of Bush are popping up everywhere; a few:
  • The Bushiad and the Idiodyssey.
  • Billionaires for Bush: "Because the deficit isn't growing fast enough".
  • Western White House.

  • Friday, April 09, 2004

    News for all:
    Fascinating story from BBC about how in future news may be distributed by file sharing, bypassing censorship.

    On the other blog, some links about an incredible photo of 'camel spiders' in Iraq. Are they as nasty as they look? And some other discussions, of Love bugs, Times Square, and the press.

    Thursday, April 08, 2004

    I misspelled the name of Kathryn Cramer, the blogger who was investigating civilian security contractors. Since then, she's had a firestorm of comments and personal attacks.
    Some reaction to this on the other blog, where I deplored the rash of hatred spinning around these days. I got an emailed comment from a local blogger, who says it's all the media's fault since we print only bad news from Iraq -- death and destruction -- and nothing positive, like soldiers' toy drives. Hmmm. Anyone agree?

    Tuesday, April 06, 2004

    Lively journalism discussions:
    Lots of fun on Newsdesigner, especially the research into the origin of the International Herald Tribune's logo in the masthead (from the NY H-T); and lots of discussion on front-page use of the Fajullah photos.

    Also: see Prints the Chaff for a debate (with Dave Winer and Derek Willis chiming in) on whether a blogger might ever win a Pulitzer.

    And, a 'citizen reporter' dies:
    Mike Wendland reports that the Cyberpaperboy has died. Links on the other blog.

    Sunday, April 04, 2004

    Will there be any land left?
    Things to ponder: Today's New York Times magazine story, "Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia"; and Friday's AP story, Developers get farmers' tax breaks. Will we ever set some controls on development? I'm seeing even places I once considered remote getting overgrown.

    Saturday, April 03, 2004

    Miami sky:

    ...and more

    Research lost?
    Here's another thought about researchers and online. Today The Herald ran a story about an accident that killed 7 farmworkers crammed into a van with 12 others. It's part of a long pattern of abuse, and yesterday I pulled together a list of previous incidents, a long shameful list starting with a 1963 wreck near Belle Glade that killed 27, including 12 children. Since space is always a problem these days (and why I'm doing less of these lately), the box that ran with the story pulled three incidents out and referred to online for the rest of the list. That's great. It means that information that might not have run will see the light.
    But: this means the list won't be in our permanent archive, in Nexis and other versions of the database. What do we do? I'll try to make sure someone gets this list into the archive with a note that it only appeared online. This may come up in Google, at least in the cache, for awhile. Now that I've linked it this link is permanent. But how many more of these will be missing?

    Weekend update: Other things I found last week:

    Some ask how blogging can have anything to do with investigative reporting. I could cite a lot of examples, but one really stood out this week:

    Kathryn Cramer, a blogger from New York, has been discussing the use of mercenary forces in Iraq (and other countries) for awhile on her blog. This week, as the story of the Blackwater employees killed in Iraq came out, her research became relevant to breaking news. Besides discussing the situation, Kramer's research into the subject made her blog a great place to go to find quick links to stories and reports on civilian contractors, from lots of different sources. How many other 'civilian reporters' are there out there doing research that can help journalists find the background they need? A lot more than you think. This is the sort of thing news librarians/researchers should be doing for their own organizations, and do. But sometimes having that extra eye looking is really useful. And, going to a blog that discusses 'guns for hire' in one posting, then breastfeeding or school lunches in the next is a nice dose of real life.

    The links....
    Reference :
  • GESource World Guide: a new guide to world geography, politics, social and economic issues, by country.
  • USA Today's Bestseller list: searchable database back to 1993.
  • Online Climate Atlas of the U.S..
  • Current Time around the world: see it on a map.
  • PC Problems? Fix 'Em Yourself. Good hints from PC World.
  • Mobile Phone Directory: contains only voluntary listings, name search only. A link to reverse search for $85 (takes several days).
  • Zapdata has free Dun & Bradstreet reports on companies, slight cost for more detail. Need to register (free).
  • Delaware Corporate Records.
  • Advanced search syntax for Yahoo News: Gary Price says you can search by source, headline, URL, and more. Very useful.
  • A Statement of Principles: ASNE's Code of Ethics Online.
  • SJP Code of Ethics.
    Governments, Politics, Public Records, Statistics: no links this week

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • The unofficial Google Weblog. For all those fascinated by this company.
  • Yellowstone Wolf's Journal, a lovely photoblog from the Rocky Mountains. (via Smoky Mountain Journal.)
  • Mead Data Central and the History of Nexis in Searcher magazine.
  • How winning a Pulitzer changes your life at MediaBistro.
  • Wonderful short film of Jerry Seinfeld hanging out with Superman from American Express. (click on 'Uniform').

  • Friday, April 02, 2004


    (Miami Herald photo by Donna Natale Planas)

    This fire
    made a lot of people nervous in downtown Miami today. Ash was dropping on the streets around The Herald building. It could even be seen from space.

    Lots more stuff on the other blog today.

    Thursday, April 01, 2004

    Learn something every day:
    Today it's the origin of the term 'Wiki'. It's Hawaiian! As in 'Wiki Wiki (fast) Web'. (From The Guardian.)

    More on RSS, blogs:
    Be sure to check out Kinja, a new blog aggregator from Nick Denton and company. He poses this as a guide to blogging for newbies.

    Is it just me...?
    Or is this

    just creepy? How many of these companies are out there, and do they all look like something out of the ads in the back of Soldier of Fortune?

    (Later)...One blogger is following up on this (read back a couple days' worth of posts). (via Making Light.)

    Journalism humor:
    For April Fool's day, Poyntless, a spoof of Romenesko.
    (later) Also, Jon Dube has his own April fool column, with a lot of truth.

    And not so funny:
    Joel Achenbach on Jack Kelly (and our culture today), in the Post.