Thursday, April 28, 2005

Digital literacy:
Here's a thoughtful step-back article by Milverton Wallace in the first issue of a new Budapest-based periodical, Freeside Europe: Notes Towards a Literacy for the Digital Age. Wallace, organizer of several international online conferences, says in an email:
    It's my contribution to the process of re-thinking the concept and practice of literacy for the digital age and the iPod/Google generation.
    It was written as an aid to some teachers I know who are struggling to find ways of engaging with the young people in their charge.

Mail is back:
After two days of trying to figure out why Gmail wasn't working, I decided to try it in Internet Explorer. It works! Darn, another thing I can't do in Firefox, unless I can figure out what's going on......

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Web page troubles:
As you can see from the upper-left hand corner, for some reason this blog isn't seeing some of the photos hosted on my Website at Earthlink ( Also, the Behind the News blog and research links list isn't coming up. I re-sent it to the site but it didn't make any difference. Looks like I'll have to spend a bit of time tinkering with the pages and files. Apologies for any inconvenience, but the research links seem to work mostly from the links on left.

Oh, and I can't get into Gmail either. I get an error message saying the server doesn't exist. I hope this doesn't last long, but if you need to get in touch with me, try elisabeth_donovan - at - I'm surprised Blogger is working at this rate.

Porter hits it on the head:
In Mood of the Newsroom. Tim Porter's tells us what's wrong in newsrooms today. Porter:
    The amount of anger and hostility, of distrust and suspicion, of inertia and ennui that pollutes the journalistic environment in these newsrooms at first surprised me. Now, when I first step into another newspaper I only wonder how long it will take to surface...

    The obdurance and avoidance endemic in newsrooms rests on a bedrock belief that the "problems" at their newspapers are best solved with more bodies or a return to a more "traditional" form of journalism.

Lots more in the comments and the followup post. With all the discussion of what's wrong with journalism and why the readers are leaving, this one will really make you think about how the culture in your newsroom is contributing.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Weekend update: Other things found this week:
A little less posting than usual this past week or so because of problems with Blogger. Lots of bloggers have been commenting on this, so it's not just me. There was even a story in Wired recently. I don't see any explanation coming from Blogger, although they have been having trouble getting their new posting recovery feature to work. Let's hope this doesn't last too much longer. Blogger keeps getting better and better but when there are problems they seem soo much more annoying now that we expect better from Google.

The links....

  • helps you understand the new food guidelines.
  • Step into History has info about the best historical sites in the U.S. Includes 19 sites in Florida, including two in Key West but none in Miami area.
    Governments, Politics:
  • The Negroponte File: records from his time as ambassador to Honduras: Iran/Contra. From the National Security Archive.
  • Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004, report from Congressional Research Service.
  • Foreign Relations, 1964-1968: Dominican Republic; Cuba; Haiti; Guyana from State.
  • Airline Quality Ratings
  • Baseball team fan cost index from Team Marketing Report.
  • The Business of Baseball: lots of stats.
  • Note on Baseline products on Nexis: this great resource for celebrity bio and contact info is being removed from Nexis, according to an email from Baseline.
    Public Records:
  • New marriage/divorce records in Accurint: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
  • Florida Online Park Guide new site from Florida State Parks.
  • Association of Food Journalists.
  • Interesting Dialog about Craigslist, reprinted in Tim Porter's blog, about whether a site like Craig's which takes revenue from newspaper classifieds, should be paying back with something like journalism.
  • Jay Rosen interviews Bill Grueskin of WSJ online(former Herald city editor).
  • Latin America Watch from ZNet (Z Magazine).
  • Strategy Page: interesting news/articles on military intelligence/history.
  • The Life of John Paul II: a media study from Media Research. (This is Bremt Bozell's conservative think tank which also has a front page report: CBS, ABC Push Dissident Catholic Views.)

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Blogheaven: good links to religious blogs, from Beliefnet.
  • New Scientist report on lethal injection, with research from Florida researchers.
  • Health Care Business Blog by a Med-Pharma exec, looks like useful and interesting news links.

  • Folktunes MediaWiki has music for download.
  • Are you a Neocon? take this quiz from the Christian Science Monitor and find out. Interesting take on online news.
  • Intriguing. Here's someone who's combined Google Maps and Craigslist to find lists of houses for sale/rent by city (with maps, of course). Miami is one of the cities, although it includes other Florida areas.

  • Thursday, April 21, 2005

    Ideological blog conference?
    Lots of discussion in reaction to South Knox Bubba's post about the upcoming Nashville blog conference. Is it really going to be diverse? Or are conservatives like Glenn Reynolds, Belmont University, and the Heritage Foundation setting the agenda? Fascinating discussion in the comments. BlogNashville Website. I'm still thinking about it...

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Worth a read:
    Wonderful story in today's Miami Herald by Audra Burch about a 41-year old north Florida murder that remains unpunished. Johnnie Mae Chappell's grave is still visited by the detective who tried to put her murderers behind bars. Attempts to get the case reopened will be heard by Gov. Jeb Bush today.

    Fascinating story in Slate, if you missed it, on how Jim Romenesko's blog has changed journalism. I'll say!

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    An anniversary:
    Steve Outing points to the first E-Media Tidbits which was posted in March, 2000, a fifth anniversary; this was BP: Before Poynter. Fun to look back. I found an archived copy of my Website with the first of my blog postings from November 2000. The text archive of new research sites has always been available but this one is the entire page. I may have to post it, just to remember how it was then....there was a big story going on in Florida at the time, you may recall.

    Enough! to political writing:
    Blogger/photographer/writer Doug Thompson announces that he is closing down his Capitol Hill Blue Website. The site got a lot of attention last year when he reported that president GW Bush was acting erratically. I wrote about it on my Herald blog back then, and puzzled why the site was based in Floyd, Va, while the reporting all came from the DC area. Since then I've followed Thompson's move to the mountains around Floyd, the hometown where he's returned after a long career in journalism. In today's posting, Thompson writes:
      "I can’t stop what is happening to this country. Never could. So I refuse to be trampled by the stampede. I came home to rest, reflect, photograph the beauty of nature and write about what’s right with our land, not ponder on its self-destructive addictions. Others can march to a political drumbeat. I chose a different drum, one without party, without partisanship and without anger."

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    Again, wasn't near the computer much this weekend, although I did manage to post some pictures to the Highlandscam blog. Here are a few more interesting things that came up during the last week.

    The links....

  • On this day... from BBC. More detail than most of these 'this day in history' sites.
  • Drugs of Abuse new guide from DEA, lots of detail.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Social Security: the opposition strikes back new report on organizations and their funding from Capital Eye (Center for Responsive Politics).
  • Want to monitor a court docket? This article in Virtual Chase tells you how.
  • Substance abuse legislation database covers all the states, from Natl Conference of State Legislatures.
  • Health Privacy Project has summaries of privacy laws by state.
  • Right Web is a site that identifies and profiles the cons and neocons behind America's public and foreign policy.
  • Best free software utilities for your computer: mice list from Tech Support Alert. (Thanks to Sheila Lennon for pointing this out.) FYI, if you use Firefox (the recommended browser here), here's a list of Firefox Extensions.
  • On RSS and feed readers: good article in BBC explains it all.
  • 2005 Baseball team valuations from Forbes.
  • Executive Paywatch: from AFL-CIO, highlights exorbitant compensation, with a searchable/browsable database.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Patient Safety Web has news of safety issues, stats, etc, from US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • Philly Inquirer special report on US military armor in Iraq.

  • Sunday, April 17, 2005

    Blogging the pope:
    A new blog in the Miami Herald by Father Albert Cutié, Election of a new pope. Father Albert has long been a popular fixture on Miami Spanish-language radio and TV. Funny, he's always been Father Alberto, til now. His Website is I heard him speak, once. He seemed to have groupies. Is this the next Bishop Sheen? Billy Graham? In two languages?

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    Behind the search:
    Genie Tyburski in the Virtual Chase Alert points out a fascinating article by David Lazarus in the SF Chronicle about ZabaSearch. The new people search engine (I listed it in a blog posting here a couple weeks ago) has impressed some with the depth of free information available, including some things like dates of birth which most consider private info. According to Lazarus:
      "Everything that's great and everything that's frightening about the Internet can be summed up in a single word.

    Lazarus goes on to reveal that by doing a background check on the owners of ZabaSearch, he found a connection to the 'Heaven's Gate' cult which was prominent in the news a few years back when several followers committed suicide, and a probable criminal history. Wow.
    (Posting edited 4/19: I mistakenly said Tara Calashain instead of Genie Tyburski. Apologies to both.)

    New blogging/research tool:
    News from Highbeam Research about a new service for bloggers: Highbeam blog enhancer lets registered members link to stories they've found in Highbeam's huge article database on their blog. There's also a Highbeam RSS tool. Full subscription to Highbeam is fee-based, but for unlimited access to millions of articles, it's a valuable and reasonable service for freelancers and others who need to do research. And this tool lets members share their research with others. (There is a free membership, too, but doesn't let you share fulltext, just article descriptions.) You can view the publication list here; but besides the journals and newspapers Highbeam makes it easy to include searches on the Web and from reference sources.
    If you're a blogger who wants to try this, you can get access for free, according to a link on Highbeam's Chief Blogging Officer's blog.

    Researcher honored:
    I'm very pleased to see that Tish Wells of Knight Ridder's Washington Bureau is sharing an investigative reporting award with the bureau's Jonathan Landay. Tish helped out on an important KR story about how most newspapers in the country used incorrect information from Iraqi defectors in reporting the situation in Iraq before the war.
    So glad to see Tish get this award. It just shows how much a good researcher can do to help make a story. Tish explains:'s a classic example of the best times of a news librarian's job: I was given the Iraqi National Congress PR list by Jon Landay...used Lexis Nexis to pull the 108 listed stories -- then went back and pulled the stories that were cited within the articles. I sat down and marked the "relationships" that came up...

    Just the sort of thing that anyone can do but few make the extra effort to make it happen. Congrats, Tish!

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    Online training:
    Meant to post this yesterday but it slipped thru the cracks: yesterday the Poynter Institute inaugurated its News University, offering online journalism training. Among the classes is Math for Journalists, led by the St. Petersburg Times' Debbie Wolfe. Just sign up, log on, and learn! Course details.
    An email from Debbie to the NewsLib listserv also notes a new blog she's set up to highlight her course at USF on Media Convergence. And, of course, her homepage, which emphasizes journalism training, with lots of free tips.

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    Hometown online:
    Tim Porter has an interesting discussion of new ways newspapers are trying to create online communities. He mentions two new sites that have just come online, Bluffton Today from the tiny coastal SC town, and Blount County Voice from the Maryville, TN area (near Knoxville).

    Saturday, April 09, 2005

    April 10, 2005
    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    This week compiles two weeks' worth of stuff but the week before last was sparse.
    As the selection of a new Pope goes on, some links to resources: Vatican/Pope links from Religionlink; More Pope links from Poynter's Al Tomkins; Pope links from Poynter's David Shedden; BeliefNet.
    Some interesting blogs: Dream of Italy blog has news about travel in Rome, closings, housing, etc.; The Pope Blog, We Want a Black Pope.

    More links....

  • More new World Trade Center investigation reports from NIST.
  • Latest figures on economic effect of 9/11 attacks in 2001 from GAO.
  • Foreign Dissertations database, searchable, from Center for Research Libraries.
  • School Matters, a new database from Standard & Poor's, has lots of info on students' performance by state down to individual district/school.
  • Efficiency and Safety of Electronic Stun Devices, report from Potomac Institute.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Lobby Watch: from Center for Public Integrity, includes databases of organizations and spending.
  • 2005 Congressional Pig Book reveals waste in spending.
  • Marion Brechner Citizen Access Project UF's Brechner Center carries the Freedom of Information campaign to the people. Great summaries of laws in all 50 states, as well as access info.
  • WMD.Gov: just the URL is scary.
  • UN Economic Commission for Europe and North America databases: economic stats, including by country.
  • EVDB Events Database, still new (in Beta) so just a sample of its potential, but there are already 3 pages of Miami events.....
  • Factbites: a new search engine that finds just useful explanatory encyclopedia-type articles on a topic. Very nice. (Via InfoToday's Newslinks.)
  • World Wind from NASA, is a new satellite imaging database software that lets you 'fly' over terrain around the world. (Similar to FIU's Terrafly?). A World Wind Wiki has tips and samples of screenshots from users.
  • YaGoHooGle: interesting concept puts the two searches next to each other: like this one, for Miami Herald.
  • Current TV the new cable/satellite channel from Al Gore et al.
  • Outdoor Advertising: creative library, database of advertising images back to 1995, with link to a library of much older images at Duke library.
  • Hospital Compare: new service from HHS gives data on individual hospitals.
  • Lawyers and Settlements has a database of class action and personal injury suits.
  • is a new professionals search finding info on company execs from Websites, like Zoom Info.
  • Zaba Search: A free 'for now' people finder search engine that some claim is quite accurate.
    Public Records:
  • How to Conduct a Background Check, two part instruction sheet from Virtual Chase legal research newsletter.
  • Florida History & Heritage Collection from library at FSU, has lots of original historical documents, scanned and viewable in image format.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Web browser forensics: interesting article in Security Focus on how they do it.
  • The 26th Parallel, a new blog from Miami.

  • Smithsonian Global Sound: downloadable music from the Folklife collection, 99c per song.

  • Thursday, April 07, 2005

    Useful takes on the news:
    Too good to wait, some links on journalism, reporting and current news, including Global Health Reporting, a great new resource on international health issues from Kaiser.

    Then there's the Blogrunner compilation called The Annotated Times which finds and organizes stories from the New York Times, and links to blog comments on the stories. You can even find comments by (NYT) author.

    The Institute for Analytic Journalism has a blog with news from journalism academics Steve Doig, Steve Ross, Patrick Mattimore and Tom Johnson.

    Get Religion is a blog discussing how journalists cover religion.

    OJR interviews Matt Conigliaro, the attorney author of Abstract Appeal blog, which has done a great job covering the legal aspects of the Schiavo case.

    And for fun, SPLOID, the new online tabloid from Nick Denton.

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    In the Miami Herald:
    Some fascinating stories about how the newspaper dealt with a huge story on its doorstep 25 years ago: Mariel. There's also an interactive multimedia package.
    And congratulations to The Herald's Manny Garcia and Jason Grotto for their IRE investigative award. Other award winners.

    On the archive front:
    Great article in Seybold by Vickie McCargar of the LA Times, Following the Trail of the Disappearing Data, on questions of durability of electronic archives.

    Back from AHJC:
    Greetings to the journalists I met this weekend at the Assn of Health Care Journalists meeting in Chapel Hill. What a lovely town, so glad I finally got to see it. And worth it if just for the dinner (recommended by Doc Searls a few weeks ago) at Crook's Corner. Shrimp and grits and a huge bowl of delicious gumbo, yum! And something I'd never had before, biscuit pudding. Thanks to Anton, too, for reminding me to visit A Southern Season, the most amazing food/kitchen store I've ever seen.

    Not always fast on my feet in these online discussions, here's a thought about a question I didn't have an answer for on Saturday: for a site that brings news of new research reports, can't beat Docuticker, from Gary Price and associates. For anyone interested in new research, a great link to bookmark, or even better, great RSS feed to have in your feed reader.
    Some more resources for finding health research news: which has research news by topic and also has alerts you can set up to get news of a specific topic; Florida Expertnet, with contact info and news of research experts (do other states have this?); Research Matters, from Harvard; NGO Research Guides, from Duke U. library; and, something I haven't used but looks worth a try: Newswise bills itself as "a trusted resource for knowledge-based news, embargoed research results and expert contacts from the world's leading research institutions" (and it also has RSS feeds, including MedNews and LifeNews).