Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Where do you go for information these days?
I know many people now go to Wikipedia. Many die-hard librarians don't trust it. But just look at their Hurricane Katrina page. I think this is amazing.

I'm still posting lots more links to blogs and other sources with Katrina damage reports on my other blog.

(Added later:) Here's another great hurricane commentary, from Rachel Sauer at the Palm Beach Post: Storms are the Great Equalizer.
    History books will probably never mention the shingles, how they flap flap flap against the roof like castanets, then spiral away like dead leaves.

    Shingles aren't fitting emblems of the ceaseless struggle, of a central despair of human existence, of that most dreaded of themes for ninth-grade English papers: Man vs. Nature. History books favor the epic, the calamitous, the city-swallowing floods.

    Life, however, favors the shingles.

Ah, yes, how I remember those shingles...

And, noted again as I tried to copy and paste the address of this story: Be careful these days of results from a Google search. I found this story using the search on the Post's website, and the URL was a long one starting with I've seen references to this, I think on SearchEngineWatch and/or Searchblog, that it's all part of a new Google plan to keep records of what people are searching. For someone like me, it's an annoyance because I can't get a straight URL easily: right clicking on the link and using Firefox's 'copy link address' works fine, but if you wait for the page to load and click on the address bar, you get the Google garble. The same thing happens with a straight Google search on, too. Be warned.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Life in South Florida:
(Added later): Glenn Garvin writes what life in South Florida is like for those still without power several days after Katrina struck there:
    Relieved of all the needless distractions of everyday life -- edible food, air that can be breathed without gills, temperatures below 90 degrees -- we can at last ponder some of the sweet metaphysical mysteries of the universe. Like: What unspeakable moron ever declared South Florida habitable by human beings?

Hurricane Resources::
From Al Tompkins at the Poynter, and from the folks at Resourceshelf.
Also, NICAR has compiled lots of resources for hurricane coverage and post-hurricane investigations.
I've been adding lots more links to compilations hurricane blogs and some other hurricane coverage on the other blog.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

And, by the way, I'm not ignoring this hurricane. I've been linking to hurricane bloggers on my other blog.

Weekend update: Other things found this week:
Since I've added some links here found this week on Mark Shaver's Depth Reporting site (mentioned in last posting), I guess it's time to say again that I don't take credit for finding most of the links listed each week. Most of them come from sites like Resourceshelf, newsletters like The Virtual Chase, browsing other blogs, and a couple listservs (NICAR-L and NewsLib). Many of them come from the blogroll in left column. I also have browsed several 'New on the Web' sites for years, although I've been neglecting some of them lately. So why this blog at all , when there are so many other sources? Because I like to think that the things I pick out from those other sites have special interest for journalists and news researchers, and not many other sites are targeted this way. I hope they are reaching the people who can use them.

The other links:

  • Public Opinion on the War with Iraq, study from American Enterprise Institute.
  • Online soil survey maps from USDA.
  • Best 361 college rankings, from Princeton Review.
  • School Matters from Standard & Poor's, rates individual schools for lots of
  • U.S. workers get less vacation days than European workers (from Economic Policy Institute).
  • Survey of State Procedures Related to Firearm Sales, Midyear 2004
  • F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America 2005, has obesity rates by state. From the Trust for Americans' Health.
  • Suicide and Homicide in State Prisons and Local Jails, new report from Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  • Religion Facts, a guide to individual religions.
  • The Comic Characters Database.
    The Religious Movements Homepage (University of Virginia).
    Governments, Politics:
  • FAQ: How AP covers the war in Iraq.
  • Budgeting for Basics: The Changing Landscape of City Finances, new report from Brookings Inst.
  • North Korea and the United States: Declassified Documents from the Bush I and Clinton Administrations, from National Security Archives.
  • A Journalists' Guide to the Federal Courts.
  • Merriam-Webster online has added a French-English dictionary and a Medical Dictionary to the online search menu of the Unabridged subscription service.
  • Environmental Media Services, putting journalists in touch with energy and environment experts.
  • Who counsels Who? from, lists attorneys for major corporatations. Need to register.
  • Hospital Compare from HHS: get stats and comparisons on individual hospitals.
  • Petroleum Marketing Annual, 2004.
  • Health Plan Report Card from National Committee for Quality Assurance, rates health care, Medicaid, Medicare insurance plans.
  • NNDB, a database of information on people. This site is rather puzzling and evoked some discussion on NewsLib this week.
  •, the Center for Investigative Journalism.
  • Facts for Features: Back to School from Census.
  • Exemptions to Florida's Open Government laws, list from First Amendment Foundation, searchable, sortable database.

  • Timeline clock: this is very cool.
  • Games for the Brain: fun exercises. (This via Resourceshelf.)

  • Friday, August 26, 2005

    Depth Reporting:
    It's only recently that I added Mark Schaver's CAR Report to the blogroll, and now it's got a new name and address: Depth Reporting. It's interesting to discover from Mark's posting on the name change that this site evolved from an in-house newsroom newsletter. That's exactly how I got into this, too. I've discovered that Mark finds things I haven't seen linked anywhere else. How does he do it? Via Derek Willis, where I found the CAR Report link in the first place. Derek's not sure he likes the name.

    And, I posted yesterday on my other blog about a story I learned about only through blogs, which didn't show up in newspapers till much later: Why I read blogs. The posting would probably have been more appropriate on this blog, as I realized later, but here it is anyway.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    A little librarian humor:
    A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette, a blog that says 'A polite librarian is a good librarian'. This is pretty funny.

    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:

  • ROAD: Database of outdoor advertising descriptions covers 1920s thru 1990s.
  • Horse breeds of the world.
  • Annual Energy Review just released from EIA.
  • Attitudes toward Immigrants and Immigration Policy, new study from Pew Hispanic.
  • New American College of Cardiology guidelines on treating heart attacks.
  • Key State Education Policies on PK-12 Education: 2004 from Council of Chief State School Officers.
  • Trends in Manufacturer Prices of Prescription Drugs Used by Older Americans from AARP.
    Governments, Politics:
  • GovTrack makes it easy to track bills in Congress by subject. Also has a Congressional Record search and member statistics, links.
  •, interesting site on government management issues.
  • John Roberts papers released by Reagan library.
  • U.S. Government RSS Feed Library: get news as it happens direct from the agencies, by topic.
  • Craig Ball's Sampler of Informal Discovery Links: lots of useful search links of all sorts.
  • Cost of doing business report from Milken Institute; breaks down cost by state (Florida ranks 22).
  • The 25 most influential Hispanics in America from Time.
  • ExpertLaw has lists of expert witnesses with contact info by field.
  • Florida CHARTS: Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set, lots of health stats.
  • State of the Coral Reef Ecosystems of Florida, a 51-page PDF from NOAA. Part of a report on reefs around the world.

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Detainees under Harry Potter's spell, report from Guantánamo in Washington Times.
  • The Trump Blog from Trump University. The Donald adds his opinions.

  • Basic Hip Digital Oddio has downloadable '50s - '70s TV jingles, kiddie records, soundtracks.

  • Friday, August 19, 2005

    I goofed:
    I hate to make mistakes but this was a big one. I misidentified a North Carolina newspaper. This is the second time I did this, and the same paper was involved, when I once implied Lex Alexander worked for the paper in Charlotte. There are just too many observers and newses in this state. (Not to mention, the big cities are too close together.) I guess I have a weak excuse, since I'm closer to most cities in Tenneseee.

    Thursday, August 18, 2005

    Newspaper blogs in South Florida:
    There aren't very many, says the South Florida Business Review.

    Saturday, August 13, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    This posting is full of links to reports from think tanks, etc. and awareness of them is due, of course, to the good folks at Resourceshelf and Docuticker, both of which I could never acknowledge enough. In many ways my doing this is pointless because they do such a good job; but I hope I add some value by picking out the things they find that might be most useful for journalists, not just librarians. Kudos to Gary Price and the other editors for helping us researchers look good every day.

    The other links:

  • GLBTQ, the Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture.
  • A Consumer Guide to Handling Disputes with Your Employer or Private Health Plan, 2005 Update from Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • The Atomic Bomb and the end of WWII: source documents from National Security Archive.
  • Dating Violence among Adolescents, report from RAND corporation.
  • Should the Army use private contractors on the battlefield? RAND study.
  • GoToBus, a guide to bus travel. Has fares, tours, schedules, lots more.
  • Islamic Extremism in Europe, study by Congressional Research Service for Federation of American Scientists. (PDF)
  • Americans driven into debt by medical bills, report from Commonwealth Fund.
  • is a nice guide to worldwide newspapers and magazines online.
  • Paycheck to Paycheck, 2005, study from Center for Housing Policy, compares salaries and housing costs in American cities.
  • American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics report from Congressional Research Service and Federation of American Scientists (PDF; covers American wars back to Revolution, including Operation Iraqi Freedom stats to June 25, 2005.) Includes wounded in action and Some ethnic breakdowns included; also links to other stats/name sources; contact info on state adjutants general for more detail.
    Governments, Politics:
  • tracks lobbying activities, 'revolving door' of politicians and lobbyists, etc.; from Public Citizen.
  • Hired Guns Public Integrity report on state lobbyists, says they're costing nearly $1 billion.
  • Welcome to the United States, a new handbook for immigrants from USCIS.
  • UNC's IBiblio project is now providing server space for audio/video data, including a folklore film archive, a sample swap service for musicians, and space for videobloggers.
  • Economic Policy Institute has issue guides, stats, calculators, etc. on issues important to family finances, market trends, etc.
  • International Insurance Fact Book, lastest edition, organized by country, from III.
  • IFI Transparency Resource from Bank Information Center, has resources for investigating international banking. Includes a link to:
  •, organization for international FOI.
  • Census: county business patterns, new 2003 data.
  • America's highest grossing law firms, annual study from American Lawyer.
  • Marc Glaser writes in OJR about the NYT intiative to involve the newsroom in the Web product.
  • Think of computers as fact finders, article at American Press Institute on how to incorporate Computer Assisted Reporting into beat coverage.
  • Why I don't trust readers, Jack Shafer in Slate.
  • NHTSA report on motorcycle helmets and fatalities in Florida
  • The Systematic Dismantling of the Asbestos Program in Florida, a report from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

  • Friday, August 12, 2005

    No new postings this week. I've been posting a lot to the Infomaniac blog on, and also to my HighlandsCam blog. A work project is keeping me too busy to post to all three. Weekend update will be posted soon, though.

    Saturday, August 06, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    I've been posting links to stories, columns, blog comments on the Miami Herald/Teele suicide/Jim DeFede firing on the Infomaniac blog on choose the 'journalism' category to see them all.

    The other links:

  • AskSam has John Robert's opinions and the King James Bible in searchable databases. You need to download the new AskSam reader and the databases.
  • Islam: a Primer from Congressional Research Service.
  • Project CORK from Dartmouth, has a database of resources on substance abuse.
  • Student Reports of Bullying from the 2001 School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey.
  • Fuel Economy Trends, 1975-2005, for cars and light trucks; from EPA.
  • The Meth Epidemic in the U.S. from Natl Assn of Counties.
  • Machers 'the ulitmate Jewish Website', with an 'ultimate Jewish search engine'.
  • Nuclear weapon data from Carnegie Endownment's Proliferation Project.
  • Wild Finder from WWF, has a map database of 30,000 species worldwide.
  • U.S. Government Memos on Torture and International Law, PDFs of actual memos from Human Rights First.
  • Traffic Safety Annual Results, early data, 2004 DoT release the first FARS (traffic fatalities) data for 2004 (PDF), showing a decrease in deaths.
  • Hispanic Women at Work new report from La Raza.
  • Facts on Hispanics for Hispanic Heritage Month, from Census.
    Governments, Politics:
  • has links to states, including latest news, local governments, agencies by topic, lots more. Here's Florida.
  • National Assn of Counties has lots of stats, find a county link, and links to Capitol Impact, a government gateway with links to agencies, data, etc.
  •, a new phone number finder, includes an email search.
  • Think all search engine results are alike? Read this. (And note, Dogpile has just redesigned and now searches the four major search engines.
  • MammaHealth, a new search engine for health searches. (Searching: eMedicine Health, Health AtoZ,, Medem,, MedlinePlus, NHSDirect Online, and WebMD).
  • Census Quickfacts: place lookup; put in a ZIP or placename and find county, state.
  • PDF Online will create free PDFs for you; create a file in HTML, Word, Excel, etc. and send it in; your PDF will be mailed back to you. Site will also convert PDF to HTML or other format.
  • Small Business Profiles for the states and territories from SBA.
  • 100 most powerful women from Forbes.
  • Florida's Disaster Recovery, numbers from FEMA.
  • Florida Historical Legal Documents includes collections on the Caribbean, Florida, arts, horticulture and more. Includes the Miami Metropolitan Archive (early City of Miami City Council meeting minutes, charters, departmental annual reports, and urban planning documents from 1896 to 1966).

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • Michael Barone blogs on the USNews site.
  • Beltway Blogroll, from National Journal, posts news from DC blogs (and others).
  • On Achenblog: Joel's editor Sydney Trent threatens to KILL THE BLOG, readers react in horror.

  • Feeding America: a historic cookbook collection at MSU.

  • Thursday, August 04, 2005

    Great rules for newspaper bloggers:
    (Note about a change: I goofed and said Robinson was at the News-Observer, which sounds like the News & Observer in Raleigh. Of course I know the difference. belongs to the Greensboro paper. Thanks to Robinson for pointing out my error.)
    This is something I've been looking for, and I know others out there have been wanting it too: The News & Record's John Robinson has published Standards and Practices for bloggers on his paper's website. These are things all of us should be thinking about and worth repeating:
      "9. Make fun of no one except yourself. Be gracious and listen to commenters. You may learn something. If not, say nothing, although saying thanks is OK. (I am occasionally weak on this point.) Serious commenters will also correct stuff you say. That's good. Correct the post. You should get a decent number of comments if you....

      10. Post several times a week. You want to keep the blog fresh so people will come back. If you don't have time or don't think you can keep it up, reconsider. It's not all that hard to find something to write about every day. Your post doesn't have to be long -- in fact, it shouldn't be. You can find lots of material elsewhere on the web so be sure to....

      11. Link out. Link to other web sites. Link to other blogs. Link to your competitors. Link everywhere. It drives traffic. It builds credibility. And it establishes your site as a place to go for good info. We don't have all the info; other papers have some we don't have. With the blog you can "steal" it -- without fear of jail time -- because you can link to it, talk about it and get credit for supplying the info. Everything will help because....

      ...13. Play nice with the local bloggers. They aren't your competitors or enemies, although it will seem that way at times. Engage with them. Show them respect. Write about them on the blog. Participate. The love you take is equal to the love you make."

    I love this.
    (Via JD Lasica.)

    Oh, and looking more at Robinson's blog, I see another posting: 10 Media Blogs Journalists Should Read.

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    Blog switch:
    The new Infomaniac Herald blog now has the full blogroll; as the Florida blogroll grows I may add a new page for the list. But for now, it's done, and the only thing remaining on the old blog will be the archives covering October 2004-July 2005.

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    Weekend update: Other things found this week:
    It's taken over a week, but I've switched the Herald blog to the new Infomaniac blog on at The blogroll still isn't quite right, but I guess that will all shake out eventually. I'll keep a link to the old blog, which won't go away, because it has a good long list of Florida blogs that I've been adding to recently. So far they aren't all on the new blog.

    The Florida blog list is also on my my reference page on my Web site, along with a log list of other blogs I read regularly, journalism blogs, and blog tools. Some links may need updating but the Florida blog list there is complete.

    The other links:

  • What's that bug? great insect guide and place where folks can send in photos for identification.
  • EarthSearch: choose a geographic area and get a search form that searches databases of geographic features, like the USGS. Finds latitude, longitude and locates it on a world map. I don't recommend using this instead of the the USGS search since it doesn't have quite the same detail. But fun. And useful for finding things like, there are 3 places called hiwassee and 2 places called hiawassee. (Via Sheila Lennon.)
  • Most popular baby names: 2005 list from Social Security Administration.
  • First Person Narratives of the American South from UNC.
  • Jay Kislak Collection: Cultures & History of the Americas includes lots of Florida and ancient cultures materials, maps,etc.; at Library of Congress.
  • Say it Plain: Great African-American speeches from American Radioworks.
  • The Wilson-Plame-Novak-Rove Blame Game: good chronology and background story links from
  • Iraq: in cold blood: abuses by armed groups, report from Amnesty Intl.
  • World Proved Reserves of Oil and Gas, most recent estimates from Energy Information Administration, DoE.
  • U.S. nuclear generation of electricity has details by state.
  • DEA payments to confidential drug informants, audit report from Justice.
  • Kids Count Data Book 2005 edition of these stats on health, family life, etc.
    Governments, Politics:
  • Spreadsheet of Supreme Court Justices every one from last 100 years, including terms, appointments, years in office. From U. Mich. library.
  • U.S. Senate Reference has links to lots of good information about Supreme Court nominations over history. (Note link here to biographies of every member of congress ever.)
  • State legislative history search guides on the Web; by state.
  • Congressional Research Services Reports: another archive of these reports which the producer, LoC doesn't archive. This one is at library of U. North Texas.
    Public Records:
  • Philadelphia police reports and incidents, searchable.
  • Our Property UK provides free searches (limited number per month) of UK property records.
  • Are you using the right blogging tool? good discussion at OJR, includes comparison chart.
  • Thinking outside the search box: Mary Ellen Bates has hints on why just using search engines isn't enough on a research project.
  • Excel Spreadsheet templates for personal finance from Microsoft. Could be useful in helping learn Excel for work.
  • Time to re-dereregulate the airline industry from Natl Taxpayers' Union.
  • 101 Facts on the status of workingwomen, from Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation" "The gap between median earnings of full-time, year-round workers widened last year, with women’s earnings currently 76% of men’s, down from 77% in 2004. At this rate, it will take another 40 years for women to reach wage parity with men, and over the course of a working lifetime, the average women loses approximately $523,000 due to the wage gap."

    Some Interesting stories/Weblogs:
  • A&E Interactive, a new group blog from Mercury-News' features staff.

  • The Gateway to Astronaut Photography, has hundreds of thousands of images taken from space.