Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Worth a look:

Jason Grotto's 4-part series in the Miami Herald, Predators Among Us.
It's of course, not an uncommon topic for newspaper CAR projects, but the presentation...and amount of material, including audio interviews, a searchable database (compiled by Tim Henderson), and the like, is pretty notable and very well done. The Herald has been a bit slower than some papers to devote this much multimedia to a project, so this is a breakthrough for them, I think. A lot of work here and very well done.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Weekend update: Other things found last week:

Stats! We're full of stats this week....

The links:

  • Access to Archival Databases from Natl Archives, new search function, works better in Explorer than Firefox.
  • DailyMed from NIH, has current info on currently marketed drug, including package inserts.
  • Twists, Slugs and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang
  • Marine Debris Abatement, EPA site monitoring trash in our oceans.
  • The U.S. Military: Under Strain and at Risk from The National Security Advisory Group.

  • finds the arguments on various sides of issues in the news.
  • Public Health Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita --- Louisiana, 2005

  • Highway Statistics 2004 from Federal Highway Administration.
  • U.S. Foreign Visitors, monthly stats, 2005
  • Record Temperatures, 2005 hottest year on record in northern hemisphere.
  • World Proved Reserves of Oil and Natural Gas, Most Recent Estimates
  • Indicators of school crime and safety, 2005 from BJS.
  • Digital Music Report, 2006, Facts and Figures, from IFPI, with link to press release (which links to full report).
  • America's Most Connected Campuses from Forbes, none in Florida here.....
  • FanGraphs has stats on every baseball player who entered the majors since 2002.
  • Public Elementary and Secondary Students, Staff, Schools, and School Districts: School Year 2003-04 latest stats from Natl Center for Education Stats.
  • Earthtrends Poverty Resource has stats on poverty around the world and its relationship to environment.

    Governments, Politics:
  • Human Rights Watch World Report 2006
  • Justification of domestic spying program from DoJ, 42-page PDF.
  • U.S. House public disclosure from Office of the Clerk, online campaign disclosure, asset and travel disclosure, etc.
  • Significant Terrorist Incidents, 1962-2003. Finally the State Dept. updates its list.
  • Congressional Research Reports on the Middle East, compiled by FAS.
  • New searchable databases from AskSam (you have to download, along with the free AskSam reader): U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 of US Code); Digital Milennium Copyright Act; State of the Union Speeches (all US presidents)
  • has new features like a hurricane section, a collection of state of the state addresses, RSS feeds and news alerts so you can get the news you need, etc.

  • EXALEAD: Gary Price-recommended search engine from France that has lots of great features, including proximity searching, OR searching, sorting by relevance or chronology or reverse chronology, etc.
  • Tips for developing non-English web sites from Penn State, has info on making diacritical marks in HTML, etc. including a good chart of alt codes for accents (worth printing out and keeping handy).

  • Law Firm mergers, 2005
  • On the Corner: Day labor in the U.S.

  • Targeting Journalists, report from Annual Federation of Journalists says there's a 'culture of indifference' resulting in 150 journalist deaths last year.

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice: San Jose Merc package on local prosecutors' mistakes leading to bad convictions.
  • Sherman's March: profile of the KR stock manager in AJR.
  • SportsMediaWatch, a blog on sports news coverage.

  • Sunday, January 22, 2006

    Weekend update: Other things found last week:

    In one of the most interesting new media stories this week, Geoff Dougherty had to change the name of his Chicago Daily News website because Sun-Times owns the name of the old (once a Knight) newspaper now. Hmm. So now the Website is the Chi-Town Daily News. I'm not surprised; seems those old trademarks are still currency. I guess you might not be able to use use Miami News or Washington Star, either.

    And, another Google Maps mashup: AP/Google Maps mashup, where you can find location of a story on Google Maps.

    The other links:

  • Some good military/war/conflict links: Project Ploughshares, includes Armed Conflicts Report, 2005; Human Security Report, 2005; Center for International Development and Conflict Management at UMd, with several conflict research datasets.
  • Transformation for What: 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review
    fromStrategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Military, study (PDF) from Army War College.
  • What, When, and Where America Eats: A State-of-the-Industry Report.
  • Hurricane Digital Memory Bank has archives on Katrina, Rita and Wilma; from Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University and the University of New Orleans.
  • 1906 San Francisco Earthquake from Berkeley's Bancroft Library.
  • Our Bodies, Our Selves, resources for women's health in this companion to the classic book.
  • Global Health Facts, statistics from around the world from Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • 2005 Computer Crime Survey from FBI.

  • Hot Topics: Samuel Alito: lots of good links from U.Mich's law library.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Newspaper Archive: free access to newspaper pages of historical significance: over 50,000 pages in this collection.

  • Foreign-Born Population of the United States from the American Community Survey: 2003
  • New features on the Census' American Factfinder.

    Governments, Politics:
  • The Sales Tax Clearinghouse has info on sales tax in all the states. (need to register)

  • Downloadable Nautical Charts from NOAA.

  • SBC Yellow Pages available with registration in scanned pages. The SBC books include cities in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Arkansas, Kansas, Missour, Oklahoma, Texas, California and Nevada.

  • How I got the story: several alternative weekly writers and designers give background on some of their best pieces.

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Washingtonian on Washington Post blogs.
  • Blogophile: watches the blogs and reports interesting comments.

  • Friday, January 20, 2006

    What do you read?
    Here's an interesting exercise from the folks at Poynter: The Poynter Diet. Here staffers like Jim Romenesko, Larry Larsen and Al Tompkins let us know what they read, watch or listen to for news during a normal day. Some things listed here you might not have expected......

    (Added later:) I realized, after posting this, that it would be a bit more useful if I also posted a list of what I read every day: So here goes.

    The Asheville Citizen-Times in hard copy, plus the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Sundays. Occasionally an Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Miami Herald online. Some days I scan the New York Times and Washington Post. Almost all of the blogs listed in the left-hand column. Some days, many of the blogs on my longer blog list.

    Speaking of important reads for journalists, the new blog by Mark Glaser from PBS, Media Shift, launched this week. Among the first postings: Why Do I Blog?

    Saturday, January 14, 2006

    Weekend update: Other things found last week:

    First time in a long time that I've posting something in nearly every category. Lots of good stuff this week. Work on a project kept me from doing much updating on the blogs, but despite the lack of time to browse, seems like the good stuff just kept coming.

    The links:

  • your guide to all the gods.
  • Infotrieve Article Finder search articles in science, medical and technical journals (search and citation is now free, there's a charge for fulltext).
  • FishOnline can help identify fish and gives info on environmental stability.
  • Satellite database from Union of Concerned Scientists, download this database to find out what satellites are in the sky.
  • Dictionary of American Word Origins from
  • Dictionary of Wisconsin History

  • Academy Awards Press Kit.

    Public Records:
  • HHS excluded individuals search includes companies and people excluded for past convictions, care violations, fraud, etc.
  • Tennessee Meth Offender Database
  • Atlanta Constitution analyzed voter records and found huge numbers used work addresses, post office boxes, jail addresses, etc.
  • The Smoking Gun's investigation on James Frey.

  • Facts for Features on Baby Boomers from Census.
  • Historical Census Data: one page pulls together links to all the old data available on Census server. Also: Historical Census Browser from University of Virginia. (Tx to NewsLib contributors for these.)

    Governments, Politics:
  • Alito hearings in AskSam database
  • Information withheld by the Fed. govt, a bibliography from LLRX.
  • Declassified intelligence products on Vietnam, 1948-1975 from Natl Intelligence Council; also: China, 1948-1976
  • The Economic Cost of the Iraq War (PDF) report from Kennedy School of Govt.

  • a new airline search that can show you all the flights from one airport to another on a particular day. Prices not displayed but when you click on a flight it shows prices (in Euros) and details from, and links to, booking sites.
  • Google Pack: free one-stop download of some very good software like Picasa for photo organizing, Google desktop, Google Earth, Firefox and more. Windows XP only.
  • Some articles about interesting new investigative tools: Data Mining for banned books tells how to use Amazon's Wish Lists to find out what people are reading; Chicago Sun Times on a new cell phone database that will tell you who people are calling (for a fee) (more on this on my other blog); How to use copyrighted material, a primer from an expert.

  • OPEC revenues fact sheet from EIA.
  • Cruise Passenger Statistics for first 9 months of 2005 from BTS.
  • 100 Best Companies to work for from Fortune.
  • Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki see if someone inside a company you're writing about is blogging....

  • The State of the News Media, 2005 from Columbia's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
  • Journalists killed, attacked in 2005, latest report from Reporters sans Frontieres...

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Editorial cartoonist's blog from Borgman in Cincinnati. Includes sketches of cartoons in progress.
  • Toot follows blogs on the Mideast, in English or Arabic.

  • Birds Eye Tourist finds interesting aerial shots from Microsoft Live Local.
  • Art Deco Buildings in London; one was The Spitfire Works. Who knew they built them there?
  • Movie Keyword Analyzer from IMDB. Put in Miami, e.g. and get 89 movie titles on Miami Florida.
  • American Left Ephemera Collection from a Pitt prof.

  • Friday, January 13, 2006

    Newspaper blog woes:

    In the Austin Chronicle, a telling column about the Statesman's editors blog, which apparently has fizzed out after a promising start from editors Rich Oppel and Fred Zipp. According to one of the last postings from Zipp, the blog failed because it wasn't worth the time. (Via New Media Musings.)

    This echoes what Plain Dealer editor Doug Clifton said when he stopped posting to his blog last year after a few months.

    Now, also, the Miami Herald Editors' Blog is gone, disappeared from the site after nearly 3 months of no postings (the last one was from the flurry of preparations for Hurricane Wilma, Three or four of the top editors posted a few random notes before that, but little of consequence or interest.

    Well, it's no wonder. No one's going to read a blog if the writers aren't into it. And it seems that most newspaper editors just don't get it. The exception, of course, is editors like Greensboro's John Robinson.

    About the news:
    The annual The State of the News Media, 2005 from Columbia's Project for Excellence in Journalism is out. From the introduction:
    As people "Google" for information, graze across an infinite array of outlets, read blogs or write them, they are becoming their own editors, researchers, and even correspondents. What was called journalism is only one part of the mix, and its role as intermediary and verifier, like the roles of other civic institutions, is weakening.

    OMB Watch has released a report, Dismantling the Public's Right to Know, which claims that the Toxic Release Inventory, a list of environmental problems beloved by CAR reporters, is slowly being reduced under the Bush administration. (PDF -- via Docuticker.)

    And finally, a column about one of the details of the newspaper business that constantly befuddles news librarians as they try to archive the 'most authoritative' edition of each day's newspaper: Chicago Tribune columnist Don Wycliff: When are `Final' editions final? (registration required.)

    And, really finally, note I've posted a couple things today that are relevant to how the news is handled today, on my Miami Herald blog.

    Sunday, January 08, 2006

    Going back over older postings on this blog, seems it was once a lot more interesting before I started posting more of the good stuff to the other blog (Infomaniac at Miami, but especially because I used to post a lot more photos.

    BPB (before Photo Blogger) I posted new photos to my Web page then linked to them here. Then when I got Hello! and Picasa (now all part of the Google empire) I started doing a separate photo blog of photos I take weekly around the mountain area where I live now (Southern Highlands Cam).

    But now, after a bit of prodding from some readers to try Flickr (I tried a few other things first), I've posted a couple photo galleries there. Some of my favorite photos from the mountains, as well as the most colorful Miami/Keys shots. Most important reason to have done this: I can link permanently to the photos. Couldn't do that anywhere else.

    Remember these?

    Saturday, January 07, 2006

    Weekend update: Other things found last week:

    Getting back into the routine yet? I didn't find much this week; more on my Miami Herald blog.

    The other links:

  • 2005-06 Bowl-Bound Teams APR and Graduation Rates from UCF.
  • Bestseller Lists, 1900-1995
  • Great links for background on religion from Shirl Kennedy at Resourceshelf.

  • Great resource links on coal mining on Morning Meeting.
  • Alito Case Database from the Washington Post.
  • The World in 2006: the Economist's forecasts.

  • Health, U.S., 2005, latest stats from CDC.
  • U.S. Population, Jan 1 2006, from Census.

    Governments, Politics:
  • Database errors plague immigration enforcement, report from Govt. Technology mag. Direct link to the report.

  • FDIC Institution Directory; search for banks, institutions, local offices...

  • Why bloggers sometimes find news before journalists, and why journalists should use bloggers; comment by Digby; note comparison to I.F. Stone....

  • Searching the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) in One Step, a new interface using several versions of the database. Note the creator has lots more genealogy search interfaces on his website.

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Heads up the Blog, a new copy editors blog.

  • Sunday, January 01, 2006

    Weekend update: Other things found last week:

    Happy New Year to all. I've posted several of these to my Herald blog, already, but here are some end-of-year/start-of-year things to peruse...
    The other links:

  • Facts of Life: Health Issue Briefings for reporters from Center for the Advancement of Health.
  • Passive Sponsors of Terrorism, report from Brookings Inst.
  • Leaving the Nation at Risk: 33 unfulfilled promises of Homeland Security report (in PDF) from House Democrats.
  • Airline Travel since 9/11, new stats from BTS.
  • NOAA: Precipitation Analysis, new detailed stats from Weather Service.
  • Iraq Country Analysis: Energy: New report from EIA.
  • Resources for Economists

  • will now keep stories online for 60 days!
  • BBC's Open News Archive: download news reports from 80 major stories of the last 50 years.

  • SearchSpy from Dogpile: see what people are searching for right now. You can get it filtered or unfiltered.

  • Statistical Abstract of the U.S., 2006; latest edition now available.
  • Tax Statistics from IRS.
  • Annual Wiretap Reports from U.S. courts, includes number by jurisdiction, lots more. Last year available: 2004.

  • Nationwide Gravesite Locator from VA, has added millions of records from private cemeteries; still seems to have just wwi-II-Korea-Vietnam vets.

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • Media Matters' 'Misinformer of the Year': Chris Matthews.
  • The tawdry travels of Neil Bush, in Media Transparency. Aren't the presidents' brothers always fascinating?
  • Chicago Tribune series on mercury contamination in fish: it's worse than you think.
  • It's Your Times is the St. Pete Times' community website. Has blogs, commentary, etc. and is the place to go to discuss their amazing series on Jennifer Porter and the family of the kids she killed, The Hard Road.

  • Nobel Prize Games and Simulations.