FIRE's Brevard College
Seminar on Computer-Assisted Research and Reporting
The following links
are used in FIRE's Brevard College Computer-Assisted Research and Reporting
workshop. We hope you will find them useful.
of the Day
I Once Was Lost, But Now Im Found: Invisible Web
Read All About It: Research
Home Is Where the Data Is
Help! Im on Deadline!: Reporting Aids
By and for the People: Government/Congress
:Adding Color to Stories
Youve Got Mail (Groups)
Youre Still Here?: A Little Extra
Link of the Day
http://www.genochoice.com/ -- Wave
of the future?
-- Judged by CAR reporters as the best of all general search engines. Simple,
fast and excellent on general subjects.
� Advanced searching.
-- Google news headlines.
http://www.google.com/news/ -- Google news
page to other news outlets.
-- A �tell all� website about search engines.
http://urbanlegends.about.com/ -- There
are a lot of hoaxes floating around the Internet. This is a good page to use or
to recommend for readers.
Once Was Lost, But Now Im Found: Invisible Web
Search is a growing compilation of links
to the search interfaces of resources that contain data not easily or entirely
searchable/accessible from general search tools like Alta Vista, Google, and
Infoseek. While general search tools are essential for retrieval of Internet
materials many users do not realize that large amounts of information are not
easily searchable via these tools.
- List of lists.
- Small, hard to find handbooks
and fact books.
- Links to the many Congressional
Research (CRS) reports that are accessible via the WWW.
- Links to books and entertainment.
- Everything to do with newspapers,
news centers, news in general.
- Searchable Bibliographies &
Major Library Catalogs Archives and Major Library Catalogs; Business/Economics
Government, Humanities, Librarian Interests, Meta Collections of Subject;
Bibliographies, Science/Engineering, Social Studies.
- A large collection of links to
translated speeches and soundtracks from sound-based media.
- Links to State and City resources.
-- GPO Access
http://lii.org/ -- Librarians
Index to the Internet
-- Finding the Invisible Web
-- About Guide to Web Search Optimization and Advanced Searching
-- A page of links to the hidden web plus help on searching in general.
-- Genie Tyburski�s Virtual Chase site.
-- Gene Sherman (Invisible Web) newsletter.
http://www.researchbuzz.com/ -- Focus
on legal content, but very good.
-- Gary Price�s Blog of new Internet databases.
to the top
Is Where the Data Is
-- Excellent Home Page.
An excellent home page for journalists.
-- Another great page for journalists. Also, see this page on college media:
to the top
Im on Deadline!: Reporting Aids
-- This site's home page. Features Morgue/Archives; Gen. Information; Internet
Extensive free and for-pay resources for reporters.
http://poynter.org/ -- Good �Resource Center�
-- Good example of PDF file, Acrobat. Word and other formats to follow soon.
-- Example of great documentation, citation, attribution. Using PDF files for
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
-- Excellent training material, tips and help specifically for journalists.
A ton of useful information for reporters and editors.
http://www.bartleby.com/141/ -- The Elements
of Style by Strunk and White � the standard. To order the AP Style book: http://www.ap.org/pages/order.html
-- Investigative Reporters and Editors newsletter on story possibilities and
ideas for computer-assisted reporting.
-- Columbia Journalism Review; good to read, lots of tips. Go to Resource Guides.
-- Ideas and links for investigative reporting � one reporter to another.
to the top
and for the People: Government/Congress
-- The best comprehensive government search link.
� The best place for federal legislative information.
-- Listing from LSU of every U.S. Agency or Office in the U.S.
-- Bureau of Economic Analysis � basis for good economic stories even locally.
State Supreme Court. Excellent site. Provided by Supreme Court.
-- Another top site for Supreme Court and Circuit Court decisions. Probably
-- One that I use often.
-- Biographical information, plus more, on all federal judges.
� A census page on county economic climate for all counties in the U.S.
of Asheville page. Etc.
http://www.fedstats.gov/ -- Quick information
about your city or county or one nearby.
to the top
:Adding Color to Stories
A great history site for quick information about a given era, such as the 1950s.
Inflation calculator is indispensable. Also http://minneapolisfed.org/research/data/us/calc/
� A cost of living calculator back to 1665. See source note.
-- Cost of living calculator.
-- Historic timeline.
-- Extensive list/links of encyclopedias available on the Web. Note source.
http://www.yourdictionary.com/ -- All
sorts of very useful dictionaries; language, special, medical etc.
-- The famous Gray Lady (New York Times) in Cybergarb. Pay-for archives are
excellent. Use �north carolina� AND pollution for examples. Also http://www.dallasnews.com/
This is home of PowerMarks. I use PowerMarks instead of Favorites for bookmarks.
Download it and install it on your home computer. Learn how to use it. Read
all help files on the Web before you download and on PowerMarks the program
after you install it. Nothing yet on Macs.
http://www.ameristat.org/ -- A University
of Maryland site which does deep analysis of Census figures.
-- Translator � go to: http://www.monitor.co.at/ (Moniskop)
-- Official CIA factbook. Great maps of countries.
http://www.howstuffworks.com/ -- How
stuff works. Great site. See �nuclear power plants� or �pulley.�
http://www.50states.com/ .-- Full of information
about all states. Great links.
http://www.adherents.com/ -- An excellent
source for basic information on religions.
� Excellent statistics on lots of subjects.
-- Historical information on Senators and Reps, dead and alive.
http://www.allexperts.com/ -- A great source
of specific information.
to the top
Best place to search for a mailing list (listserv) appealing to your interests.
-- Excellent mail list group where you can start your own mail list. Was E-groups.
http://groups.google.com/ -- Link to Newsgroups
on UseNet. Used to be called D�j� Vu.
CARR-L is a list
for computer-assisted research and reporting was set up to provide an electronic
place where both working journalists and journalism educators can "meet" and
discuss resources on the Internet.
How does somebody
subscribe to the list?
Send the one line
in body of message
not a computer ID.
NICAR-L is a list
used by members and non-members of Investigative Reporters & Editors to
exchange resource information. To Subscribe send email to
with the following
request in body of message:
-- Typical letter you MUST save and follow.
GOV-L is a list
for reporters covering local government agencies. Go to web page
to the top
Still Here?: A Little Extra
-- Lists dead or alive politicians.
-- Good librarian Mary Lane lists new stuff she finds on the net. A popular
site for CARR newspeople.
� GAO is not listed in some government links. It is an independent agency.
-- Here is the 2003 Federal Budget, in its entirety as submitted by Pres. Bush.
-- National vital statistics; births, deaths, fertility, life expectancy, marriage,
divorce, abortion. From National Center for Health (NCH).
� A lot of different calculators for comparing cities, crime, schools, salaries,
For inspiration regarding the power of the Internet to relate a story, see www.360degrees.org,
particularly the "Stories" section.
to the top
Session 2: Finding Data
A selection of helpful links for reporters, compiled by FIRE.
More handy sites. These were compiled for nonprofits, and some links are duplicates,
but there are also items of interest here for reporters. See "Other Helpful
of Information Act
http://www.attribution.net/fire/northcarolina-specific.htm -- North Carolina-specific
People and Businesses
Investigations PagePlenty of search and database
sites listed, such as SearchSystems.net.
Online Basic information about corporations for
free, and more details for a charge.
Information / tax forms on nonprofit organizations and foundations.
2000: Some say a good reporter can spend an entire life just covering the
stories contained in the Census.
Covering the military and the war. Numerous links at IRE.
Resources about anti-war opinions and efforts.
Links to many sites on Iraq, the war, war blogs.
Session 3: Excel 101
Information Access Resources
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press guide
on Access to Electronic Records, by state.
EXAMPLES to download to Excel
Download text files.
Buncombe County property download.
Here are some lessons and exercises out of Brant Houston's
Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide, Second
Edition. There are also some
Mac files to practice on from the first edition.
"Your Guide to the Latest Investigative Work." Features
many hot stories that rely on Computer-Assisted Reporting.
National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting. Publishes
Uplink and has online copies.
Campaign Finance Information Center.
Data from IRE, for a fee.
Freedom of Information center.
Mark Goldstein, who worked with Evan Mahaney to
update and compile these links, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.