Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Resource list of research sites and news sources

Here we have a long but very valuable list of resources that will link you directly to vast stores of information. If you're working on an article and need instant reference to facts or figures, check this index - most likely your information can be found here.

Developed by the Poynter Institute
Index

  1. Recommended
    search engines and directories

  2. Learning
    to search the Web

  3. Journalism
    tools sites

  4. Computer-assisted
    reporting examples

  5. Reference
    tools

  6. Specialized
    directories, databases and info sites





Recommended
search engines and directories
(index)


Altavista.com.
This is the sole search engine on the Internet that provides users the opportunity
to do free-form Boolean search in its Advanced Search AND in its Basic Search.
To learn how to conduct Boolean searches, click on the Help link on the
bottom of the site and then Search.
Spend extensive time on learning the Special
search terms
. Altavista has also provided strong search power for images,
audios and videos. If you think this is not good enough, it translates between
English and eight foreign languages for free. Altavista has been my favorite
engine since 1996.


Google.com.
Google has gradually become an extremely popular search engine in the
last three years or so to the point that many users would say "Let's Google" when
they want to do searches on the Internet. Some of its great features,
however, are not fully known to the public. For instance, after you have
searched a keyword on the Web, you can click on the News tab to find
out what the news has said about this keyword. To learn more about Google
search, click on Google
Help Central
.


HotBot.com.
If you think you have exhausted all what you can find about a topic in other
search engines, chances are you will be able to find more in HotBot. Also,
the results are accurate most of the time. Many professionals like HotBot
more than other search engines.


Yahoo.com.
Yahoo has hired hundreds of volunteers to categorize all the sites registered
with it. Yahoo is still one of the favorite sites from which people want
to find information. The pitfall is that, if a site has not been registered
with Yahoo, chances are Yahoo cannot find it because Yahoo is a Web directory,
not a search engine.


Metacrawler.com.
Unlike other search engines, Metacrawler is a meta search engine and searches
12 search engines and Metacrawler search partner network apart from its
own directory. This fact makes it very powerful.


The
Internet Sleuth
: This is an interesting metasearch engine.



Learning
to search the Web
(index)

BARE
BONES 101
: A basic tutorial on searching the Web.


Web
searching: a tutorial on search strategy and syntax
: This site is sponsored
by PowerReporting. It provides extensive explanation about search engines,
directories and Boolean search. A comparative chart of search engines is
available.


Searching
the Internet: Recommended Sites and Search Techniques
: A library site.
Good information and exercises.


Web
Search Strategies
: It provides a tutorial on Web search.



Journalism
tools sites
(index)

Computer-Assisted
Reporting Bibliography
: Don't be misled by the word Bibliography. This
page from the Poynter Institute contains both links to online CAR sites
and articles, syllabi and books on CAR.


Megasources:
A source-specific list of Web sites, compiled by Canadian journalism professor
Dean Tudor.


Wired
Journalist: Newsroom Guide to the Internet
: This site from the Radio
and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) has a large collection
of Web sites by subject under Online Resources for reporters to find beat
information.


FACSNET:
This is a marvelous site that introduces creative ideas to journalists for
reporting, such as finding the living using graveyards or finding people
using vehicle registration. The sites aims at improving journalism through
education.


Gary
Prices's List of Lists
: The List of Lists is a database of ranked listings
of companies, people and resources freely available on the Internet.


JournalismNet:
This site provides massive search power for diversified stuffs. This is
a must site for CAR students.


Journalism.org:
Research, Research and Ideas to Improve Journalism. I especially like their
tools
for journalists.


National
Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting
(NICAR): This site contains
a Resource Center that carries more than 19,000 investigative stories, 1,700
tip sheets, reporting guides and beat sources. It also has a Database Library.
You can access government databases and data analysis. However, NICAR charges
you for accessing all the materials. This fact makes the site less useful
to viewers who do not want to pay.


The
Tampa Tribune Computer-Assisted Reporting Home Page
: This is probably
the best site for searching for information about Florida.


J-Lab:
J-Lab is an innovative project from The Institute for Interactive Journalism,
University of Maryland. If you want to learn how to do budget reporting,
this site can give you a lot of help.


The
J-Files @ VCU
: This is a good resource site. I especially like their
Search Tips page and Government Data page.


Association
for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
: AEJMC is the world's
largest organization for journalism scholars. Every year, professors and
students in journalism and mass communication present their original scholarly
work to the summer annual conference. Since 1997, all such presentations
are achieved. The full-text
achieve
is accessible to the general public. If you need research findings
and research ideas, this is one of the best databases to go for help.


American
Society of Newspaper Editors
:ASNE's Archives
page is very useful for research findings and ideas.


E-Mail
Lists for Journalists
: If you want to spread ganged e-mails, this page
contains a lot of e-mail lists for your to use.


CAR
TALK
: This page provides a quick review of CAR.


Cyberjournalist.net:
MSNBC's Jonathan Dube's site includes tons of search engines, online news
and journalist resources.


Computers
and News 2003
. This site is sponsored by School of Communication, University
of Miami, in the form of an online news and computer-assisted reporting
research project. The site contains research papers on CAR. These papers
are good background readings.


The
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
: This is a nonprofit organization
dedicated to providing free legal assistance to journalists since 1970.
There is a lot of news about journalists and good advice to journalists.
For instance, the following sub-sites are very useful to any journalists:
Access to Electronic
Records
— A state-by-state guide to obtaining government data, Access to Places — Do
you have a right to gather news? Photographers'
Guide to Privacy
, Can
We Tape?
— A Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person
Conversations in the 50 States and D.C., and Access
to Juvenile Courts
— A Reporter's Guide to Proceedings & Documents
in the 50 States & D.C.



Computer-assisted reporting examples (index)

CAR
examples
: At this site, you will fine five stories written by journalism
students using CAR.



Reference tools (index)

Dictionary.com:
Over the last couple of years, I rarely checked a paper dictionary. This
is my default site to go to find the meaning of a word.


Britannica:
Britannica Encyclopedia is the most authoritative encyclopedia in the world.
It is free. You can find all sorts of established information.


Megaconverter2:
This is a marvelous site that converts one measurement to another. You got
to try it. A similar site is Online
Conversion
.


Cost-of-Living
Calculator
: You can find out how $100 in, say, 1932, is worth now in,
say, St. Louis.


Sun
or Moon Rise/Set Table for One Year
: If a photographer wants to know
what time the sun goes down or the moon comes up on a particular day in
a year, this is a good site to go for such information.



Specialized directories, databases and info sites (index)


Business (index)

U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
: This site lists hundreds of recalled
products, which could cause safety problems.


The
Dismal Scientist
: This site provides useful data
and tools
such as State, Metro and Zip Code Profiles, World GDP Rankings,
Stock Market Calculator, Layoff Calculator, Mortgage Calculator, etc., to
assist business reporting.


The
Most Powerful Executive Compensation Online Searching Tool
: Want to
know how much Bill Gates earns each year? You can find more big names's
earnings from this site. If you need to corroborate the findings from this
site, go to AFL-CIO
Executive Paywatch
site, which provides similar information.


U.S.
Securities Exchange Commission's EDGAR database
: You can virtually access
every document the publicly traded corporations have filed with SEC.



Campaign and political donations (index)

Opensecrets.org:
This is one of the best site for you to know who gave and who received money
in political campaigns both on the Federal and state levels.


Follow
the Money
is a similar site for finding out who are influencing state
lawmakers.


PoliticalMoneyLine allows
you to key in a zip code to find out who is contributing to whom. It
is linked to 527 databases. You can find more campaign contribution
information at the Federal Election Commission site.


The
Center for Public Integrity
tracks conflicts of interest involving
state lawmakers in every state and the legislation that comes before
them. Tracks funding for state ballot initiatives, much as other sites
track elections http://www.ballotfunding.org/.



Charity (index)

GuideStar–The
National Database of Nonprofit Organizations
: If you need to know where
the money goes from every charity and what each charity does, this is the
best site to go. A charity that takes in $25K has to file an I-990 form,
most of which are now viewable online. You need to sign up (free).


Crime (index)

USACOPS:
Find the Chief of Police and phone number of a police department in the
United States.


USA
Department of Corrections
: A list of departments of corrections from
all states, from which you can find stats about offenders, inmates and find
specific information about an inmate.


Most
Wanted
: A list of people most wanted by specific divisions of the U.S.
Department of Justice.


Most
Wanted
: A list of terroists and fugitives most wanted by FBI.


National
Criminal Justice Reference Service
: You can search abstracts or fulltexts
about crimes and law enforcement from 1,500 publications.


National
Center for Missing & Exploited Children
: Search for missing children
in states.


U.S.
Map of Hate Groups
: From here you can track U.S. hate groups such as
KKK, Neo-Nazi, Racist Skinhead, Christian Identity, Neo-Confederate, Black
Separatist and more.


Campus
crime stats
: Find out how safe a U.S. campus is.


Search
Systems
: This is an overwhelmingly useful site from which you can find
various information about legistators, sheriffs, state bar, criminal defense
lawyers, trial lawyers, supreme court opinions, inmates & offenders,
missing children and adults, most wanted and wanted persons, sex offenders
and sexual predators, traveling criminals, stolen items,



Disasters (index)

CBS
News Disaster Links
: The motherload of disaster planning contacts and
information.


Disaster
Finder
: A Who's Who of disaster resources, from comets that could hit
the earth to how to deal with animals when you have a big fire, earthquake
or hurricane.


Wunderground:
Live weather radar-every NEXRAD sweep in the country.


The
National Aviation Safety Data Analysis Center
: This site is sponsored
by The Federal Aviation Admonistration (FAA) and is an authoritative site
for analyzing flying accidents.


Aviation
Safety Network
: Fantastic resource for covering crashes. It often even
has a schematic drawing of the crash site and quickly tracks the safety
records of that kind of airliner. It also has an Aviation
Safety Database
, from which you can find aviation disasters since 1943.
A similar site is AirSafe.com,
from which you can search U.S. airlines accidents by aircraft model.


Landings.com:
Aviation, Trains, Truck and Bus Crashes, Cruise Ship Contacts. A plane crashed
in my area. I need information quickly. This is the best site to go. it
helps to identify problems with airlines and with individual planes. This
powerful site will give you pilot backgrounds, aircraft safety records,
specific maintenance records of planes (if you have a tail number) and tons
of other details. Get familiar with this one-you will use it. http://www.faa.gov/ is a helpful site too.


Airliners.net:
Get pictures of thousands of commercial airplanes listed by N number.


Federal
Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis
: This is the best
site for investigating train crashes in history.



United Motorcoach
Association
: Investigate the inspection background and crash history
of a commercial trucking or bus line.



Education (index)

Education
World
: For information about any topics in education, Education World
is an authoritative site. It is hooked up to 500,000 Web resources.


National
Education Writers Association
: For education beat reporters, the Information
Center on this site provides useful links to new
research
and government
and education
resources.


SearchEdu.com:
Don't be fooled by the name. This is a valuable search site. Under this
site, you can search anything about education. Right under the search box,
you can find SearchMil.com,
which allows you to search over 1 million military pages indexed and ranked
in order of popularity; SearchGov.com,
which allows you to search anything from different levels of governments;
SearcheBooks.com,
which allows you to search keywords carried in thousands of full-text online
books. On top of such a wealth of information, you can also search Webster
Dictionary, Webster Thesaurus and Britannica Encyclopedia.



Experts (index)

ProfNet:
How can a journalist easily find a professor who can answer you questions?
This site provides free services to journalists. You need to register.


COS
Expertise
: This site provides convenient access to professors with special
expertise. No registration is needed.


Sources
and Experts
: This expert site is compiled and maintained by Kitty Bennett,
a news researcher from St. Petersburg Times. It contains sites
that are useful for one-stop shopping for experts on a wide variety of topics;
good places to look for authors and editors; and organizations arranged
alphabetically by specialty area.


About.com:
Any time you need to know the context or background about a phenomenon,
an object, a famous person or a phrase, you can find interesting answers
from this directory, which continually generates original contents. It serves
as an encyclopedia about both old and new events, things and people. Other
expert sites include Ask Jeeves,
Allexperts.com and ExpertCentral.



Government info and legal documents (index)

FIRSTGOV.gov:
The U.S. Government's official Web portal. It contains all kinds of information
about the government and the country for citizens, businesses, nonprofits
and federal employees.


U.S.
Government Printing Office
: This is a kaleidoscope site of government
information for all three branches: Legislative, Executive and Judicial.
The A-Z list gets you to different government information sites and government
offices Web sites.


Contacting
the Congress
: This is a very up-to-date database of congressional contact
information for the 108th Congress. As of May 9, 2003 there are 517 email
addresses (of which 413 are Web-based email homepages), and 539 WWW homepages
known for the 540 members of the 108th Congress. More traditional ground
mail addresses are available for all Congressmembers.


Federal
Communications Commission (FCC)
: This is a bonanza for information related
to telecommunication. Under the Freedom of Information Act, FCC publishes
all its proceedings, rules, and much more online, including the full text
of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Congressional
Budget Office
: There are several bipartisan and respected sources of
analysis in the federal government. This is one of them. For management
issues, check out the General Accounting
Office
. CBO and GAO sites are both searchable. For matters of broader
scope, try United
States House of Representatives
.


Legal
Information Institute
: This site sponsored by Cornell Law School provides
constitutions and codes, court opinions and many other legal resources.


Thomas
Legislative Information on the Internet
: The Library of Congress gives
users the opportunity to search the text of bills, committee reports and
other documents. Articles from the Congressional Record can be searched
as well.


The
Smoking Gun
: This site specializes in finding actual documents from
court filings, government archives and FOI requests.


Health (index)

Medical
World Search
: For any information about medicines and medical practices,
this comprehensive site can provide most up-to-date information.


Redflagsdaily.com:
A very aggressive site run by a former ABC News Health writer. The site
often takes on conventional wisdom and what it calls "press release journalism."


State
Health Facts Online
: State by state including % uninsured, HIV-AIDS
and more.


Healthwatch:
Topical health stories of the day from CBSNEWS.com.


Medscape:
You choose the areas you want to search.


Intelihealth:
From Harvard.


Kids
Health issues
: Updated daily- excellent and easy to use


Who
is dying from what
: The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality weekly report


Nursing
Homes
: This site, sponsored by Medicare, allows you to check all kinds
of information about a licensed nursing home in the United States.


Environmental
Organization Web Directory
: (This site may not open properly in Netscape.)
This site claims itself as "Earth's Biggest Environment Search Engine." It
covers information from animals, government, health, pollution, to transportation.



International (index)

Chiefs
of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments
: The Central Intelligence
Agency publishes and updates the online directory of Chiefs of State and
Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments weekly. The directory is intended
to be used primarily as a reference aid and includes as many governments
of the world as is considered practical.


The
World Factbook
: This is also a CIA site. It carries information from
flags of the world to geography.



Internet (index)

Archive:
You have probably redesigned your company or university Web site three
times in the last six years, and you think your old sites are long gone.
What if someone tells you that you can still retrieve the older sites?
You may say "Oh, my gosh!" That's what you will utter when
you are at this site, which has archived thousands of old public sites
over the years. You will be amazed at seeing your company's or university's
old site. This is the only site of its kind.


Internet
Traffic Report
: The Internet Traffic Report monitors the flow of data
around the world. It then displays a value between zero and 100. Higher
values indicate faster and more reliable connections.


Lycos50:
Find out what netizens are most interested in on the Internet. See the most
popular search words on the web ranked every day by Lycos.


MetaSpy
Exposed
: Monitor what key words other netizens are keying in. The screen
refreshes every 15 seconds. There are a filtered and unfiltered versions.


Network
Solutions
: This site unravels IP addresses, host or name servers to
figure out who is writing or hosting what.


NUA.com:
This is world's leading resource for Internet trends & statistics.
You can find not only information about the Internet, but also statistics
or analyses about online news sites.



Kids (index)

Kids
Count
: Sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this site provides
various statistics about kids. It is an annual ranking by state including
maps.



Military (index)

Department
of Defense Almanac
: This is a vast resource with links to all branches
of the military.


DefenseLINK:
This Pentagon site not only contains textual documents but also images of
attacks on targets.


SearchMil.com:
Over 1 million military pages indexed and ranked in order of popularity.


List
of U.S. Navy Ships
: An alphabetical list of U.S. Navy ships with their
mailing addresses.



News, newspapers and facts about newspapers (index)

1stHeadlines–Top
Breaking News Headlines
: 1stHeadlines provides a one-stop location
where readers can view the latest "Breaking News" headlines from
top online news sources around the world in a fast, easy-to-read format.
The full-text news stories in seven categories are sortable by source and
time.


EurekAlert!:
This is a service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
You can find news about science by subject. It alerts you to the latest scientific studies often days before they
hit the wires.


Lost
Remote
: If you have not followed the news recently, this free weekly
newsletter records everything interesting or important from last week.


NewsLink:
If you want to find information about a particular town, usually you want
to start with the newspaper(s) from that town. This site from American Journalism
Review has listed thousands of Web sites of newspapers, TV and radio stations
by state. It also has a Journalist's
Guide to Search Engines
.


Newspaper
Links
: Just like New sLink, this site provides quick links to local
and national newspapers. For more newspaper directories, go to Yahoo
Newspaper Web directories
. To find both U.S. and international newspapers,
go to Newspapers.com.


Newseum:
Freedom Forum has done a great job in keeping the front pages of thousands
of newspapers from all over the world. If you try to do research on newspapers,
you don't want to miss this site.


Newspaper
Association of America
: This site does not mess around. It provides
various sorts of statistics about the newspapers in the United States. The
interface is friendly.



People, place and time (index)

AnyWho:
Come to this site to locate the address and phone number of a person in
the United States. You can also find who owns a phone number using Reverse
Lookup. The information on this site apparently is updated more frequently
than other people-finding sites. Try your own name. Also try Infobel,
which covers the world.


IAF.net – Internet
Address Finder
: You can find a Web page's Internet
address, a person's email address and phone number and the information about
where this person lives, and many more. This is a unique site of its kind.


Zip:
It is for you to find the zip code of a place in the United States. Or you
can use United States Postal Service
to find a zip code.


Yahoo
Maps
: Go nowhere else to find a spot or direction between two spots
in the United States. This is the best.


50states.com:
This is a one-stop site for you to find all sorts of basic information about
the 50 states of this country, such as state flag, climate, history. It
also provides links to local government offices, such as DMV and Courts.
EPODUNK also provides background
information on any city or town in the US.


National
Association of Counties
: This database contains great amount of information
about all counties in the United States. You can find the Web site for a
county, which usually contains all kinds of information about that county.


Dead
People Server
: The Dead People Server is a database of interesting
celebrities who are long dead or newly dead. They may be "retired" or
spaced. By May 2003, close to 2700 entries were found. If you want to find
information about a non-celebrity dead person, you need to go to Ancestry.com.
This the largest collection of family history records on the Web. However,
you need to pay.


The
Official U.S. Time
: For finding the exact current time in your time
zone, no site is better than this. There is no need to call anyone or buy
an expensive watch.



Public opinion (index)

Gallup:
For public opinions, the Gallup Organization is still one of the most authoritative
independent sources. The PEW
Research Center
also sponsors polls online, which provides a quick view
of public opinion and surveys from Gallup, news organizations and PEW.


PollingReport:
This site shows different poll results from different news organizations.
Some polls are not scientific.



Public records databases (index)

Search
Systems
: Easy to find state and national links to close to 15,000 searchable
public records databases. Use this site to look up licenses for doctors,
lawyers, dentists, lawn care companies, psychologists you name it. This
is a gold mine! You need to pay for search some of the databases.


Infomine:
This is a scholarly Internet resource collection. It searches 118,510 academic
valuable resources.


FedStats:
This site provides all kinds of statistics from more than 100 Federal agencies
by geography and subject. The interface is very friendly.


U.S.
Census Bureau
:This is the most authoritative site for census information.


CensusScope:
This is a portal site to Census 2002 data. There are many straightforward
charts and maps to show diversified data.


STAT.USA:This
site is sponsored by U.S. Department of Commerce. It is a "one-stop
Internet browsing for business, trade and economic information." It
publishes up-to-the-minute statistics.


The
ODUM Institute
: The Odum Institute maintains one of the oldest and largest
archives of machine-readable data in the U.S. You can search for or download
public opinion poll questions.


U.S.
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
: If you want to find
information about inflation, consumer spending, wages, productivity safety
and health information, this is the most authoritative site.



Religions (index)


BibleGateway:
You can find passages or words that appear in 16 different versions of the
Bible and in 28 foreign languages. This tool is especially useful when politicians
or protestors try to quote verses or words from the Bible.


Religionwriters.com:
a resource from the Religion Newswriters Association and its Foundation.
Each free, biweekly edition contains story ideas.


Religionsource:
From here, you can find experts on virtually any aspect of religion. More
than 5000 scholars are approachable from this site sponsored by American
Academy of Religion.


The
Internet Sacred Text Archive
: This site houses many full-text sacred
texts. It also addresses different religions' traditions, practices and
mysteries. A similar site is Denominational
and Branch News Services and Newspapers
, which provides news services
of various Christian denominations and other world religious organizations.



Traffic (index)


Trip—The
Road Information Program
: This site contains data about road and bridge
conditions nationwide and data about the impact of traffic congestion on
motorists and in regional areas throughout the country.


QuickAid:
Find the information about an International or U.S. airport quickly. Airport
Links
is a similar site.


FlyteComm:
Real Time Flight Tracking – see where an airplane is during flight.
A remarkable mapping system that is great when you have to meet someone
at an airport.



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