Journalism 772 and 472: Computer-Assisted Reporting

Philip Merrill College of Journalism

University of Maryland


Fetching exercise materials for CAR class


For our in-class exercises and homework assignments, data files will be placed in a “secure” folder on the Internet.  You will have to log in with a special user name and password that you will learn about in class.  Once you have logged in, you can download a data file to your own computer in class or at home. To do these exercises at home, you will need to have Microsoft Access or Excel 2010 or 2007 on your computer there. 


The steps:

1.      USE INTERNET EXPLORER IN CLASS FOR THESE DOWNLOADS. (If you are using Mozilla Firefox at home and encounter difficulties, switch to Internet Explorer. If you believe you have downloaded a file but can’t open it, you may have saved the link to the file rather than the file itself.)

2.      Click on the following link:

3.      You will see a login screen. Type in the special user name and password you were given for this CAR class site.

4.      Next you will see the page with links to files you may download.:

5.      Right click on the file you would like to download:. 

6.      For exercises in class, we will use the Access files for each exercise that are highlighted in yellow.

7.      DO NOT CLICK ON “Open.”

8.      Instead, click on “Save Target As.  Now you may see a list of drives and folders on your computer in class or at home.  If you are in class, save the file to your H drive.  If you are at home, pick a location where you would like to save the file. Although the files will be “clean” – virus free – when they are placed on the secure class Web site for you to use, it is never a bad idea to run a virus scan on the files once you have stored them on your hard drive unless your computer is set up to do this automatically.  Then you may go ahead and work on them.

9.      When the file is saved, you will be prompted as follows.  Choose the “Close” button.


10.  Start Access and open the file from that program.


YOU MAY NOT SHARE THIS  SPECIAL USER  NAME AND PASSWORD WITH ANYONE WHO IS NOT IN THIS COURSE.  If you get an email or call from someone claiming to be a network administrator or to be someone in a position of authority who needs your password, that person is an imposter.  Please contact your instructor as soon as possible if you get such a request.