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Journalism 772 and 472: Computer-Assisted Reporting

Philip Merrill College of Journalism

University of Maryland

Fall 2011


Student presentation websites

& websites for issues in the news:


Past semesters



Sample Format For Submitting Your Links:




The U.S. Department of Transportation


The National Transportation Safety Board


Office of Hazardous Materials Safety


Searchable Database


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Downloadable Database


The Office of Hazardous Materials Safety




“Rails Carry a Growing Risk;

With train traffic through the region surging,

a close call after a recent derailment in San Bernardino raises the question:

Are we ready for a real disaster?”

By Phil Pitchford, Ben Goad, David Danelski and Mark Kawar

The Press-Enterprise, San Bernardino, CA

November 20, 2005




Sites for Class Discussions:


Some Final Items:


Annie Dillard, from The Writing Life


Publick Occurrences, Both Forreign and Domestick, 1690


Thomas Paine, from Common Sense, 1776


Stories all around: The Patrick Hughes Story


Mastery in many forms: Shadow puppets


“For Their Own Good”


“Scraping for Journalism: A Guide for Collecting Data”
Dan Nguyen, The ProPublica Nerd Blog

ProPublica, Dec. 10, 2010




Medical flights


Washington Post project on medical flights


Trooper 2’s Last Flight



Visual display of data for news



High Steel







New Data Projects from CNS and Maryland Newsline


“State Archives' Budget Struggles Leaves Tattered Treasures,”

By Steve Kilar, Capital News Service

April 28, 2011


“Arson, Then Foreclosures, Burn Indian Head Home Owners,”

By Steve Kilar, Capital News Service,

April 15, 2011

Detail: “Blacks in Maryland who bought homes between 2004 and 2006 were more than twice as likely to receive subprime rates for their first mortgage as whites with the same income, according to data collected by the federal government and analyzed by Capital News Service.”


 “More Than 1,500 Homicides Grow Cold in Prince George's County,”

By Andy Marso, Capital News Service, May 4, 2011


“Maryland on Track to Comply with Federal Juvenile Detention Rules,”

By Maggie Clark, Capital News Service, April 29, 2011



Evolving standards for digital journalism


Digital Publishing Guidelines

The Washington Post

Sept. 1, 2011



Mastery in many forms …


Shadow puppet


Four-part fugue



Landing in the Hudson



Animation with audio


Pilot interview







Sites for Class Presentations:



Tim - Education K-12


Education Writers Association


Education Week


National Center for Education Statistics


The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education


The Education Trust


Consortium for School Networking


Searchable Database:


Maryland State Assessment Data


Downloadable Database:


U.S. Census Figures on Education


NAEP: Nations Report Card Data




Online Interactive: “Fixing D.C.’s Schools"


Article: “Can D.C. Schools Be Fixed?"

By Dan Keating and V. Dion Haynes

The Washington Post

June 10, 2007,







Annie – Health Care


National Institutes of Health: U.S. National Library of Medicine


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services




Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America


Downloadable Database


Medicare: Nursing Home Compare, Hospital Compare and Home Health Care Compare


Searchable Database


MAUDE: Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience




“Hospital chain, already under scrutiny, reports high malnutrition rates”

By Lance Williams, Christina Jewett and Stephen K. Doig

California Watch

February 19, 2011


“How the malnutrition story came together”


By Lance Williams, Christina Jewett and Stephen K. Doig

California Watch

February 19, 2011





Ellen – Environment


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


The Army Corps of Engineers


The Council on Environmental Quality


The Environmental Law Institute


Searchable Database:


The Environmental Defense Fund


Downloadable Database:


The Toxicology Data Network




“Clean-air picture hazy; Bad data, slow action cloud enforcement efforts.”

By Dan Stockman

The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, IN

March 28, 2010




Drew – The Disadvantaged


The National Poverty Center


The American Public Human Services Association

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Searchable database:


The Southern Poverty Law Center

Downloadable database:


The U.S. Census Bureau




“Pay to win”
Gavin Off, Data Editor
Tulsa World
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Nov. 15, 2009



David – Executive Branch 




Federal Register


Association of Government Accountants


Searchable Databases


Commerce Business Daily


Federal Business Opportunities


Downloadable Databases


Governments Integrated Directory




“Obama rewards big bundlers with

jobs, commissions, stimulus money, government contracts, and more”

By Fred Schulte, John Aloysius Farrell and Jeremy Borden

iWatch News, The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, DC

June 15, 2011




Whitney – Law Enforcement (First Part)


Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER)


Prince George’s County Police Department


United States District Court For the District of Maryland


Maryland Judiciary Case Search


Searchable Database:


Bureau of Justice Statistics


Downloadable Database:


FBI Uniform Crime Report




“More Than 1,500 Homicides Grow Cold in Prince George's County”

By Andy Marso

Capital News Service, College Park, MD

Wednesday, May 4, 2011




Madeline – Law Enforcement (Second Part)


National Center for Juvenile Justice


Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network


Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives


Unified Investigations & Sciences, Arson Investigations


Drug Enforcement Administration


Searchable Database:


Let’s Bring Them Home – Missing Persons


Downloadable Databases:


National Crime Victimization Survey


Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies




“Police pursuits: Does risk outweigh benefits?”

By John Tedesco

San Antonio Express-News

May 12, 2010


Copy of the database used:



Varun – Financial Institutions


The Economist Intelligence Unit

(can register for free from on-campus computer)




Real Clear Markets


Searchable Database


The Center for Responsive Politics's database of lawmaker's finances


Downloadable Database


U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Next-Generation EDGAR System




"Congressional Staffers Gain From Trading in Stocks"

By Brody Mullins, Tom McGinty and Jason Zweig

The Wall Street Journal

October 11, 2010



Aaron – Companies and the Workplace




“Part-time board work yielding big-time pay

Public company board average paycheck: $126,398”

By Cary Spivak

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

June 28, 2010


Searchable Database for the article


Securities and Exchange Commission


Searchable Database EDGAR


PR Newswire






Federal Trade Commission


Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection





Mike – Higher Education


The Chronicle of Higher Education


Education Writers Association


              EWA Higher Education Study

(page 8)


Association for the Study of Higher Education


Inside Higher Ed


NCPPHE’s Higher Education


Downloadable Database


U.S. Dept. of Ed. Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs


Searchable Database


OECD Student Demographics: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),3746,en_2649_37455_38082166_1_1_1_37455,00.html




“Most Ohio schools depend on student fees, other public help for

Division I intercollegiate sports”

By Rich Exner

The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH

October 13, 2011




Rob – Transportation


The U.S. Department of Transportation


Federal Aviation Administration


Tire Industry Association


Searchable Database:


FAA Aircraft Registry


Downloadable Database:


FRA Office of Safety Analysis: Accident Data




 “Danger on the Tracks:

In Deaths at Railroad Crossings, Missing Evidence and Silence”

By Walt Bogdanich

The New York Times, New York, NY

July 11, 2004




Sindhu – Licensed professionals




“Dollars for Doctors”

October 18, 2010

A joint investigation by ProPublica, NPR, PBS's Nightly Business Report,

the Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe and Consumer Reports

 For ProPublica: Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber and Dan Nguyen



Downloadable Database


Public Use Data File

HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration)



Searchable and Reference Websites


National Practitioner Data Bank

American Medical Association


State Medical Board, Maryland


Directory of State Medical Boards


Public Citizen Health Research Group


Consumers Checkbook