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Journalism 772 and 472: Computer-Assisted Reporting

Philip Merrill College of Journalism

University of Maryland

Fall 2004


Issues related to reporting on polls:


“Reuters Poll: Bush Grabs One-Point Lead on Kerry”

Reuters on Yahoo News, Oct. 21, 2004


“AP Poll: Bush, Kerry in Dead Heat”

Associated Press on Yahoo News, Oct. 21, 2004


Student presentation Web sites:


Mary Ellen – Business




Securities and Exchange Commission


U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware




Bureau of Labor Statistics


FDIC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Statistics on Depository Institutions




“Tax breaks plentiful; results vary –

Indianapolis has given out millions in abatements to companies,

but not all have created the promised jobs.”

Indianapolis Star, Aug. 29, 2004




Sara – Financial Institutions


Conference of State Bank Supervisors


Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council


Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation





"Swimming With Sharks: Subprime lenders put the bite on Baltimore's Poorest Homeowners"

City Paper, Baltimore

 March 29, 2000




Anna – Nonprofits


National Database of Nonprofit Organizations


Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations


Charity Navigator


Internet Nonprofit Center




Maryland Charities Database


IRS Exempt Organizations Records,,id=97186,00.html




“Charity Money Funding Perks”

Boston Globe, Nov. 9, 2003



David – Nonprofits




IRS,,id=97186,00.html, Action Without Borders


NonProfit Times



Oregon Department of Justice Charities Database




“Foundation's Funds Diverted From Mission,”

The Washington Post, September 28, 2004



Kevin – Licensed professionals


Maryland Dept. of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Division of Occupational Licensing


The Public Citizen Health Research Group






National Practitioner Databank


Alaska Division of Occupational Licensing


Vermont Office of Professional Regulation Databases




"Doctor Discipline: Does Nevada Do Enough?"

Reno Gazette-Journal, February 16, 2004



Jessica – Licensed professionals


Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation


Licensed Occupation Tool from America’s Career InfoNet


Experior list of professional/trade organizations




Pacific Information Resources


Maryland’s Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing


National Practitioner Data Bank


Florida Business and Professional Regulation downloadable databases





“Doctors Medicate Strangers on Web”

The Washington Post, October 21, 2003



Michael – Judicial branch


National Mental Health Association


U.S. Department of Justice


National Legal Aid and Defender Association




Alliance For Justice: Judicial Selection Database


Bureau of Justice Statistics




Arkansas: Mentally ill inmate put to death”

World Socialist Website, Jan. 8, 2004



Jim – Legislative branch




 The Federal Election Commission


The Center for Responsive Politics


The General Accounting Office


The Congressional Budget Office




DeLay's Corporate Fundraising Investigated;

Money Was Directed to Texas GOP to Help State Redistricting Effort”

The Washington Post, July 12, 2004



Kathleen – Executive branch


FirstGov: Federal Executive Branch


FEMA: Regional And Area Offices


Federal Register: Main Page


FEMA: Senior Staff Biographies


Inspector General Directory/Homepages


Report of Health and Human Services Contracts (Hawaii)


Nutrient Data Laboratory




“Emergency Funds Spent to Replace Beach Sand”

 Gilbert M. Gaul, The Washington Post, May 30, 2004.



Fulvio – Executive branch


Office of the Federal Register


The Securities and Exchange Commission - Monitoring -- Tracking the Executive Branch




Federal State and Local Governments - Data:


The Federal Elections Commission - Candidate Filings:




“Governor's Mansion dodges large cuts;

Some contend staff is too big”

Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)

Sunday, October 10, 2004




Ryan – Education


National Education Association


U.S. Department of Education


Education Writers Association




Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey Data

part of National Center for Education Statistics’

Common Core of Data


Academic Standards and Assessment System, from JES & Co.


Reporting project:


 “Schools Underreport Crime.”

Roanoke Times, May 17, 2003


First  in an ongoing look at Roanoke city schools underreporting crime statistics


Other stories in this series include:


  “Resource Officers Have Unique Perspective on School Safety Issues,” June 1, 2003


     “Are Roanoke School Safe?”

June 1, 2003




Emily – Education


American Federation of Teachers

(“News” and “Hot Topics”)



Education Resources Information Center

(searchable database of articles in education literature)


Center for the Prevention of School Violence


National Education Association




International Archive of Education Data


National Center for Education Statistics:  Common Core of Data




“School closings, lax oversight lead to record long bus rides”

The Charleston Gazette, Charleston, West Virginia

Aug. 25, 2002



Koki – Law enforcement


Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Department of Justice


National Criminal Justice Reference Service


Racial Profiling Data Collection Resource Center


Public Safety and Emergency Management - for Law Enforcement Professionals




The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics


National Archive of Criminal Justice Data


The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics


Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services,

Division of Corrections Inmate Locator


Reporting project:


“Unequal Force”

Austin American-Statesman, January 25-28 and March 28, 2004



Kevin – Law enforcement










U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs

Bureau of Justice Statistics


National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD)




“Special Report: Under 12 / Under Arrest”

St. Petersburg Times

Dec. 17, 2000



Elizabeth – Health care


Health Insurance Info


Medical Terms


American Medical Association




National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health


Maryland Minority Health Disparities



“Is Kaiser The Future Of American Health Care?”

Steve Lohr, The New York Times

October 31, 2004 Sunday



Lindsey R. – Health care


U.S. Food and Drug Administration


National Committee For Quality Assurance


Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations


Institute for Safe Medication Practices


National Council of State Boards of Nursing


National Library of Medicine




Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Control


Medical Device Reporting



Reporting project:


Series: “Risky RX”

Story: “‘Off-label’ Drugs Take Their Toll”

“A six-month probe has found that patients nationwide are being injured and killed

 as doctors routinely prescribe drugs in ways the FDA never certified as safe and effective.”

Knight Ridder, November 2, 2003



Jenae – Utilities


Baltimore Gas & Electric


National Association of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners


 General Accounting Office


Federal Communications Commission




Federal Communications Commission (MD)


Scorecard (Lead in MD drinking water)


California Public Utilities Commission




“PUC to Tackle Electricity Plan; Governor seeks to advance supply deadline. Foes cite excess capacity, cost “

Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, October 12, 2004




Kristen – Utilities


Department of Energy

Energy Information Administration

Electricity, Coal, Nuclear, Oil, Gas and alternative fuels:


Federal Communications Commission:


National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (non-gov.):




Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


Environmental Protection Agency

Local Drinking Water Information:



Investigate Pollution Topics:




"PUC votes to deregulate utilities"

San Francisco Examiner

Thursday, December 21, 1995



Tisha – Transportation


Highway Safety and Information System


U.S. Department of Transportation


Research and Special Programs Administration Office of Hazardous Materials Safety




Bureau of Transportation Statistics


Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc




Oregon State Effort Serves as Model for Problem Roads”

Toledo Blade, Nov. 16, 2004


“How the Project was Done




Rebecca – Transportation


National Transportation Safety Board


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


U.S. Coast Guard




FAA Downloadable Data


Fatality Analysis Report System (NHTSA)




"In Deaths at Rail Crossings, Missing Evidence and Silence"

The New York Times, July 11, 2004




Evan – Real Estate


American Society of Home Inspectors


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


National Low-Income Housing Coalition


Urban Land Institute




“Home Invasion: Owners, renters, entangled in real estate nightmare”

The Daily News, Longview, Washington

Nov. 19, 2004



Kim – The environment


Society of Environmental Journalists


Environment Writer


National Safety Council’s Environmental Health Care


Maryland Department of the Environment




U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Databases


U.S Geological Survey


Toxicology and Environmental Health




“Special Series: The Poultry Industry’s Pollution”

Peter S. Goodman, The Washington Post

August 1-3, 1999,

First of three articles: “An Unsavory Byproduct; Runoff and Nutrient Pollution”



Lindsey K. – The environment


Environmental Protection Agency's homepage.


EPA data


U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission


National Library of Medicine


Society of Environmental Journalists resources page.




“Families in danger from smelter fallout;

For decades, no warning of hazards”

Detroit Free Press, January 22, 2003




Katrina – The world of the disadvantaged Forum on child and family statistics


USDA: Food and Nutrition Services


U.S. Census Bureau: Poverty Forum on Aging-Related Statistics




Temporary Assistance for Needy Families


National Center for Health Statistics: Children’s Health


National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients:




“Too Young to Die”

San Francisco Chronicle

Five-part series, October 3-7, 2004




Jen – The world of the disadvantaged


U.S. Census Poverty Page



Information for Decision Making (IFDM)


The Economic Development Administration


The Administration for Children and Families




“Too Young to Die”

San Francisco Chronicle

Five-part series, Oct. 3-7, 2004