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Journalism 772 and 472: Computer-Assisted Reporting

Philip Merrill College of Journalism

University of Maryland

Fall 2007

 

Student presentation Web sites

and Web sites for issues in the news:

 

Past semesters

 

 

SAMPLE FORMAT FOR SUBMITTING YOUR LINKS:

 

Transportation

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation

www.dot.gov

 

The National Transportation Safety Board

www.ntsb.gov

 

Office of Hazardous Materials Safety

http://hazmat.dot.gov

 

Searchable Database

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

 

Downloadable Database

 

The Office of Hazardous Materials Safety

http://hazmat.dot.gov/pubs/inc/hmisframe.htm

 

Story:

 

“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

http://www.pe.com/digitalextra/metro/trains/inland.html

 

 

 

SITES FOR CLASS DISCUSSIONS

 

ESPN:  The Patrick Hughes Story

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qTiYA1WiY8&feature=RecentlyWatched&page=1&t=t&f=b

 

 

OMB:  FederalSpending.org

[contracts, grants (FAADS)]

http://www.fedspending.org/

 

 

Example of finding sites:  Mine Safety

http://jclass.umd.edu/cars/mines.htm

 

Battle for public records in Maryland

“NAACP, ACLU Sue State Police Over Racial Profiling Records”

By Bernie Becker

Capital News Service

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

http://www.journalism.umd.edu/cns/wire/2007-editions/09-September-editions/070926-Wednesday/PoliceSued_CNS-UMCP.html

 

Mastery comes in many forms…..

http://jclass.umd.edu/cars/secure/videos/puppet.wmv

 

 

“Prosecutors Contend That Video Shows Hornsby Taking Kickback”

By Ruben Castaneda

The Washington Post

Wednesday, October 24, 2007; Page B01

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/23/AR2007102302427.html?hpid=topnews

 

Links for work with summary data:

 

Stories – field trips:

http://jclass.umd.edu/cars/secure/stories/school_trips.htm

 

Stats:

http://jclass.umd.edu/cars/special/childstats2001.htm

 

 

The Washington Post:  Tax refund fraud in D.C.

 

“Scam Could Total $31 Million; Analysis Suggests Refund Fraud Scheme Was Snowballing”

Dan Keating and Carol D. Leonnig

November 14, 2007, Page A1

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/13/AR2007111302394.html?hpid=topnews

 

Graphic:  “Suspicious Refunds”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2007/11/14/GR2007111400194.html

 

 

The Washington Post - D.C. high school stories

 

“Will Jonathan Graduate?

His D.C. High School Needs an Overhaul of Attitudes, Academics and Expectations. He Needs Three Credits”

By Lonnae O'Neal Parker

November 10, 2007, Page A1

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/10/AR2007111001868.html

 

“For Jonathan Lewis, It's Fourth and Goal

In a System That Has Squandered So Many Chances, He Is on the Verge of Wasting His”

By Lonnae O'Neal Parker

November 12, 2007; Page A01

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/11/AR2007111101648.html

 

 

Brie – sex offender registry sites:

 

FLORIDA BUS STOPS

http://www.cbs47.com/content/topstories/story.aspx?content_id=496f6479-4790-4d2e-97fa-ed07506d61f9

 

SEX OFFENDERS IN IMPOVERSIHED AREAS

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/05/15/Tampabay/Where_is_a_sex_offend.shtml

 

IOWA OUTDATED DATABASE

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3720/is_2000405/ai_n9346022

 

MARYLAND REGISTRY DATABASE

http://www1.dpscs.state.md.us/onlineservs/socem/default.shtml

 

 

 

Recent job postings mentioning CAR skills:

 

Consumer investigative producer

KING 5 Television, Seattle, WA

“… Computer assisted reporting a plus…”

http://www.king5.com/jobs/stories/K07A45News.1ee79ae02.html

 

Experienced watchdog journalist

The News-Press, Cape Coral, FL

“…The best applicants have computer assisted reporting skills, understand open records and government laws…”

http://www.journalismjobs.com/job_listing.cfm?jobid=857232

 

 

Hiding in plain sight

 

New York Times:  Manhole covers, made in India

(Multimedia)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/26/nyregion/26manhole.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

 

 

 

Graphics and mapping

 

Hurricane Andrew

Miami Herald mapping project

 

Minard

http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/graphics/minard_lg.gif

http://hardnewsinc.blogs.com/my_weblog/napoleons_retreat_from_moscow.jpg

 

Boston crime

Boston-Online.com

http://www.boston-online.com/crime/

 

Minors in possession of alcohol

Lawrence Journal-World and 6 News

http://www2.ljworld.com/data/alcohol_violations/mip/

 

 

How bad is the flooding?

http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&fg=rss&vid=1b6bd6c4-5444-4617-ab3e-933bf2d8284f

 

 

Issues in polling and surveys

 

 (1).  “20 Questions A Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results,” 3d ed.

By Sheldon R. Gawiser, Ph.D. and G. Evans Witt:

http://www.ncpp.org/?q=node/4

 

(2). Sample size calculator

http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm

 

(3). “Statistics Every Writer Should Know”

Robert Niles

http://www.robertniles.com/stats/

 

 

Zogby poll

 

(4).  “McCain leads Clinton in new poll, trails Obama”

The Business Journal of Phoenix

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2007/11/26/daily27.html

 

 

(5). “Poll: Clinton Loses to All Top GOP Candidates in Direct Match-Up”

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007

Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,313022,00.html

 

(6).  “Zogby Poll: Obama, Edwards Strong but Clinton Slips Against GOPers

General election match-ups show the New York Senator would lose against every top Republican”

Zogby International

Monday, Nov. 26, 2007

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1393

 

(7). Zogby’s online polling methodology

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1064

 

Gallup poll

 

(8). “Gallup Poll Shows Clinton Leading All GOP Candidates, Obama Holding Competitive Edge”

Fox News

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,313224,00.html

 

(9). “Democratic Candidates Look Good in Latest 2008 Trial Heats

Hold significant leads over Thompson, Romney; slim edges over McCain”

Gallup

Monday, Nov. 26, 2007

http://www.gallup.com/poll/102862/Democratic-Candidates-Look-Good-Latest-2008-Trial-Heats.aspx?

 

Questions and answer:  issues

 

(10). “Study Finds Medicare Operators Often Give Bad Information”

Ceci Connolly, The Washington Post

Thursday, May 4, 2006

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/03/AR2006050302182.html

 

 

(11). “Medicare: Communications to Beneficiaries on the Prescription Drug Benefit Could Be Improved”

Government Accountability Office

GAO-06-654, May 3, 2006

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d06654.pdf

 

Links submitted by Tamara:

 

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/11/27/florida.gop.poll/index.html

 

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/11/27/florida.gop.poll/index.html#cnnSTCOther1

 

 

 

 

STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

 

Anna – Education

 

The U.S. Department of Education

http://www.ed.gov

 

Wrightslaw- Education law page

http://www.wrightslaw.com/nclb/law.htm

 

Education Resources Information Center

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/Home.portal

 

Searchable database:

 

The U.S. Department of Education: data on default

http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/defaultmanagement/cdr.html

 

Downloadable database:

 

The World Bank Group/ Education Stats

http://devdata.worldbank.org/edstats/SummaryEducationProfiles/CountryData/GetShowData.asp?sCtry=USA,United%20States

 

Story:

 

“Closing Costs”

[A series]

By: Eric Eyre and Scott Finn

The Charleston Gazette

 Charleston, WV

August, 2002 – October, 2002

http://www.wvgazette.com/section/Series/Closing+Costs

 

 

 

Transportation - Gabe

 

U.S. Coast Guard – Office of Boating Safety

www.uscgboating.org

 

Federal Aviation Administration – Airport Wildlife Hazard Mitigation

http://wildlife-mitigation.tc.faa.gov/public_html/index.html#access

 

National Transportation Safety Board – Aviation Accident Database

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/query.asp

 

NTSB records from a fatal aviation accident:

 

Probable Cause, Adopted 11/15/99

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/GenPDF.asp?id=DCA94MA076&rpt=fi

 

Factual Report

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/GenPDF.asp?id=DCA94MA076&rpt=fa

 

Additional data

 (cockpit voice transcript, computer simulations, hearing transcripts, etc.)

http://www.ntsb.gov/events/usair427/items.htm

 

Cockpit voice recorder transcript

http://www.ntsb.gov/events/usair427/docket/d206.pdf

 

Video:

 

Minnesota Bridge Collapse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nerQhIyOwxM

 

 

Searchable Database

 

U.S. Coast Guard – National Response Center

http://www.nrc.uscg.mil/pls/htmldb/f?p=109:1:1022051918325354

 

 

Downloadable Database

 

U.S. Coast Guard – National Response Center

http://www.nrc.uscg.mil/download.html

 

Story:

 

Deep Creek Lake Rivals Ocean City for Most Recreational Boating Accidents”

By Patricia M. Murret

Capital News Service, Washington, DC

May 1, 2007

http://www.newsline.umd.edu/justice/deepcreek050107.htm

 

Companion Story:

 

“Boating Police Continue Ocean City Crackdown”

By Patricia M. Murret

Capital News Service, Washington, DC

May 1, 2007

http://www.newsline.umd.edu/justice/oceancity050107.htm

 

 

 

Emily – Education

 

National Education Association

http://www.nea.org/index.html

 

Education Commission of the States

http://www.ecs.org/

 

Education Week Research Center

http://www.edweek.org/rc/articles/2004/10/15/qc-archive.html

 

U.S. Department of Education

http://www.ed.gov

 

Searchable database:

 

Maryland State Department of Education

http://msp.msde.state.md.us/

 

Downloadable database:

 

National Center for Education Statistics

http://nces.ed.gov/

 

Story:

 

“School discipline: an uneven hand”

By Rebekah Denn

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Friday, March 15, 2002

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/disciplinegap/

 

 

 

 

Raquel – Environment

 

Chesapeake EcoCheck:

http://www.eco-check.org/

 

Society of Environmental Journalists:

http://www.sej.org/

 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

http://www.usace.army.mil/

 

 

Searchable Database

 

TOXNET – Toxicology Data Network

http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/

 

 

Downloadable Database

 

International Stormwater BMP Database

http://www.bmpdatabase.org/downloads.htm

 

 

Story:

 

“They Won’t Say No: Regulations Fail to Protect Wetlands”

By Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite

The St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla.

May 22, 2005

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/05/22/State/They_won_t_say_no.shtml

 

 

 

Tamara – Legislative Branch

 

 

The Library of Congress - Thomas

http://thomas.loc.gov/

 

Center for Responsive Politics

 http://www.Opensecrets.Org

 

National Conference of State Legislatures

http://www.ncsl.org/programs/legismgt/about/ContribLimits.htm

 

Searchable Database

 

Follow the Money

http://www.Followthemoney.Org/Database/Psearch/Index.Phtml

 

Downloadable Database

 

FEC 2008 Matching Fund Submissions

http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/ftp_download.shtml

 

Story:

 

“AP Analyzes House Freshmen Fund Raising”

Associated Press

By Jonathan D. Salant

Sept. 20, 2003

http://jclass.umd.edu/cars/secure/stories/APFreshman_fundraising.htm

(Use class logon and password)

 

 

Neall – Real Estate

 

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

www.hud.gov

 

National Low-Income Housing Coalition

www.nlihc.org

 

Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)

www.Fanniemae.com

 

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac)

www.Freddiemac.com

 

 

Downloadable Database:

 

Directory and List of Realtors and Real Estate Agents

http://www.real-estate-agent-lists.com/default.asp

 

Maryland Zoning Data

http://www.mdp.state.md.us/datadownload.htm

 

 

Searchable Database:

 

Real Property Search

http://sdatcert3.resiusa.org/rp_rewrite/

 

Story:

 

The Baltimore Sun's Ground Rent series

December 2006 - ongoing

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-groundrent,0,2450236.storygallery?coll=bal

 

 

Anath – Executive Branch

 

Fed World

http://www.fedworld.gov/

 

The Federal Register (publication)

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/search.html

 

The National Association of Retired Federal Employees

www.narfe.org

    

Databases:

 

The Center for Public Integrity's States of Disclosure Project

http://www.publicintegrity.org/StateDisclosure

 

Public Authorities Downloadable Database

www.census.gov/ftp/pub/govs/www/gid.html

 

Story:

 

"District Dodges Spending Laws"

By Dan Keating and David S. Fallis

The Washington Post

 November 27, 2005

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/26/AR2005112601139.html

 

 

Sara – Nonprofits

 

IRS Online Version of Publication 78
http://apps.irs.gov/app/pub78

Charity Navigator
http://www.charitynavigator.org/

Maryland Charities Database
http://www.sos.state.md.us/Charity/SearchCharity.htm

Foundation Center
http://foundationcenter.org/

Searchable database:


GuideStar
www.guidestar.org

Downloadable database:


IRS - exempt organizations
http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/charitablestats/article/0,,id=97186,00.html

Story:

"All glitter, little good; telemarketing machine pulls in millions while its investor does time in prison"
By Ronald Campbell
The Orange County Register
Santa Ana, Calif.
March 12, 2006
http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/news/atoz/article_1036195.php

 

 

Kate – Business

 

Searchable databases

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission

www.sec.gov

 

PR Newswire

www.prnewswire.com

 

Business Wire

www.businesswire.com

 

Downloadable databases

 

The United States Department of Labor

www.bls.gov/data

 

Medicare

www.medicare.gov

 

Story

 

“Pleasantville Board of Education President sought Money from Vendors”

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/special_reports/2007/Ethics/story/7494407p-7390291c.html

 

 

 

Mariana – Real estate

 

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

http://www.dhcd.state.md.us/Website/home/index.aspx

 

Housing and Urban Development, Office of Housing

www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/index.cfm

 

Urban Land Institute

www.uli.org/indexJS.htm

 

Searchable Database:

 

Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation

Real Property Data Search

http://sdatcert3.resiusa.org/rp_rewrite/

 

Downloadable Database:

 

Maryland Department of Planning Generalized Zoning Data

http://www.mdp.state.md.us/datadownload.htm

 

 

Story:

 

“On Shaky Ground”                                                                                

The Baltimore Sun

Fred Schulte and June Arney

December 10, 2006

[Part 1 of 3 in The Sun's ground-rent series]:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-te.bz.groundrent10dec10,1,5130457.story

 

 

 

Brie – World of the disadvantaged

 

National Poverty Center

http://npc.umich.edu/

 

Urban Institute

http://www.urban.org/welfare/index.cfm

           

Child Trends Databank

 http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/index.cfm

http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/indicators/40ChildMaltreatment.cfm

 

 

Searchable and Downloadable Databases

 

Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General

http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/exclusions.html

 

U.S. Census Bureau

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/poverty.html

 

Story:

 

“From Birth, Hardships Begin Assault”

By John Archibald and Jeff Hansen

The Birmingham News

July 28, 2002

http://www.al.com/specialreport/birminghamnews/index.ssf?blackbelt/blackbelt11.html

 

Series: “The Black Belt”

http://www.al.com/specialreport/birminghamnews/?blackbelt.html

 

 

 

 

Neall

 

Google News

http://news.google.com/

 

Slashdot

http://slashdot.org

 

 

StumbleUpon

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/138

http://www.stumbleupon.com/tag/investigative-reporting/

http://www.stumbleupon.com

 

LiveJournal.com

(an example of community-based source)

http://livejournal.com

 

Fark

http://www.fark.com/

 

 

 

April - Judicial Branch

 

Searchable Database:

 

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics:

http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/

 

Downloadable Databases:

 

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/NACJD/

 

 

Some Nuts and Bolts (How do the courts work?):

 

Federal Judicial Center

http://www.fjc.gov/federal/courts.nsf

 

U.S. Courts (Administrative Office of U.S. Courts)

www.uscourts.gov

 

Legal Information Institute

http://www.law.cornell.edu/states/

 

 

Where Can I Find Story Ideas?

 

National Criminal Justice Reference Service

http://ncjrs.gov/

 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

http://www.nacdl.org

 

 

Some Subject-Specific Resources:

 

http://www.childtrauma.org/ctamaterials/Juv_Fam_Ct.asp

Understanding Juvenile and Family Court, from the Child Trauma Academy

 

http://www.nprec.us/resources.htm

Information on sexual abuse in correctional facilities, from the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission

 

 

Story:

 

“Serving Life, With No Chance of Redemption”

By Adam Liptak

New York Times, October 5, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/05/national/05lifer.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

 

“How the Survey was Conducted”

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/national/02meth.html

 

Other stories in the series:

 

“To More Inmates, Life Term Means Dying Behind Bars”

New York Times, October 2, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/national/02life.web.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

 

Jailed for Life After Crimes as Teenagers”

New York Times, October 3, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/03/national/03lifers.html

 

Video narrated by Adam Liptak:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/03/national/03lifers.html

 

 

Michelle – Heath care

 

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

www.hhs.gov

 

The National Institutes of Health

www.nih.gov

 

Multi-agencies and health initiatives

www.health.gov

 

Searchable database

 

Medicare

www.medicare.gov

 

Downloadable Database

 

Nursing Home Compare

www.medicare.gov/download/downloaddb.asp

 

Story:

 

"Little Relief on Ward 53;

At Walter Reed, Care for Soldiers Struggling With War's Mental Trauma

Is Undermined by Doctor Shortages and Unfocused Methods"

By Anne Hull and Dana Priest

The Washington Post

June 18, 2007

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/17/AR2007061701351.html

 

 

 

Kelly – Environment

 

Searchable Databases

 

Chesapeake Bay Program

            http://www.chesapeakebay.net/wquality.htm

           

Department of Energy Patents

http://www.osti.gov/doepatents/

 

USDA Agricultural Research Service

http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/main.htm

 

Downloadable Database

           

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

http://www.serc.si.edu/research/longterm_data/dtocindx.jsp

 

Other sites:

 

National Technical Information Service

http://www.ntis.gov/

 

Environmental Protection Agency

http://www.epa.gov/

 

Federal Highway Administration

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/

 

World Bank

www.worldbank.org/environment

 

Cross-agency U.S. Government

http://airnow.gov/

 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

http://www.weather.gov/aq/

 

Story:

 

“Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm”

Dan Morgan, Gilbert M. Gaul and Sarah Cohen

The Washington Post Staff

July 2, 2006

Link to story

(requires class logon and password)

 

 

Raquel

Drudge Report

http://www.drudgereport.com/

 

Digg

http://www.digg.com/

 

Real Clear Politics

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/

 

Rethink College Park

http://www.rethinkcollegepark.net/blog/

 

Rotten Tomatoes

www.rottentomatoes.com

 

Google Blogs

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/ and

http://buzz.blogger.com/

 

Meebo

http://wwwl.meebo.com/

 

 

Emily

Television News and Ratings:

 

TV Week

http://www.tvweek.com/

 

Zap2it

http://www.zap2it.com/tv/ratings/

 

Movie News and Ratings:

 

Internet Movie Database

http://imdb.com/

 

Box Office Mojo

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/

 

Entertainment Industry News and Analysis:

 

Variety

http://www.variety.com/

 

Entertainment Weekly

http://www.ew.com/ew

 

TVGuide

http://www.tvguide.com/

 

Entertainment Communities:

 

Pop Candy

http://blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy/

 

OfficeTally

http://www.officetally.com/

 

Josh Wolk

http://www.joshwolk.com/blogs/index.php?blog=2

 

 

 

 

Tracy - Law Enforcement

 

The International Association of Chiefs of Police

www.theiacp.org

 

The National Tactical Officers Association

www.ntoa.org

 

National Center for Juvenile Justice

www.ncjj.org

 

The Youth Law Center (DC)

www.youthlawcenter.com

 

Searchable Database

 

Police Complaints

http://www.policecomplaint.com/complaintsearch.asp

 

Virginia State Juvenile Services

http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/juvenile/dmc/index.cfm#1

 

Downloadable Database

 

Bureau of Justice

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/dtdata.htm#demo

 

Story:

“Issues Still Surround Use of Force Probe”

By Gabriel Baird

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Sunday, January 14,  2007; A6

http://jclass.umd.edu/cars/secure/stories/Cleveland_Police_Baird/a6.pdf