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Journalism 772 and 472: Computer-Assisted Reporting

Philip Merrill College of Journalism

University of Maryland

Spring 2006


Student presentation Web sites

and Web sites for issues in the news:


Past semesters:




Items for discussion


“BBC/Reuters/Media Center Poll: Trust in the Media”

GlobeScan Poll

Wednesday 3 May 2006



 “Study Finds Medicare Operators Often Give Bad Information”

Ceci Connolly, The Washington Post

Thursday, May 4, 2006



“Medicare: Communications to Beneficiaries on the Prescription Drug Benefit Could Be Improved”

Government Accountability Office

GAO-06-654, May 3, 2006


Link to other current reports and testimony:





Burma: worst army attacks in years displace thousands”

May 10, 2006

Source: Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)


Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre


“Drum beats louder for action on Burma

The Nation

May 10, 2006


“9,300 Burmese may get political asylum in U.S.;

Some could follow family members to Fort Wayne.”

From The Associated Press

Reported in the Fort Wayne, Ind., papers online

May 10, 2006




Jenifer – Education


U.S. Department of Education


2005 Maryland Report Card


American Federation of Teachers


Public Agenda




National Center for Education Statistics


U.S. Census Bureau




“In college, first year is by far the riskiest”

USA TODAY, Jan. 25, 2006

By Robert Davis and Anthony DeBarros



Dan – Executive branch


Bureau of Labor Statistics


Council for Excellence in Government


Federal Register


Federal Times




Library if Congress – Thomas


National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers


Office of Government Ethics





“The Lush Life of a Rudy Appointee:

How a Politically Tied Aide Spent a Quarter of a Million Dollars on Food, Fun, and Travel”

Tom Robins, The Village Voice

April 10-16, 2002,robbins,33781,5.html


Diego – Private sector:  businesses and workers


Federal Trade Commission antitrust case filings


Oxfam's Unilever report








Department of Labor - Employment


OSHA Statistics




“JetGreen: The CEO's Private Golf Shuttle”

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 1, 2005

By Mark Maremont


(requires class login and password)




Melissa – Health care


The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation


The Department of Health and Human Services


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention


National Institutes of Health


National Library of Medicine


Food and Drug Administration


Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations



(The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)


National Center for Health Statistics (CDC)




“Lack of Funds Reduces Frequency of Health Inspections”

The Washington Post

July 25, 2005




Jared – Education


U.S. Department of Education


Public Agenda


The Chronicle of Higher Education


Security on Campus Inc.




U.S. Department of Education


U.S. Census





“Teachers who fail”

Chris Davis and Matthew Doig

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

December 12, 2004


Main story


How it was done:


A fight for information:



Monty – World of the disadvantaged


Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families

at the University of Maryland


Administration for Children and Families

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


American Public Human Services Association


U.S. Census Bureau




Bureau of Justice Statistics


Kids Count




“The Pineros: Men of the Pines”

The Sacramento Bee

November 13, 2005



Rick – legislative branch


IRE archives


Federal Election Commission


Examples of FEC records:


John Sullivan for Congress disclosure records: 

Report of Receipts and Disbursements


Itemized Disbursements.


More Itemized Disbursements.


Ernest Istook for Congress disclosure records:

Miscellaneous Report.


Contribution Notice.


Quarterly Report.



House – Ethics Manual


House – Office of the Clerk


Congressional Budget Office




“Public pays tab for vehicle use”

Chris Casteel, The Sunday Oklahoman

August 21, 2005.

Link to related AP story

(requires class login and password)



Joe – Law enforcement


Law enforcement accreditation


United States Marshal Service


State Sex offender registry Web sites:




Federal Inmate Locator:


National Archive of Criminal Justice Data




"Badge of Immunity"

Michael J. Berens

The Columbus Dispatch

June 22-24, 1997




Julie – World of the disadvantaged


The Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families


The Urban Institute


The Rural Poverty Research Center


American Public Human Services Association


The Finance Project (formerly



Kid’s Count State-Level Data Online


At First Look at Literacy in America’s Adults



“Growing Out of Foster Care”

The Seattle Times, October 28, 2004



Bethonie – Executive branch


Office of Government Ethics


Office of Management and Budget


United States Census Bureau


Bureau of Labor Statistics


Independent Budget Office of the City of New York


Washington, DC Office of Tax and Revenue,a,1330,q,594345.asp




"When it comes to taxes, older is better"

Josh Barbanel, The New York Times, December 11, 2005


"How the Analysis was Done"



Karine – Transportation


US Department of Transportation


Federal Aviation Administration


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


Department of Homeland Security


The Transportation Research Board




National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Database


Bureau of Transportation Statistics




“Security checks reveal serious lapses at Sea-Tac”

 David Heath, Susan Kelleher, James Neff and Justin Mayo

The Seattle Times

September 16, 2001


(requires class login and password)



David – Environment


Toxic Release Inventory, EPA



Envirofacts Data Warehouse



Toxnet: Toxicology Data Network


The Federal Register


National Association of Attorneys General




“In Harm’s Way:

Troubled neighbors;

People who live nearest to the area's refineries and petrochemical complexes

have little idea what's in the air that blows across industry's fence line

and into their lives.”

By Dina Cappiello, The Houston Chronicle



Emily — Environment


Environmental Protection Agency: Laws & Regulations


Environmental Protection Agency: Integrated Risk Information System


Environmental Defense Fund


Society of Environmental Journalists: Useful Links


Scorecard: The Pollution Information Site





TOXNET: Toxicology Data Network


Emergency Release Notification System (ERNS)




“How developers cash in on 'farmland”

The Miami Herald

August 21, 2005




Rema – Health care


Virginia Department of Social Services


Virginia Department of Health Professions


Virginia State Police-Sex Offender Registry Search


US Food and Drug Administration


Department of Health NY State


Federation of State Medical Boards


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),

Office of Applied Studies (OAS)




“A Dangerous Place:  Assisted Living in Virginia

David S. Fallis

The Washington Post




Jonathan – Judicial system


U.S. Courts


U.S. Department of Justice


United States Sentencing Commission


Federal Bureau of Prisons


District Court of Maryland


Delegate Richard A. Palumbo, District 22A





U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics

Bureau of Justice Statistics Publications


Department of Justice

FY2005 Budget and Performance Summary




“Lawyers’ Bills to State Don’t Add Up”

Defenders of the poor use and honor system that’s vulnerable to abuse and errors

Gary L. Wright and Ames Alexander

The Charlotte Observer

March 12, 2006


“Lawyers’ Billings Get Closer Scrutiny in Mecklenberg”

The Charlotte Observer


How the reporting was done:




Mary – Judicial system


National Center for State Courts


Federal Bureau of Prisons


American Bar Association – Criminal Justice Page


U.S. Courts




Bureau of Justice Statistics


Federal Justice Statistics Resource Center




“DUI: A Failure to Convict”

By Brad Branan

The Tucson Citizen

August 17-19, 2005




Leticia- International Investigations

(Crossing Borders)


CIA World Fact Book:


Global Yellow Pages


Governments on the World Wide Web




United Nations


Organization of American States


European Union


Africa Union


Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development


Asian Development Bank


Financial and trade


International Monetary Found


World Trade Organization


World Bank


Interamerican-Development Bank


Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries


Social issues


World Health Organization




Amnesty International


Human Rights Watch




Online newspapers


Investigative Reporters and Editors


International Journalists’ Network




U.S. Census Bureau


Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,2639,en_2825_293564_1_1_1_1_1,00.html




“Made in the USA, Part III: The Dishonor Roll

America’s corporate merchants of death in Iraq

By Jim Crogan

LA Weekly

Thursday, April 24, 2003





Reed – Law enforcement


BLS National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Protective Services


Brady Campaign:  Handgun Purchase Waiting Periods by State


ACLU Police Practices Watchdog Site


National Integrated Ballistics Information Network




Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Fatalities Database


ATF Federal Firearms License EZCheck Searchable Database


Bureau of Justice Statistics Background Checks for Firearm Transfer (Available in PDF or zipped spreadsheet formats)




"Cops Attack Gun Availability, Yet Recycle Own Weapons"

Press of Atlantic City (New Jersey)

April 22, 2003



Khin – Charities and other nonprofits 


The Foundation Center




Better Business Bureau





National Charity Reports Index


Foundation Center:  Statistics on Grant Makers and Grants Awarded


Charity Navigator




“Charities on the Hill”

The Washington Post

Tuesday, March 7, 2006; A16


“With a Little Help from His Friends”

The American Prospect

Week of March 10, 2006



“Santorum charity fell short of giving goal: 

Operation Good Neighbor donated about 40% of what it spent. The BBB says such groups should allocate 65%.”

Associated Press

By Kimberly Hefling

Feb. 25, 2006


“IRS finds churches, charities overstep into politics”

The Associated Press

March 2, 2006