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Journalism 772 and 472: Computer-Assisted Reporting

Philip Merrill College of Journalism

University of Maryland

Summer 2004

 

 

Student presentation Web sites:

 

 

Mike – Executive branch

 

FedStats

http://www.fedstats.gov/

 

CDC/NIOSH:  Mine Safety and Health Administration stats

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/topics/data/mshadata.html

 

National Agricultural Statistics Service

http://www.usda.gov/nass/

 

Federal Inspectors General

http://www.ignet.gov/

 

State Administrative Law Resources

www.law.fsu.edu/library/admin/admin5.html

 

Project on Government Oversight - federal contractor misconduct database

http://www.pogo.org/db/index.cfm

 

“The Invisible Agencies: They Keep Fading, and 9/11 Didn’t Help”

Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review, September/October 2002, p. 57-59.

http://www.cjr.org/issues/2002/5/wash-lieb.asp

 

Story:

 

“Emergency funds spent to replace beach sand”

Gilbert M. Gaul, The Washington Post, May 29, 2004.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1111-2004May29.html

 

 

 

Bernie – Financial institutions

 

The Federal Reserve’s National Information Center

www.ffiec.gov/nic

 

The American Banker

www.americanbanker.com

.

Veribanc

www.veribanc.com

 

Data to download:

 

National Credit Union Administration

http://www.ncua.gov/data/FOIA/foia.html

 

FDIC – bank data

http://www2.fdic.gov/sdi/main.asp

 

Story:

 

 “The New Redlining”

Penny Loeb, Warren Cohen and Constance Johnson, U.S. News and World Report

April 17, 1995

http://wjcohen.home.mindspring.com/usnclips/redline.htm

 

 

K – Health care

 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

www.hhs.gov

 

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

www.fda.gov/cder

 

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

www.kff.org

 

Alan Guttmacher Institute

www.agi-usa.org

 

Health Services Cost Review Commission

www.hscrc.state.md.us

 

Article

“A Dangerous Place: Assisted Living in Virginia

David Fallis, The Washington Post

May 23-26, 2004

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52835-2004May24.html

 

 

 

Oda – Education

 

National Center For Education Stats

http://nces.ed.gov/

 

U.S. Dept of Education

http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/landing.jhtml?src=rt

 

Institute of Education Sciences

http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ies/index.html

 

Council of Chief State School Officers

       www.ccsso.org/seamenue.html

 

Education Writers Association

www.ewa.org

 

Story:

 

“Trouble on campus:  Enforcement cited for high rankings at Colorado schools”

Burt Hubbard, Rocky Mountain News

March 8, 2004

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_2712250,00.html

 

 

Ryan – Transportation

 

National Transportation Safety Board

www.ntsb.gov

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

www.nhtsa.dot.gov

 

Federal Railroad Administration

www.fra.dot.gov

 

Databases:

Federal Aviation Administration, National Aviation Safety Data Analysis Center

www.nasdac.faa.gov

 

Federal Transit Administration, National Transit Data Program

www.ntdprogram.com

 

Story:

 

“Injuries, Deaths by Train Up in State”

Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times

June 21, 2004 

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-trains21jun21,1,142595.story?coll=la-headlines-california

 

 

Bianca – Nonprofits

 

The IRS

www.irs.gov

 

National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy

www.ncrp.org

 

Guidestar

www.guidestar.org

 

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

http://www.carnegielibrary.org/locations/foundationcenter/nonprofit.html

 

National Center for Charitable Statistics

www.nccs.urban.org

 

Story:

 

“Investigation uncovers questionable breast cancer 'charity' ”

Robin Guess, ABC Action News [TampaSt. Petersburg, FL]

Feb. 10, 2003

http://www.abcactionnews.com/stories/2003/02/030210charity.shtml

 

 

 

Eric – Utilities

 

Energy Information Administration

http://www.eia.doe.gov/

 

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

http://www.nrc.gov/

 

Environmental Protection Agency

http://www.epa.gov/

 

Story:

 

“The record vs. the rhetoric;

Southern Co.'s feel-good ads ignore dirty clouds of smoke”

Carrie Teegardin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

June 8, 2003

http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/0603/08southern.html

 

 

Other sites for class discussions

 

Nursing home information for data analysis projects

 

Nursing Home Compare:  Detailed Information for each Quality Measure

http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare/Static/Related/QMList.asp?dest=NAV%7CResults%7CQualityMeasures%7CListQualityMeasures%7CQualitySelect

           Percent of Residents Whose Need for Help With Daily Activities Has Increased

           Percent of Residents Who Have Moderate to Severe Pain

           Percent of High-Risk Residents Who Have Pressure Sores

           Percent of Low-Risk Residents Who Have Pressure Sores

           Percent of Residents Who Were Physically Restrained

           Percent of Residents Who are More Depressed or Anxious

           Percent of Low-Risk Residents Who Lose Control of Their Bowels or Bladder

           Percent of Residents Who Have/Had a Catheter Inserted and Left in Their Bladder

           Percent of Residents Who Spent Most of Their Time in Bed or in a Chair

           Percent of Residents Whose Ability to Move About in and Around Their Room Got Worse

           Percent of Residents with a Urinary Tract Infection

           Percent of Short-Stay Residents With Delirium

           Percent of Short-Stay Residents Who Had Moderate to Severe Pain

           Percent of Short-Stay Residents With Pressure Sores

 

Information about Pressure Sores

http://medicare.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/medicare.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1271&p_created=1033946731

 

Nursing Home Quality Initiative

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/quality/nhqi/

 

“ENHANCED SET OF QUALITY MEASURES NOW AVAILABLE

AT MEDICARE'S EASIER-TO-USE NURSING HOME COMPARE”

CMS News

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 22, 2004

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/media/press/release.asp?Counter=947

 

“Final Draft of Technical Information for the Quality Measures included

 in the Nursing Home Quality Initiative / October 22, 2002

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/quality/nhqi/NH20021029More.pdf

 

Sites dealing with issues in experimentation on patients

http://www.ccne-ethique.fr/english/avis/a_007.htm

 

 

Thinking about data

(courtesy of Eric)

 

“How Good Are Your Numbers”

Journalism.org [www.journalism.org]

http://www.journalism.org/resources/tools/reporting/numbers/goodnumbers.asp?from=online

 

 

 

Polling and surveys

 

“20 Questions A Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results”

By Sheldon R. Gawiser and G. Evans Witt

http://www.vox-populi.org/polling101/20questions.html

 

Polls for discussion of polling issues

 

“Newsweek Poll: And They're Off

Kerry surges to the head of the pack, beating even Bush in a hypothetical election.

But the Democratic horserace is still far from over”

MSNBC.com

Jan. 24, 2004

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4049942/

 

“Kerry, Edwards surge

Iowa Poll finds surge by Kerry, Edwards”

DesMoines Register.com

Jan. 18, 2004

http://desmoinesregister.com/news/stories/c4789004/23290009.html

 

Database issues

 

“Justice Department Says It Can't Share Lobbying Data Because Computer System Will Crash”

Ted Bridis, Associated Press

Jun 29, 2004

http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGBDP9DE2WD.html

 

 

National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR)

http://www.nicar.org/

 

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC)

http://trac.syr.edu

 

“New 2003 Data: 625 Terrorism Deaths, Not 307”

Peter Slevin, The Washington Post

June 23, 2004

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60660-2004Jun22.html

Excerpts:

John O. Brennan, a 23-year CIA veteran who oversaw the effort, took "personal responsibility." He blamed antiquated computers and personnel shortages for the errors and dismissed suggestions that the administration purposely fabricated the figures.”

….

Speaking with reporters yesterday, Powell pointed to "computational and accounting errors." He added: "The American people can have confidence in what we are doing and what we have done."

....

Brennan, for years a senior aide to CIA Director George J. Tenet, cited confusion as the task was shifted to the TTIC. He pointed to an "exceptionally antiquated database." A key supervisor departed in December and was not replaced, he said. Private contractors rotated in and out.

....

Brennan also cited "inattention." Information was wrongly entered into computers. No attacks that occurred after Nov. 11, 2003, were included, and neither the CIA nor the State Department noticed.

 

 

Timely open-records issues:

 

Reporters Committee for Freedom of Press

http://www.rcfp.org/

 

“Open records audit shows 50 percent compliance;

Public employees in Ohio filled open records requests as required by state law only half of the time,

according to an audit sponsored by the Ohio Coalition for Open Government”

News Media Update, Reporters Committee for Freedom of Press

June 10, 2004

http://www.rcfp.org/news/2004/0610ohioau.html

 

“County police not releasing all rape data”

C. Benjamin Ford, Gazette.net [Montgomery County News]

June 23, 2004

http://www.gazette.net/200426/montgomerycty/county/222623-1.html