Resources on the Internet for Business Journalists

Ira Chinoy

  Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland


Last updated 7/21/2008



“Using the Internet as a Reporting Tool for Business Journalism,” by Ira Chinoy:

NOTE:  These remarks were prepared for a presentation to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers on Oct. 5, 2004.  An abridged version of the presentation also appeared in SABEW’s newsletter, The Business Journalist, for December 2004, as the article “The Internet as a Reporting Tool.”


Sites with collections of useful links

Society of American Business Editors and Writers:

Online resources:

Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE):

IRE Resource Center:

The National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR):

NICAR Net Tour:

NICAR database library:

A Journalist’s Guide to the Internet, by Chris Callahan:

Business page:

Federal government page:

State and local government page:

Business beat:

Poynter Institute’s resource center:

Links to links for hot news stories:

            Writing and editing tips:

American Press Institute – The Journalist’s Toolbox:

Portico:  Find businesses by category:

Yahoo Finance:

Wachowicz's Web World:

            Links to topics in finance, by Univ. of Tennessee Professor John Wachowicz,

coauthor of Fundamentals of Financial Management.

The New York Times Newsroom Navigator:


             Business Navigator:

             Politics Navigator:

             Health Navigator:

Baruch College/CUNY Master’s Program in Business Journalism:

Home page:

            Tools for business journalism: - The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism

at the American Press Institute:

Jonathan Oatis – Web sites for business journalists:

The Open Directory Project – Business:


Reference:  definitions, math, maps, historical context, etc.

“The History of Business Journalism,” Chris Roush, UNC-Chapel Hill:


New York Times glossary of financial terms: 


Yahoo glossary of financial terms: – glossary: – searchable reference works:


Math for Journalists:

Value Quotes – Quotes on value and values:

Google Maps Beta:

Open Directory Project – Timelines of history:

HyperHistory Online:

Biographical Dictionary:

The Time 100:

The World Wide Web Virtual Library:


Web tools

Reporter’s Desktop:

            Query forms for multiple search engines

Librarians’ Index to the Internet:

The Internet Scout Project: – a network of information searchers:

Gary Price’s “Direct Search” -

Gary Price’s “Fast Facts” -

Introduction to Reference Work, Volumes I and II:

Pandia Search Central:

Master list:

Search Engine Watch:



AlltheWeb:  - Search engine 

Vivísimo: Search engine groups results in clusters by common elements:

Vivísimo search for “business journalists”:


Clusty: Vivisimo tool clusters results and has customizable features. Search engine – analyzes your search and finds related sites

Alexa: Search engine – displays images of some pages.

Grokker: Search tool organizes results in clusters using a visual map.



Free & fee-based databases available at or through public universities

University of Maryland Libraries:

New York University Libraries:


Internet lists, newsgroups, blogs and chatrooms

L-Soft - catalog of LISTSERV lists: – list of lists:

Journalism-related lists:

Newsgroup search from Google:

Journalism blogs:

CyberJournalist List:

Spot news sites:

Weblogs – Yahoo:

Chatrooms – Yahoo:


Investigative reporting on business

SABEW’s Best in Business contest award winners:!OpenDocument&Start=1&Count=200&Expand=2

Investigative Reporters and Editors – archive of reporting projects on the Web

Business reporting projects:

Workplace reporting projects:

Government reporting projects:

Health reporting projects:

Computer-assisted reporting projects:

Online investigative reporting projects (need to be IRE member):                


     Annual Journalism Award Winners – Newsletters and Electronic Publishers:

Classic Reporting:

     Works by Donald Barlett and James Steele:

     Ida Tarbell’s A History of the Standard Oil Company (1904)

Text in electronic format:



Business news and trends:

Business magazines:

Business news:

LookSmart’s FindArticles:

Business & finance publications:

HBS Working Knowledge:

Harvard Business School site following developments in 13 management topics.


Securities and Exchange Commission filings

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – EDGAR Database:

Guide to SEC Forms:
               Examples for demo:
               MARTHA STEWART CIK search
               10K (annual):
               DEF 14A (proxy info):


Edgar Online, Inc.:

IPO Monitor:


Examples of tools for making connections


Example -- Enron:


TouchGraph GoogleBrowser:


The economy

Federal Reserve

Economic Research and Data:

U.S. Census Economic Programs:

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce:


Industry, business, and occupation profiles and issues

Department of Labor:

Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Standard Occupational Classification System:

DOL Dictionary of Occupational Titles:



D & B:

Standard & Poor’s:

InfoUSA Business Information:

The Corporate Library:

Business brokers:

Search via Vivisimo:

            Example – USABizMart:



U.S. Census Bureau E-Commerce Statistics:


The U.S. Census, demographics, and general statistics

U.S. Census:

Site search:

Economic programs:

State data centers:



Kid's Count Data Book:

Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.:


Government generally…


Federal agencies:

State agencies:

Local agencies:

Office of Management and Budget:


Federal Agencies with Statistical Programs:

GPO Access:  The Government Printing Office:

Government Executive magazine:

            Top 200 federal contractors:

            Procurement Preview – Special Annual Issue:


Business and government

“The Business Gateway to Federal Resources”

FedBizOpps – Federal Business Opportunities:

U.S. Department of Commerce:

Commerce Business Daily (to 1/2/ 2002):

International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce:

U.S. Small Business Administration:

U.S. Business Advisor:


The business of politics

Federal Election Commission:

The Center for Responsive Politics --

Campaign donors:

Contributions by industry:

Lobbyists database:

The Center for Public Integrity -- State Projects:

PoliticalMoneyLine / FECInfo /


Federal assistance and other programs:  The good, the bad, …

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance:

Federal Assistance Award Data System:

“THE single access point for over 900 grant programs offered by the 26 Federal grant-making agencies”

Federal Audit Clearinghouse:

IGnet – Federal inspectors general:

U.S. Government Accountability Office -- GAO Reports:

GAO – Investigators Guide to Sources of Information (1997):

Congressional Research Service (Posted by the National Library for the Environment):

Yahoo -- Government Fraud and Waste:

Yahoo -- Corporate Welfare:

POGO -- Project on Government Oversight: – National Fraud Information Center / Internet Fraud Watch:



Law and regulation:  Federal

State and Local Gateway:


            Facts and figures:,,id=98357,00.html

Criminal tax fraud info:,,id=112480,00.html

            Annual report: criminal investigations:,,id=122537,00.html

Federal Trade Commission:

The Library of Congress – Thomas, Legislative Information on the Internet:

Federal Register online:

U.S. Courts:



Environmental Protection Agency:

Finding people to talk to in federal agencies - examples

Department of Commerce person finder:

DOE This Month (Department of Energy):

Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory:  Government lawyers:


And if their quest for a big house leads them to the “big house” …

Federal Bureau of Prisons – Inmate Locator:

Out:  Martha Stewart:

            Still in:  Samuel Waksal:

If you must go:

From the Penthouse to the Big House; David Novak did time as a white-collar crook at Eglin Federal Prison Camp, aka Club Fed. Now he advises first-time felons on how to survive life on the inside. Hey, Ken and Jeff (and Bernie and Sam and Dennis), would you like his number?” by Chuck Salter,

            David Novak Consulting:

DownTime - A Guide to Federal Incarceration:

Financial Scandals: A Guide with Links to Information Sources


Licensing and regulation:  State and local

Maryland Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing:

National Association of Secretaries of State -- Corporate Registration:

National Center for State Courts:

Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation:


Public records

SearchSystems -- Searchable public records on the Web:

Government documents repository at McKeldin Library, University of Maryland:\

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

            Tapping Officials’ Secrets:

Electronic Access to Court Records (state by state):

Merlin Information Services:

                        See “Industry Links” for state-by-state public records on the Web - FAA Service Difficulty Reports:$pass*58675635!


Workplace and contract issues

Department of Labor Research Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

Federal Labor Relations Authority:

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

OSHA Statistics and Data:

OSHA inspections:

OSHA Workplace Safety Data available from NICAR:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Worker Fatalities Data:

The Worst Jobs in History:

            A tour through 2,000 years of British history – from an unusual perspective;

produced by Britain’s TV Channel 4.



Consumer and investor protection

Consumer Product Safety Commission:

National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators:

National Association of Attorneys General:

Securities Investor Protection Corp.:

Securities Class Action Clearinghouse:


Invention, innovation, technology and science

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:


Office of Technology Assessment archives (to 1995):


(press service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for embargoed access to new scientific research)


Health care

National Center for Health Statistics:

National Association of Health Data Organizations:

National Library of Medicine:

Medical Product Safety Information:

Food and Drug Administration:

Department of Health and Human Services:

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:

American Medical Association:

The American Hospital Association:

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations:

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America:

U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs:

Emergency Care Research Institute:

Administrators in Medicine (links to state boards):


Banking, finance and real estate

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation:

            FDIC Summary of Deposits:

            Deposit Market Share:

FDIC Statistics on Depository Institutions:

National Credit Union Administration:

Office of Thrift Supervision:

Federal Reserve Board:

Federal Financial Institution Examination Council:

            HMDA Data Products:

Community Reinvestment Act Performance Ratings:

House Financial Services Committee:

Senate Finance Committee:

Conference of State Bank Supervisors:

Appraisal Institute:

Local appraisal and tax assessments:


            Merlin Information Services (see “Industry Links”):


Business on business

PR Newswire:

Business Wire:

Corporate Annual Reports:



American Institute of Philanthropy:

The Foundation Center:

National Association of State Charity Officials:

Guidestar – Nonprofits, 990s:



National Association of Insurance Commissioners:

NAIC consumer information:

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud:

Insurance Services Office, Inc.:

ISO’s page of links:

American Agent and Broker:  Magazine for insurance agents:

Health Care Insurance Association of America:


Trade associations and interest groups

Yahoo listing of trade associations:

The Epsom Salt Industry Council:

The Pet Food Institute:

National Association of Tower Erectors:

The National Paint & Coatings Assn.:

The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters:

The Iranian Trade Association:

National Association of Realtors:



Business of media


Federal Communications Commission:

Business magazines:

Business news:

Newspaper Association of America:

Magazine Publishers of America:

National Association of Broadcasters:

National Cable Television Association:

Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association (NEPA):

Interactive Advertising Bureau:

Motion Picture Association of America:

Recording Industry Association of America:


Public opinion

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:

Public Agenda:



Global economic, social and technological issues

World Bank Poverty Monitoring Database:

Currency converter:

“The Discovery of Global Warming,” Spencer Weart, American Institute of Physics:


The visual display of data:  Graphics, charts and maps

IRE archive of mapping projects on the Web:

Edward Tufte – graphics guru:

A classic:   Charles Joseph Minard’s1869 graphic of Napoleon’s Russia campaign of 1812-1813:

Florida Today: “NASA never studied debris risks”:



National Press Club database of experts:

Kitty Bennett’s list of sources and experts:


Sites with databases to download or purchase

National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting – database library:

The Association of Public Data Users:

Selected public data links:

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research:

2000 Census Data for Maryland:


Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience Database - (MAUDE):

Census:  Federal, State, and Local Government Data:

Consolidated Federal Funds Report:

Federal Assistance Award Data System:

Bureau of Labor Statistics:

U.S. Census Bureau E-Commerce Statistics:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: National Compensation Survey Tables:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Worker Fatalities Data:

The Urban Institute’s State Database:

American Public Human Services Association – Federal Data Index:

Right-to-Know Network – Environmental Databases:

Toxicology Data Network TOXNET:

EPA Data:

EPA Envirofacts:

Historical Severe Weather Data – NOAA:


Grab bag of other sites (suggested by attendees of past sessions):

Maps in the News (John R. Borchert Map Library, Univ. of Minn.): – maps, satellite phoros and data by zip code: 

Home page:

Example:  Zip code 20814 (in Bethesda, MD):

Links for reporting on energy-related issues:

            Energy-related links from the International Association for Energy Economics:


            U.S. Department of Energy:

            Energy Information Administration – energy statistics from the federal government:

            U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

Public Utility Research Center, Univ. of Florida:

            National Association of Regulatory Utility Centers:

National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

WTRG Economics – Energy economics site:

WorksOnWork – Index of work-related materials:

(from the Herman Reference Room, Industrial Relations Center, University of Minnesota)

I Want Media – links to daily media news:

FRED Database for economic research from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

Home page:

Data downloads:

Bankruptcy Research Database, Prof. Lynn M. LoPucki:

National Foundation for Credit Counseling:

Consumer Credit Counseling Service:

Wall Street Jounral Online (fee based): – economic data: – “corporate memos and internal communication”:

Value Line – investment research:

Stone & McCarthy Research Associates: -   :

“The Dismal Scientist,” from

NewsEngin – knowledge management tools for news organizations:

            Percent change calculator:

Society of Environmental Journalists:

U.S. Department of Justice: – Yellow Pages:


On a lighter note…

Mission Statement Generator - from Dilbert: 


Web Economy BS Generator:

Buzz Whack – Dedicated to de-mystifying buzzwords:


And last but not least, a plug or two …

Mining databases for news:  Computer-assisted reporting

JOUR 472 / 772, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Univ. of Maryland:



Links to data on the Web:

Links to stories on the Web:


Mining archives for news stories:   When really old stuff is news…

JOUR 474 / 774, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Univ. of Maryland:


Resources page:

“Investigative Reporters, the National Archives, and the Search for ‘Nazi Gold’ and other Treasures,” by Greg Bradsher of the National Archives

“Turning History into Justice: Holocaust-Era Assets Records, Research, and Restitution March 1996-March 2001,” by Greg Bradsher, National Archives:




Some examples