Google is the It makes us lazy. Is it the best source? What about: Devil Telephone-Assisted Reporting Almanac-Assisted Reporting Encyclopedia-Assisted Reporting Reference Librarian-Assisted Reporting
Google is an A grand, unified source of information if… Angel You know what you’re seeking You focus your search You know it when you see it
The Web is part of your beat! Surf around Treat it like your beat Bookmark the ones that work for you Don’t search, ORGANIZE
But Remember… Most records start out on paper The “Document Frame of Mind” There’s a record out there and I’m going to find it! The intersection of government and citizens How does information flow?
Have a Strategy Know the law Know the records Know where to get the records A primer http://www.nreisner.com/PublicRecords.htm
Your new best friend… Records Retention Schedules Records Retention Schedules Records Retention Schedules Rules for records disposal Inventory of all records an agency keeps Make it your first record request
Main Entrances NICAR `Net Tour http://www.ire.org/training/nettour/index.html http://www.ire.org/training/nettour/index.html http://www.ire.org/training/nettour/index.html Reporter.Org: http://www.reporter.org http://www.reporter.orghttp://www.reporter.org Reporters Desktop: http://www.reporter.org/desktop http://www.reporter.org/desktop http://www.reporter.org/desktop Power Reporting: http://www.powerreporting.org http://www.powerreporting.org http://www.powerreporting.org
Utility Sites WHOIS: http://whois.domaintools.com/ http://whois.domaintools.com/ Who owns that site? Portico: indorgs.virginia.edu/portico/ indorgs.virginia.edu/portico/ Asset locator, property records, more. FedStats: www.fedstats.gov www.fedstats.gov Portal to government statistics. FirstGov: www.firstgov.gov www.firstgov.gov Portal to federal and local governments.
More Utility Sites Census Bureau: www.census.gov www.census.gov Numbers and much more. CIA World Factbook: www.cia.gov www.cia.gov International info. More International info: http://www.nationmaster.com
People Finders Argali: www.argali.com www.argali.com Phone numbers, addresses, reverse directory. Download required. Backgrounding John Doe: http://www.reporter.org/desktop/tips/johndoe.htm http://www.reporter.org/desktop/tips/johndoe.htm http://www.reporter.org/desktop/tips/johndoe.htm Where to find the paper. Where to find the paper. Freeality: www.freeality.com www.freeality.com Metasearch phone directories.
Public Records Search Engines Search systems: http://www.searchsystems.net Public records search engine. Slower, more variety and choice. Pretrieve www.pretrieve.com Better organized, faster, less variety and choice
When you have to search Google: www.google.com www.google.com Broad search, ranks sites, but still not complete. Less organized. Yahoo: search.yahoo.com search.yahoo.com Google-like interface. Invisible Web: www.invisibleweb.com www.invisibleweb.com Deeper search, hits sites others don’t.
When you have to search (cont’d) Mrsapo http://www.mrsapo.com/ Search engine portal. Topix www.topix.net News portal Article Search www.findarticles.com/ If you don’t have Lexis/Nexis.
More Google Google advanced: http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en Academic/professional works: http://scholar.google.com http://scholar.google.com http://scholar.google.com Pictures/documents http://images.google.com Nearby businesses http://local.google.com
Even More Google Be notified about a story/source: http://www.google.com/alerts What Google’s working on: http://labs.google.com/ http://labs.google.com/
Lurking Dangers What do Yogi Berra, Niels Bohr, Samuel Goldwyn, Dan Quayle and Mark Twain have in common? According to Google results, they all are responsible for the saying, “Prediction is difficult, especially about the future.”
Finding government audits Government Accountability Office reports: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gaoreports/i ndex.html http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gaoreports/i ndex.html Federal Audit Clearinghouse Database of audits of all non-federal entities that receive federal money each year. http://harvester.census.gov/sac http://harvester.census.gov/sac
What the government publishes Government Printing Office http://www.gpoaccess.gov/databases.ht ml http://www.gpoaccess.gov/databases.ht ml http://www.gpoaccess.gov/databases.ht ml
Everything else Quick Reference: http://www.refdesk.com/index.html What you used to keep on your desk – almanacs, dictionaries, thesauri, etc. Run by Matt Drudge’s father Bob.