Check out some of my favorite research tips, strategies and resources from this year’s Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, where about 1,100 incredibly talented journalists are meeting in San Antonio. These conferences are geared for journalists, but really anyone who’s interested in research tools will find many of these tips handy.
Freelance photojournalist Tamir Kalifa spent two days working on this stunning time-lapse video of the Texas Legislature’s opening day for the 83rd legislative session. Lawmakers convene in Austin every two years and the event is widely covered by the media. But Kalifa, an intern at the Texas Tribune, captured the energy of the day in … Read more
The friendly folks at the Association of Health Care Journalists held a conference last week in San Antonio, and they invited me to present an introduction about Google Fusion Tables. If you’re familiar with Microsoft Excel or Access, you might like Fusion Tables. It’s a free tool that allows you to create interactive maps and … Read more
Wow, a lot of people are very, very eager to learn how to search the web more effectively. My post about Daniel Russell’s awesome Google search techniques has generated a ton of traffic and great reactions. And today we learn that Google is going to start offering lessons to people to become power searchers. Course … Read more
Daniel Russell stood in front of a crowd of investigative journalists in Boston last week and showed us this picture of a random skyscraper in an unknown city: Russell posed a riddle: What’s the phone number of the office where this picture was snapped? Let that sink in. He wasn’t asking for a phone number … Read more
The classic stereotype about journalists is that we’re all backstabbing vultures who would sell our mothers for a good story. Nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, we only sell our mothers for really, really good stories. But more importantly, we’re actually an amazingly friendly, collaborative bunch. I’m in Boston where more … Read more
A few months ago, my boss, Express-News Projects Editor David Sheppard, asked me to see what we could find out about wrong-way crashes on highways. It seemed like there were a lot of these deadly accidents in the news lately, and local officials had recently unveiled a $500,000 pilot project to install flashing wrong-way signs … Read more
If you’ve ever suspected your neighborhood gas station is stiffing you at the pump, you might already know you can file a complaint with the Weights and Measures Program at the Texas Department of Agriculture. The agency’s inspectors verify the accuracy of gas pumps. But which stations rack up the most complaints, flunk the most … Read more
Journalists Adam Sulfridge and Samantha Swindler were both in their 20s and working for a small newspaper, the Times-Tribune in Whitley County, Kentucky, when they began investigating rumors about Sheriff Lawrence Hodge and his ties to drug dealers. Federal agents had investigated Hodge in the past but their inquiry fizzled. The sheriff was too insulated … Read more
I shot some video over the weekend but it was so windy most of the audio was obliterated. So I ended up making a music video. It wasn’t exactly what I planned. But maybe it was better.