Archive for November, 2009

Mining the web like a pro: Google and beyond

November 30th, 2009 by Jack

Points of emphasis for critical thinking:

  1. There’s more to search engines than just plugging in words.  The best searchers use the advanced features.  There are many places to find Google tips.
  2. No mainstream search engines, even Google, search anywhere close to the entire web.  They don’t include every page, nor the entirety of many longer documents.  That’s why you need to familiarize yourself with many of the sources I’ve reviewed this semester.  You can’t rely on Google exclusively.
  3. Web sites are not all created equalEvaluate, and trust primary sources FIRST.  Sometimes you’ll want to check who owns a web site.
  4. Web pages don’t die easily.  Old pages can be treasure troves.
  5. The first breakout web search tool was a subject guide.  They are still around and still useful.
  6. In addition to the “general” search tools, there are great “specialty” engines too.  Among the best known are Google NewsGoogle Books and YouTube.

M & M bylines

November 21st, 2009 by Jack

David Montalvo wrote about a Catholic veterans group seeking new members for The Queens Courier.

Kerri MacDonald wrote a piece for “The Local” about a computer glitch that kept Maplewood residents from getting e-mails containing H1N1 vaccination information.

Today’s bonus: A great place to find zip codes for New York City neighborhoods.  Could come in handy when using ReferenceUSA or looking for Census Bureau stats, among other things.

A research success story!

November 17th, 2009 by Jack

Another golden nugget from Heath Meriwether’s blog.

I can’t say it enough.  Nexis and Factiva, people, Nexis and Factiva.

Kerri MacDonald, on a roll

November 16th, 2009 by Jack

On “The Local” blog for the New York Times, Kerri covered a debate over whether rooming houses should be allowed in South Orange.

Today’s bonus: In the spring, I mentioned that archives of several magazines are being hosted at Google Books.   Now I’ve found a complete list, including Life.

Backgrounding resources (including social networking)

November 9th, 2009 by Jack

Points of emphasis for critical thinking:

  1. Backgrounding people is crucial.  For example, you never want to write a friendly story about someone, only to be burned by not doing proper backgrounding.
  2. Never trust any person—no matter who it is—as your sole source of information, even about him or her self…and sometimes ESPECIALLY about him or her self (e.g. people lying about their age).  Always verify!
  3. Last but not least: there’s some information generated about people that won’t be available.  As an example, consider Presidential candidates.  What information about them is released only at their discretion?

More bylines

November 6th, 2009 by Jack

Matt Robinson’s article about the capman of the Bronx found a home in the Daily News.

Kerri MacDonald’s piece about a zoning dispute in Maplewood is featured in The Local’s New Jersey edition.

Keep up the good work!

God bless you, Trudy Lieberman!

November 4th, 2009 by Jack

Read the last sentence of this Q&A with one of our school’s finest.  I mean, read the whole thing, but don’t miss the last sentence!

Latest sign of the apocalypse: Jayson Blair is speaking about journalism ethics?  Seriously?  Jayson Blair?