Back in DC:
Pete makes the point I’m thinking we want to make with this blog. I’ve been asked why we would do this when we already have a great communications tool in the Newslib listserv. I question that myself but I think the reason is to post the sort of things that Pete has posted: interesting and useful comments about news we can use or links we might all be interested in. Also: this forum is a bit more public: since I’ve made this a ‘private’ blog so far it isn’t showing up on Blogger’s lists but once Google finds it or people start linking to it any one will be able to find it. So this is more of a forum for news researchers to put information out there that we’d like everyone who’s interested to know about.
And, news from IRE: The Washington committee put together a terrific program. At least one researcher, Margot Williams, was one of the organizers. Examples of what researchers have been able to share in last day or two: A session this morning on using the National Archives, including a tour. I didn’t go on the tour, but maybe someone can contribute some words about that. Also, last night, a very entertaining panel on covering the war and terrorism (and discussion of the NYT’s problems) from Bob Woodward, Seymour Hersh, Judy Woodruff, and CBS’s David Martin. This panel alone was worth the price of conference registration. Today at the lunch the speaker was Ben Bradlee, who spellbound the audience with great stories, including the story of his first investigative reporting job, where he climbed out on a ledge on the 11th floor of the Willard Hotel to take notes while police talked a potential jumper down.
There have been some great panels, including a couple with Bartlett and Steele, on finding and using documents in investigative reporting. Hearing great reporters talk about documents — whether old clips or regulatory agency reports — reminds us what our work is all about.
– Liz Donovan, in DC.
From IRE: I failed to mention Alice Crites, of the Washington Post, who also did a panel yesterday at IRE, on investigating white collar crime.
Some interesting panels here: last night a Showcase Panel on privacy and homeland security was replaced by a panel discussing the disturbing news from the New York Times. On the panel: Geneva Overholzer, Daniel Schorr, Ford Fessenden, Mike Getler, Tom Kunkel, Hedrick Smith, and Mark Rochester. Quite a group.
News researchers met for lunch today and had some good discussions, including some new faces from outside the news research/SLA group.
Best quote from a panel so far: Pedro Armendares, of Periodistas de Investigacion, talking about online searching (he was acutally talking about digging for public records in Searchsystems.net): he said, You must treat (a database) like a source: talk to it, spend time with it, away from deadline. Seduce it. You will get more from it.
I’ve just noticed that this new version of blogger doesn’t automatically put the signature of the writer, so I’ll have to remember to sign these.
–Liz Donovan, Miami Herald, from DC.
Good morning from IRE:
Internet access hasn’t been easy so far but the demo room is not busy right now, so here goes:
Yesterday, the CAR day, was great for researchers. Five panels had news researchers speaking! Starting in the morning with Toby Lyles (Raleigh) and Alice Hart Wertheim (Atlana)speaking on finding people using public records, databases, etc. Then I spoke on organizing Web links, along with Derek Willis of The Scoop, who talked about XML/RSS. Next Margot Williams (Wash. Post) and Gary Price (Resource Shelf) talked about the invisible Web and supersearching. Later, Anne Mintz (Forbes) talked about determining authenticity of Websites.
The researcher panels were well attended and handouts disappeared before they were done. Handouts from all panels should be available on the IRE Website within a few days. Mine is on my site (look in left hand column under ‘presentations’).
Researchers also gathered for a brief meeting and will have a brownbag lunch today. When I can get better net access I’ll post some photos…..
– Liz Donovan, from Washington, DC.