Tools for Journalists...
September 9, 2005 8:00 AM   Subscribe

Say you're an investigative journalist. What web resources would regularly come in handy for looking into people's backgrounds, sniffing out political info, property information, business/corporate dealings etc.?
posted by Heminator to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
NYT investigative reporter Duff Wilson has a handy collection here.
posted by johngoren at 8:26 AM on September 9, 2005

I would get an account with LEXIS/NEXIS.
posted by caddis at 8:27 AM on September 9, 2005

Yeah, you can't beat LEXIS for property information and NEXIS for media searches. The system costs an arm and a leg, though.
posted by johngoren at 8:28 AM on September 9, 2005 and both provide useful links.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:44 AM on September 9, 2005

Johngoren beat me to it, but Duff Wilson is great. Specifically, his Who is John Doe is great. Despite the web, though, there's few things as useful as the city clerk/county recorder for getting info from property tax records to social security numbers (see old marriage licenses), birthdates to previous addresses.
posted by Happydaz at 9:13 AM on September 9, 2005

Holy crap, those Duff Wilson links are great. That just streamlined about 20 bookmarks into one for me.
posted by Idiot Mittens at 11:32 AM on September 9, 2005

LEXIS/NEXIS is indeed pricey, but there are relatively inexpensive ways of ganing access to them. If you enroll in or audit certain courses at a community college, for instance, where tuition is low, you might get access to the school's connection. Also, I don't know where you live, Heminator, but in New York, there are "Writer's Spaces" that have L/N accounts available to their members. My friend runs such a place in lower Manhattan with Lexis/Nexis (and OED on-line, too, I think) . Membership begins at $129/month. My email is in my profile if you want more info.
posted by mds35 at 11:49 AM on September 9, 2005

mds35 is right; a version of Lexis/Nexis is available in academic libraries under the name "Academic Universe." And public libraries also have extensive, easily searchable databases of journals, newspapers, magazines, etc. Here's my local library's list.
posted by mediareport at 9:53 PM on September 10, 2005

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