Exercises

 

EXERCISE W6-1

 

Please write down what you find after doing the following searches.

 

a.  When was the last time you Googled your name?  Go to google.com.  Type in your name, in quotation marks.  Is the first link about you?  What’s it about?  Does this give you any insight into the reliability of Google information?  From the results page, click "Images."  See your picture? Anyone else you recognize?  

 

b.  Now try bing.com.  Do you get different results when you search by your name and when you search by your email?  If so, why do you think that is?  How accurate is your Bing search compared to your Google search?

 

c.  What about attending a conference for student journalists?  When is the next ACP convention?  Check here.

 

EXERCISE W6-2

 

Please write down what you find after doing the following searches.

 

Say you’re doing a story on the kinds of students who attend your school.  See if your school has an online data book with enrollment figures.  If it does, for the most recent year available, see if you can find the answers to the following questions (and also write down what year the information is from):

 

a.  How many in-state students enrolled that fall?

 

b.  What’s the second most common home state for students at your school?

 

c.   Using any other chart from the data book, what’s another interesting piece of information about your school?

 

EXERCISE W6-3

 

Please write down what you find after doing the following searches.

 

a.  Select a state other than yours.  Select a college or university newspaper from that state—here's one list to select from.  What's the lead story about?  Do you see a story that you could localize to your school?

 

b.  What's the lead story at AlterNet.org?  Do you see a story you could localize?

 

c.  What's the lead story at indianz.com?  Do you see a story you could localize?

 

d.  Check the international headlines—here's one list to select from.  Select a region and then a story from that region.  What's it about?  Is there any potential impact on the United States, or on your community? 

 

EXERCISE W6-4

 

Please write down what you find after doing the following searches.

 

a.  Visit the Student Press Law Center website. Click on “Get Legal Help” on the top toolbar.  What are two ways you can get legal advice about student press legal issues?  Then, click back to the home page and select “Quick Guides” from the top toolbar.  Select “Top 10 college FAQs.”  What are two pieces of information you can learn from this page?

 

b.  Visit the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press website.  Click on "Legal Resources," on the top toolbar, then "First Amendment Handbook" on the dropdown menu.  On the left sidebar, click on "Surreptitious recording."  Can you legally secretly record someone?

 

c.  Go to the 1A podcast website.  Listen to a podcast that interests you.  What's it about?

 

d.  Go to the Columbia Journalism Review website.  Select a story or post that interests you.  What's it about?

 

EXERCISE W6-5

 

Please write down what you find after doing the following searches.

 

a.  Search for your city's website.  What can you find out about crime in your area? Can you access the police blotter?  Can you access crime statistics?  

 

b.  Go to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. Then, scroll down and click on the button for information about the IRS.  Select one of the entries under “Latest Figures.”  What’s one thing you found out from this section?

 

c.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics is part of the United States Department of Labor.  Visit its website.  Mouse over "Subjects" on the toolbar, find "Pay and Benefits" and select "Wages by Area and Occupation."  Click on "Wage Data by State," and then select your state.  What are two types of information the BLS provides?

 

d.  Visit the World Health Organization's website.  Select "Health Topics" from the top toolbar, and then select "Data."  What are two types of information WHO provides?

Chapter 6
 

A JOURNALIST'S SKEPTICAL RESEARCH

 

Examples

More research tools

Exercises