Tomorrow, we will talk about some ways to find information fast. I was hoping to be able to recommend to you the Poynter Institute‘s “Places To Go To Find News Fast,” but it is a bit outdated. Still, it’s probably worth exploring. So is Scott Swafford’s cheat sheet for public life and public safety reporters (and all of us do a bit of that from time to time). I have my own particular favorites and “tricks” for tracking down information.
For example, I love ZabaSearch for finding people’s phone numbers because the listings often include the month and year of birth of the person you’re trying to find. And that makes it easy to narrow the search. But then, I also think the good old phone book (you know, that paper thing sitting around on the desks in the newsroom) is surprisingly useful.
There are some great new and old tools in your midst. I hope Google makes good on its promise to create a site just for journalists. At least that’s what this guy, Jake Parrillo, said when he came and visited us last spring. (Please don’t go look up his blog and drive up his numbers; he hasn’t responded to my emails, and that’s just not right.) For now, you might want to check out the Journalist’s Toolbox, which is also a little outdated but contains some killer stuff.