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Category: journalism

Chapter 3: The Rise of Computer-Assisted Reporting by Brant Houston

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The third chapter in Partners for Preservation is ‘The Rise of Computer-Assisted Reporting: Challenges and Successes’ by Brant Houston. A chapter on this topic has been at the top of my list of chapter ideas from the very start of this project. Back in February of 2007, Professor Ira Chinoy from the University of Maryland, College Park’s Journalism Department spoke to my graduate school Archival Access class. His presentation and the related class discussion led to my blog post Understanding Born-Digital Records: Journalists And Archivists With Parallel Challenges. Elements of this blog post even inspired a portion of the book’s introduction. ... 

Sunshine Week 2009: Archives, Records and Other Online Government Information

Sunshine Week Sunshine Week 2009 is a national initiative spearheaded by journalists to “open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information”. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) chose to mark Sunshine Week this year by announcing the release their new tool for searching EFF’s FOIA documents. Learn more about EFF’s efforts to make open government a reality in this EFF call to action... 

Google Tackles Magazine Archives

Google Book Search: Popular Mechanics Jan 1905 Cover ImageAs has been reported around the web today, Google is now digitizing and adding magazines to Google Book Search. This follows on the tails of the recent Google Life Photo archive announcement.

I took a look around to see what I could see. I was intrigued by the fact that I couldn’t see a list of all the magazines in their collection. So I went after the information the hard way and kept reloading the Google Book Search home page until I didn’t see any new titles displayed in their highlighted magazine section. This is what I came up with, roughly grouped by general topic groupings. ... 

Video News Archives: Digitization as Good Business

Flickr: OSU Spring Game 2006 Media Lineup by Chris MetcalfMy work now includes more SEO (Search Engine Optimization) work and so I have added SEO focused blogs to my RSS feedreader. Today I spotted Search Engine Land‘s post Business Opportunities For Video News Archives. Stephen Baker calculates that 35 years worth of archive footage equals 51,100 hours of content per station. With approximately 20 stations per broadcast group he estimates a cost of $30 million per group to digitize each broadcast group’s archive of news footage. See the original article for more details on his calculations. ... 

Political Campaign Ads from the NBC News Archives Find New Audience on Hulu.com

Thinking about politics, but waxing nostalgic for the good old days of movie stars and snappy jingles? Surf over to Hulu.com’s new gallery of Historic Campaign Ads. These are from iCue, which bills itself as “A fun, innovative learning environment built around the video from the NBC News Archives“.

And what would a political video blog post be without a political video? If you don’t see the video below, you can click through to view the I Like Ike ad from 1954 I chose for your viewing pleasure. ... 

Vice President Ruled Part of Executive Branch: Cheney’s Records Must Be Preserved

CNN’s headline is Cheney must keep records, judge orders.  The very short version of all this is that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued “Vice President Richard B. Cheney in his official capacity, the Executive Office of the President (“EOP”), the Office of the Vice President (“OVP”), the National Archives and Records
Administration (“NARA”), and Dr. Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, in his official capacity” to force everyone involved to “preserve all vice presidential records, broadly defined to encompass all records relating to the vice president carrying out his constitutional, statutory or other official or ceremonial duties” (see the CREW site article: Court Orders Cheney to Preserve Records in CREW Lawsuit). ... 

Using WWI Draft Registration Cards for Research: NARA Records Provide Crucial Data

NARA:   	 World War I photograph, 1918 (ARC Identifier: 285374)

In the HealthDay article Having Lots of Kids Helps Dads Live to 100, a recent study was described that examined what increased the chances of a man living past 100.

A young, trim farmer with four or more children: According to a new study, that’s the ideal profile for American men hoping to reach 100 years of age. The research, based largely on data from World War I draft cards, suggests that keeping off excess weight in youth, farming and fathering a large number of offspring all help men live past a century. ... 

October is American Archives Month

SAA American Archives MonthWith barely more than a week to go, I am finally getting my act together to mention American Archives Month. To check if there are activities somewhere near you, go to the very thorough Council of State Archivists listing of activities for American Archives Month 2007. If you love looking at posters take a look at their awsome Archives Week/Month Poster Gallery.

The Society of American Archivists came out with a great array of resources in support of the celebration this year. I especially like the How To Know If Something Is Newsworthy and Tips for Media Interviews fliers – but if you download only one document to look through – make it the American Archives Month Public Relations Kit. They get to the heart of one of my favorite sentiments – keep archival records in front of the eyes of the everyday person. I don’t mean that in a sensational way… I don’t want archives in the news for screwing up (even if they do say that any publicity is good publicity). I want every news story that could have the support of archival records to use them and acknowledge them. I want every middle school kid who lives in a town with an archives to know that it exists and to have some idea why they should care. I want every teacher who has an archives with an enthusiastic archivist in it near them to KNOW about that enthusiastic archivist and use the available resources to make their lessons richer. ... 

Controversial Photos, Archvists’ Choices and Journalism

New York Times Magazine Cover: January 1995The New York Times Magazine published The Great Ivy League Nude Posture Photo Scandal in January of 1995. Still available online, it is a fascinating tale that took reporter Ron Rosenbaum on a wild hunt through multiple archives in a quest for long lost photographs. I spotted a link to the article in a post on Boing Boing – and once I started reading it I couldn’t stop.

The story includes thorough coverage of the research (and the footwork and the paperwork) it took to find the final resting place of some very controversial photographs. Taken as part of the orientation process of new students at Ivy League and Seven Sisters school campuses predominately during the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, these photos were theoretically taken to screen for students who needed remedial posture classes. William Herbert Sheldon was a driving force behind many of the photos. Best known for assigning people into three categories of body types in the 1940s, Sheldon based his categories of endomorphic, mesomorphic, and ectomorphic on measurements done using the student photographs. Rosenbaum’s quest was to find the real story behind the photos and to discover if any of the photos survived the purging fires at that occurred at many of the schools involved. ... 

Book Review: Dreaming in Code (a book about why software is hard)

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software
(or “A book about why software is hard”) by Scott Rosenberg

Before I dive into my review of this book – I have to come clean. I must admit that I have lived and breathed the world of software development for years. I have, in fact, dreamt in code. That is NOT to say that I was programming in my dream, rather that the logic of the dream itself was rooted in the logic of the programming language I was learning at the time (they didn’t call it Oracle Bootcamp for nothing). ...