Power Reporting site offers useful online tools for journalists


Prof. Garrison sparked my interest in a site geared towards journalists last week in class. Power Reporting, www.powerreporting.com, has been an active site for 12 years as a free resource for journalists and aspiring journalists. Power Reporting, created by journalist Bill Dedman, was designed to help writers “integrate public records and Web research with daily and enterprise reporting.”

Although the website is no longer being updated, you are still able to view the mass amounts of links and data organized by topic in the archives. One of the main sources for journalists, found under old category pages of links for journalism, gives a list of topic interest you may be interested such as business or art, as well as a long list of possible beats, such as sports or politics.

The type of information Power Reporting connects you with is limitless. Say visit this site interested specifically in skills and stories in terms of business. After clicking the business tab, you are given a list of 16 different sources that apply to this area of study. This website will connect you to others that help with that specific topic. Business, for instance, links you to websites such as www.10kwizard.com, a site that allows you to search public documents filed by public companies and to sort this information. The description of the site right below the link so you won’t waste time looking at pages that do not meet your interest. Therefore, if your interest in business specifically narrows down to travel, you can scroll down the list and find sites such as www.onetravel.com, which gives information and deals on different trips.

Power Reporting also offers a helpful tutorial on how to best search for information through the web. By clicking the web search tutorial you will find a detailed list of how to obtain the most information from a search. The tutorial’s purpose is to help with search strategy and syntax, and follows 6 steps:

  1. Search strategy – advises you to be aware of what you’re missing, to try a directory, envision the result, think of it as a zoom lens, use only what you know, things you are sure of, and what you learn
  2. Rules of the road – to help with advanced searching
  3. Boolean logic – to help include/exclude things in your search, how to use: and, or, nor, near
  4. Search syntax – explains how to command your search with certain words, such as title, domain, image, host, etc.
  5. Who’s to blame for all this? – explaining where this logic came from and who George Boole is
  6. Learn more – which links you to more helpful exercises in this field

There is so much more information on this site that is useful to journalists who are using the internet as a source and/or learning device; I recommend it as a bookmark for all aspiring journalists.

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