Finding People Fast - UNT 2012Presentation Transcript
Finding People Fast Internet Tools For Locating Newsmakers firstname.lastname@example.org
When news breaks, you could …Wait for the press release.Or call to find out when the news conference begins.
But That’s Crazy!
When news breaks, focus quickly on these: Main characters’ names, ethnicity, ages and addresses. Location of breaking news event. Characters’ roles (victim- perpetrator, etc.) with one another. The characters’ back story. Where did they come from? Who knows them?
Those elements are in these records: Driver’s License Social Security Card Car ownership/registration Voter registration Utility bills Mortgage/Car loan information Company incorporation Lawsuits Traffic tickets Indictments Bankruptcy filing Criminal conviction
And these records are available online through the Internet via: Google Nexis-Lexis Accurint Public Data Texas Department of Public Safety Pacer Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Say, you get a potential suspect’s name… Go to: www.nexis.com Go to public records search Plug in suspect’s name Nexis will give you the latest address, an address history, phone number, neighbors, car info, criminal history, etc.
In five minutes, I found out that Bilford D. Junious… Appears to have no prior criminal record Lives at 2913 Orion St. Has a phone listing of 281.445- 0630. Has many neighbors with phone numbers. Has a contracting consulting business. Has a 94 Ford Ranger, TX 6LXH30. Pehn Sin sold it to him, maybe he remembers him. Has no lawsuits.
Nexis-Lexis public records search gives you:Powerful one-stop shopping when trying to locate people.Provides addresses, vehicles, property, business records, bankruptcies, lawsuits and some criminal history.
Some caveats about Nexis and other services like it… A public database is: a road map. It provides direction. A public database is not: a final destination.
PublicData Go to www.publicdata.comPros and Cons: PROS: Quick and sometimes the most recent data. Simple to use. Contains Texas records. CONS: Has hard to read results on criminal history. Has few states’ records. Thankfully, Texas is one.
Always remember: No database is perfect. It’s only as good as the person typing in the data. Know how the record is collected. Verify, Verify, Verify. Records alone = 1 Boring Story. Interviews alone = 1 Skimpy Story. Records + interviews = 1 Great Read.
Make Google lift more…Keep searches to 10 wordsUse the advance searchUse the other Google products, the academic article search, Google Earth, etc.
Use Google to peek inside the Invisible Web Go to the Advanced Search Put in your search words Pull down the file format (.pdf, PowerPoint, Excel, etc) Great for: company and government PowerPoints and address and phone sheets in Excel.
Favorite Google shortcutsDefine:Intitle:Inurl:Stocks:Stocks:symbolSite:
Phone Numbers Are tough without a paid database Sometimes Google works. Others, Nexis, Accurint, Switchboard, Zabasearch, etc. Find a university phonebook? inurl:phone site:unt.edu lookup faculty staff site:unt.edu
Texas driver’s historyWe don’t use this one enough. Texas Driver History Request Form Print out DR-1, fill out. Fax to 512.424.2649. Send a check to Texas Department of Public Safety. Each driver’s record is $6. A DR-36 – at $20 a throw – gives you a 10- year history.
Other things we need to do more often: Search non-profit IRS forms at Guidestar. Search Texas Inmate Locator. Search online university alumni directories. Call TXDOT, ask them how often an accident occurs at a particular intersection.
Keep a records frame of mind If something – people, things, events – are counted, there’s a record. What documents would be filed about a person or event? What would these documents look like? What info would they contain? Who would keep them? Agencies? Who else might have them? Neighborhood Associations? Unions? Courts? Lawyers? Ex- husbands? Non-profits? Can I get them today? When?
Use records to answer these questions: Hours leading to the event. Who saw them? Where were they? Subject legally able to: drive, teach, practice law or medicine, carry a firearm? You sure? Who says? Did subject graduate from the schools listed? Subject recently experience a firing, bankruptcy, divorce, breakup, a death in the family? How does the subject know a perpetrator or victim?
Some other great sites Doctors (www.tmb.state.tx.us/) Federal Court ( http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov/) Transportation statistics ( www.bts.gov/) Demographics (www.census.gov) Airplanes and pilots ( http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/defimg.asp ) Major transportation accidents ( www.ntsb.gov) Attorneys (www.texasbar.com/)
Great sites continued…. Texas Audits Texas AG Rulings Texas Legislature National Center for State Reuters’ Reporter Duff Wilson’s Reporter’s Desktop
Don’t forget to use Houston Chronicle Archives http://web/lib/homepage.html Many newsmakers resurface. Even if there is no mention of the person, topic or issue you’re tackling may be.
Questions? Need Help?E-mail me, Terri.Langford@chron.comOr call me, 713.362.7276