Finding People Fast -  UNT 2012
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Finding People Fast - UNT 2012

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    Finding People Fast -  UNT 2012 Finding People Fast - UNT 2012 Presentation Transcript

    • Finding People Fast  Internet Tools For Locating Newsmakers  terri.langford@chron.com
    • 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 wordsUse the advance searchUse 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.comOr call me, 713.362.7276