Carleton University: Journalism 5206

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
Phone: (O) 613-231-8653 (C) 613-859-3752 (fax) 613-238-4452

David McKie, CBC News Investigations
Phone: (O) 613-288-6523 (C) 613-290-7380 (fax) 613-288-6490

Graduate Course 2012/2013 - Winter term

Wednesdays: 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Room 2311 River Building

Assignments and Evaluation | Course outline |Biographies | Access to information links |Access to information reports-federal |Access to information_Police | Access to information stories in the news|_Police Blogs| Business Analysis|Canadian Business|Canadian Business | Canadian Business Statistics |Canadian Business Publications |CAJ course|CAR course outline | CAR and ATI-related Stories | Catalogue Search Engines | Children's Safety |Consumer issues and Consumer-related issues|Computer-Assisted Reporting |Computer-Assisted Reporting tutorials |Contracts |Coroners' offices|Crime | Databases |Data Visualization |Data Visualization Course |Defence|Directories/Reference Works |Disciplinary bodies| Discussions |DocumentCloud|The Economy|Education|Elections |Environment |Ethnic Newspapers|Evaluating Web Pages | Federal Government| Federal Politics|Federal Public Service|Federal Spending|Food safety|Foreign Affairs |Fourth-year course outline | Government spending | Health | Health (Provincial)| Health (International)|Health Policy| Housing|Immigration | Innovative Tools | Internet research | Interviewing| Investigative Journalism Websites| Invisible Web | IRE | Job Hunting |Journalists' Blogs |Journalism Education|Journalism Resarch|Journalism Resource Sites |Key Word Search Engines | King's| Land-title and property assessment offices | Legal System/Courts |Lesson plans |Libraries/Archives |Lien Records|Lobbyists | Loyalist | Mapping |Mapping Stories|Mapping Tutorials|Medical devices| Miscellaneous Tools | Money |Multi-media| Municipal governments |MySQL |News Blogs|Numeracy skills|Online News Sites|Open Data government websites| Open File| People Finders |Photojournalism | Politics| Polling |Population statistics |Preparing Stories|Provincial Audits | Provincial Contracts | Provincial Governments|Public health| Publication finders|Public Policy Organizations | Readings | Researching Companies - Powerpoint presentation | Research tecnhiques Powerpoint presentation |Science |Searchable Online Websites |Search Engine Research|Senior's Care| Shopping list of key records | Social Media | Sports |Spreadsheet tutorials |Stories about access to information|Stories about investigative journalism| Student investigations|Syllabi|Ten ways to improve your searches |Telecommunications|Trade|Trade publications| Transportation | Training resources|University Publications |U.S. Government|U.S. Business | U.S. Court Filings and Legal Action|Vancouver|Vital Statistics/Certificates| Websites with tables for download |Workplace safety |Writing

Course objectives

1) Obtain a thorough grounding in journalistic research methods.

2) Acquire skills, such as computer-assisted reporting techniques, needed to make sense of the information gathered.

3) Develop the ability to shape the information into accurate and compelling stories.

Many of these objectives are outlined in a speech delivered by the late Canadian journalist, author and activist June Callwood.

Course outline (TOP)

Jan. 9: a. Course introduction b. Access-to-information tips: focusing a request, negotiating, seeking partial releases, complaints c.Introduction to Internet resources (Search engines, news archives, discussion groups, journalism resource sites, specialty sites, government resources, directories, signing on to journalism listservs and Google News alerts)
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 10, 11 and Appendix A

Jan. 16: a. Introduction to Internet resources, part two b. Corporate / Business resources (Researching companies, corporate filings, securities exchanges) c. Assignment: Business story
|| Reading: Digger Deeper, Chapter 9 and Appendix C

Higher cost, longer wait times in store for pardon seekers (The Canadian Press)

U.S. worries about Canadian meat flagged in memo (CBC News)

The access request that lead to the story about U.S. concerns.

XL Foods warned 6 times over lapses before E. coli outbreak (CBC News)
Correction Action Requests issued at Alberta plant for sanitation, contamination

The access request that lead to the story about the poor sanitation records

Storify'd: CIDA Minister Julian Fantino: Man of (Partisan) Letters No Longer (CBC News_Inside Politics Blog)

Dear NDP: CIDA Does Not Need Your Economic Advice (Huff Post)

CIDA rapped for partisan letters from cabinet minister appearing on website (The Canadian Press)

Media Room (CIDA)

Dear NDP: CIDA Does Not Need Your Economic Advice (CIDA)

Liberals make promises, Conservatives get results (CIDA)

Liberals' letter of complaint to the Privy Council Office

Internet Archive Wayback Machine

CIDA Home page

CIDA country contribution data

Tim Hortons


Tim Hortons Inc quarterly reports

Jan. 23: a. Corporate / Business resources (part two) b. Newswriting tips / style c. Assignment: Whatever-happened-to? story
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapters 4, 7

Flaherty letter to CRTC may have breached cabinet rules (The Canadian Press)

Flaherty letter on the CRTC website

Jim Flaherty CRTC letter

Access to airline safety reports held up by court action (CBCNews)

Mayor’s office rushed casino vote, strategized with OLG: documents (The Ottawa Citizen)

Plenty of time for public comment on casino, Watson says (The Ottawa Citizen)

Environment Canada hits alleged polluters with warnings instead of prosecutions (Postmedia)

Jan. 30: a. Business story due b. Interviewing techniques / Sources: the investigative context c. Databases (part one)
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapter 8

MacKay took taxpayer-funded helicopter after officials advised against media event (Montreal Gazette)

Cybercrime backlog 'a significant risk' to RCMP, internal audit warns (The Canadian Press)

3 Conservative MPs raised concerns about CNOOC-Nexen deal (CBC News)

Stephen Harper interview

Query to National Defence re. Victoria-class spare parts

Feb. 6: a. Databases (part two)
|| Reading review: Digging Deeper, Chapter 11 and Appendix A

Unruly Sunwing passengers on their way back to Canada (CBC News)

Databases for download

Feb. 13: a. Business story feedback b. Databases (part three) c. Assignment: Database story

Airline safety: Watchdog warns that Canadians are at ‘unnecessary risk’ of runway overruns (The Toronto Star)

Manitoba village shocked after plane crash kills 3 boys, dad (CBC News Manitoba)

Transportation Safety Board

Collision Course (The Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator, Waterloo Record),%20June%203,%202006_.pdf


Feb. 20: Reading Week. No class scheduled.

Feb. 27: a. Whatever-happened-to? story due b. Access-to-information tips: previously disclosed material / Making sense of records (decoding documents, chronologies) c. Introduction to Library and Archives
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapter 6

March 6: a. No class scheduled but database story due by 7 p.m.

March 13: a. Whatever-happened-to? story feedback b. Pulling records together (How to organize and use various pieces of information)
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapter 12

March 18: March 18: Visit to Library and Archives Canada: Historical research and archival records, 395 Wellington St. at Bay, 8:30 a.m.

March 20: a. Access-to-information story due b. Database story feedback c. Courts / Legal Affairs
|| Reading: Digging Deeper, Chapter 5

Access to airline safety reports held up by court action (CBCNews)

Navy Spy Jeffrey Delisle speaks




March 27: a. Overlooked access-to-information records b. Journalistic ethics: investigative quandaries

NDP MP Pat Martin ‘signs off’ from Twitter after calling Tories ‘rat faced whores’ (The Toronto Star)

Vikileaks case raises debate about whether divorce files should be open to public (The Toronto Star)

'I don't like talking about this:' Flaherty on battle with skin disease (The Globe and Mail)

Do we speak up or shut up when politicians start looking different? (The Globe and Mail)

OPEN SECRET: Conservative cabinet minister John Baird outed (Xtra!)

April 3: a. Access-to-information story feedback b. Strategies for enterprise and beat reporting

Special needs / Accommodation (TOP)

You may need special arrangements to meet your academic obligations during the term. For an accommodation request the processes are as follows:

Pregnancy obligation: write to us with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details visit the Equity Services website:

Religious obligation: write to us with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist. For more details visit the Equity Services website:

Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: The Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) provides services to students with Learning Disabilities (LD), psychiatric/mental health disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), chronic medical conditions, and impairments in mobility, hearing, and vision. If you have a disability requiring academic accommodations in this course, please contact PMC at 613-520-6608 or for a formal evaluation. If you are already registered with the PMC, contact your PMC coordinator to send us your Letter of Accommodation at the beginning of the term, and no later than two weeks before the first in-class scheduled test or exam requiring accommodation (if applicable). After requesting accommodation from PMC, meet with one of us to ensure accommodation arrangements are made. Please consult the PMC website for the deadline to request accommodations for the formally-scheduled exam (if applicable) at
You can visit the Equity Services website to view the policies and to obtain more detailed information on academic accommodation at

School ethics policy:

School publishing policy:

School electronic media usage policy:

Assignments and Evaluation(TOP)

Assignments in this course are governed by the provisions of the document Ethics and Professional Standards for the School of Journalism and Communication (see link below). There are four assignments, each with a deadline. Lateness will be penalized, though exceptional circumstances will be taken into account. There is no final examination. Each assignment has three components, all of which will figure in the grade:

A. Copies of the actual documents compiled / gathered (in paper or electronic form).
B. A description of how the documents were obtained, and why they were useful.
C. The resulting story.

Each of the four assignments is worth 20 per cent of the overall course grade. The remaining 20 per cent of the grade will be determined based on presence, punctuality, participation and professionalism.

Final standing in this course is determined by the course instructors subject to the approval of the Dean of Public Affairs. This means that final grades submitted by the instructors may be subject to revision. No grade is final until it has been approved by the Dean.

1) Business story

A news story about a business prepared with the assistance of a financial statement. 600 words, double-spaced (Word format), to be submitted by email before the Jan. 30 class.


1) One Word document containing a 600-word story and a 600-word explanation, which to contain a short description of the steps you took to get the story, complete with links to websites, and links to DocumentCloud, which will be explained in class.

2) An Excel workbook.

Business assignment FAQ
Q: This is really complicated, how can I possibly do a story based on a company's financial report(s)?
A: No, it's not. Keep it simple. Remember, the numbers you choose are simply an avenue to a story with a compelling subject, plot, characters and action.
Q: So how do I go about that?
A: You will have to slog through jargon-filled annual report and take good notes. Sorry!! Not so that you can write a jargon-filled story. Rather, so that you can understand the context into which the number you've chosen to explore fits.
Q: The number tells you what. The legwork tells you why. What do you mean by this?
A: Think of a financial statement as a tip sheet, a place to go to get story ideas. If the company is making money at a slower rate than its selling products or services, find out why. The answer may be in the management's discussion and analysis. Or the answer may be in the notes, those superscript numbers at the end of certain sentences of dollar amounts in a table. The answer may emerge from a conversation with an analyst, business professor, or the company itself. The answer to the why will likely be your story.
Q: How can I avoid using jargon?
A: Translate a term in everyday language. Instead of telling me a company had a net income of $150,000,000 at the end of a certain quarter compared to the same period the previous year, simply say that the company made $150,000,000.
Q: But what happens if I use jargon, which may be unavoidable in certain circumstances?
A: Jargon is a crutch, which potentially tells the reader, listener or viewer that you didn't feel like explaining the term or concept in simpler terms. If you don't know what a term means, look it up, or ask an expert. Imagine that you're telling the story to a friend. As a matter of fact, try explaining your story to a friend before writing anything down.
Q: Should I submit a draft?
A: Yes, because it will lead to a better story, and by extension a higher grade; that is, of course, if you give yourself enough time for revisions and then heed the advice in my feedback.
Q: Can I choose any company?
A: Yes.
Q: Does it have to be publicly traded?
A: Yes.
Q: Does it have to be Canadian?
A: No.
Q: Can I choose any financial statement?
A: Yes.
Q: Can I choose only one?
A: Hmmm! The idea is to determine a trend over time. In order to see how a company is really doing, you may have to examine its performance over three or comparable quarters. In our Tim Hortons example, we examined third-quarter results for four successive years, allowing us to determine that the company's profit margin (explained on page 320 of the textbook) was 23.74 % in 2008 compared to 18.49% in 2012, the most recent third-quarter result. Why is this? Good question. The answer could be the story.
Q: Does it matter what number I choose?
A: Generally speaking, no. However, I would avoid using revenue for reasons we've discussed in class. Other numbers such as net income or cash flow are usually better indicators of a company's health.
Q. Must I conduct interviews?
A. Yes, at least one. E-mailed correspondence counts, though, as we've stressed in class, push for conventional interviews.
Q. Should the story emerge from the numbers?
A: Yes. Resist the temptation to begin with an idea or pre-conceived notion about the company, and then attempt to make the numbers fit your focus.
Q: How long should the story be?
A: 600 words. Please respect the word-length.
Q: Should I also submit an explanation of how I did story?
A: Yes. This explainer should be no more than 600 words, and on the same page as the story, meaning that you submit one Word document. The background should contain a list of the resources you used, the people you tried to reach, complete with their contact information such as phone number and email address.
Q: Do you also want documents?
A: Yes. I want you to submit annotated financial form(s), meaning that you highlight the sections and numbers you used for the story. You'll be shown how to upload this documents to a DocumentCloud (, a service run by the U.S.-based Investigative Reporters and Editors. DocumentCloud is a wonderful tool that allows readers to easily jump from one annotation to the next. The document can then be embedded into your online story or blog. I'll have to set up accounts for everyone, and then show you how to use it.
Q: Should I also submit a spreadsheet?
A: Yes, if you used it to crunch the numbers, which I would strongly advise.
Q: So what would a typical submission to you contain?
A: First of all, I prefer email. So the emailed correspondence would contain a Word attachment ( story, explanation, complete with the DocumentCloud link(s)); You will upload the documents m(financial forms, news releases, etc) to DocumentCloud where they will be uploaded and annotated. This makes my life easier, meaning that I can jump from one annotation the next and thus avoiding wasting time by trying to figure out what you've done.

2) Whatever-happened-to? story

A piece that updates the reader on a memorable person or event from 1993. If you choose to write about a person, select someone who hasn't attracted much, or any, public attention in the last 20 years. 600 words, double-spaced on paper (Word format), due at beginning of the Feb. 27 class.


a. Story must include comments from your interview with the person in question or participant(s) in the original event.
b. Copies of two pieces of documentation gathered during research for your story.
c. For EACH of the two pieces of documentation, full-sentence answers to
these questions:
(*) What is the documentation?
(*) How did you find/obtain it?
(*) Why was the documentation helpful?

Whatever-happened-to? story FAQ

Q: The story must include comments from my interview with the person in question or participant(s) in the original event. Does that mean I need to do just one interview?
A: No, treat the story as you would any other. Though it depends on the story, three voices seems about right. You might interview more than one person who remembers the original event, as well as an expert - such as a professor or author - who can place the issue in perspective.

Q: Should I send you an electronic copy of my story?
A: No, hand everything in on paper before class.

Q: What sort of documentation do you want?
A: It could be anything that helped you do the story, such as a news clipping about the original event, a telephone listing of someone you tracked down or a partial transcript of one of your interviews.

Q: Can I just give you the URL of a document?
A: No, please print it out or scan it, and don't forget to answer the questions on the checklist.

3) Database story

A story based on information gleaned from the database you build in class. 600 words, double-spaced (Word format), to be submitted by email before the March 6 class.


a. One word document with a 600-word story, and an explanation of methdology of similar length, but preferably shorter.
b. One Excel table containing the filtered table that shows your trend.
c. Documents uploaded to DocumentCloud and annotated.

FAQ for the computer-assisted reporting assignment

Q: What data set can I use?
A: Since we've been working with CADORS, you'll be required to upload a data set that will lead to the story you end up doing.
Q: How can I identify a trend?
A: As we've seen in class, there are many ways to accomplish this task. The simplest method is to get the information into a pivot table, filter it for the event you want to examine. Once you're happy with the subset, copy the pivot table, and paste it into a new worksheet as a "paste special", which will get rid of the formula that Excel used to create the pivot table and just leave you with the actual table. At that point, you'll be able to do the math, such as the percent increases we calculated when determining which provinces had the highest rate of disruptive passenger events. But remember, the filtered data set that kick starts your research is only a tip sheet, akin to the financial form from the business assignments. The data tell you what happened, not why. The research and interviews produces the why; that is, the reason that helps explain the trend.
Q: How many years of data should I use?
A: At least five, full years: Jan. 1, 2008-Dec. 31, 2012. Include events from 2013. Because as we've been with the disruptive passengers, planes skidding off runways and planes crashing, occurrences in 2013 are making news. Similar evens from previous years establish the trends.
Q: What if I'm not sure about the trend I'm analysing?
A: To ensure that you're on the right track, let's follow the same protocol we would in a newsroom. Run the trend by me by sending the filtered table. I don't need to see the entire database, just copy and paste the table with the filtered table into a new worksheet, and then email it to me as an attachment.
Q: What's my deadline for submitting the table?
A: Feb. 20 at the very latest, which would give you two weeks to conduct the research, set up interviews and then write. Obviously, the sooner you submit the data, the more time you have to begin the steps I've just described. Please, please yourself a favor: get the data portion of the assignment over and done with as soon as possible. Well before Feb. 20 if possible. That way you can spend as much time, researching, interviewing and writing.
Q: What happens if I miss the Feb. 20 deadline for submitting the data?
A: You won't!
Q: Can I use another data set?
A: No.
Q: How many interviews must I do?
A: Because you have more time to complete this assignment, at least two. Obviously, if you don't give yourself enough time to research, you'll run out of time to conduct the interviews and write draft versions, two important steps that will help insure the best results.
Q: What other resources should I use?
A: The Transportation Safety Board is an excellent resource, which is why I've included it as a link. It contains accident reports that can become a significant part of your story and sources for possible interviews.
Q: When I've completed the assignment, what should I submit?
A: Documents such as Transportation Safety Board reports should be uploaded to DocumentCloud and annotated, as you did in the business assignment. The story is to be 600 words, accompanied by an explanation of approximately the same length, though it can be shorter, and in point form. You must also send the Excel file, but only the table that contains the final data set that identifies the trend on which your story is based. Please DO NOT SEND ME THE ENTIRE Excel workbook with all the worksheets you'll be inevitably using. Those files will become too large to send and may even bounce back.
Q: When is the deadline?
A: Before class on March 6. Remember, we don't have class because of the archive visit earlier in the week. Nevertheless, you'll be required to submit the assignment by 7:00 PM that evening. Anything past that deadline will be considered late and be deducted half a mark for each subsequent day. I save this point for last because I know it won't be an issue. Best of luck. I'm sure the stories will be terrific.

4) Access-to-information story

A news story based on documents obtained through access-to-information/freedom-of-information laws. 600 words, double-spaced on paper, due at the beginning of the March 20 class.


Along with your story, please hand in the following in hard copy:

a. Copies of at least one request to EACH of the three levels of government (municipal, provincial, federal).
b. Copies of correspondence received/sent by you during the course of each of the requests.
c. Copies of at least two particularly relevant pages of information obtained under the access laws that assisted your story.
d. For the pages in (c) above, full-sentence answers to these questions:
(*) What is the information?
(*) From which department and level of government did you obtain these pages?
(*) Why was this information helpful?

Access-to-information story FAQ

Q: How should I select which pages to hand in?
A: Choose records that contain passages you quoted or information that underpinned your story. You can hand in more than two pages, but please try to highlight relevant passages and do not hand in entire documents or huge volumes of paper.

Q: Do you want to see all the access requests I did?
A: No, just one from each of the three levels of government, but please be sure to include the one(s) you based your story on.

Q: Do you want every piece of correspondence related to the three requests?
A: I want to see all relevant correspondence to help me understand how things proceeded.

Q: I dealt with agencies largely on the phone. What should I do?
A: Please give me dates and summaries of these calls wherever possible.

Q: I forgot to make copies of my requests. What should I do?
A: Please try to recreate the wording and date of your original requests as best you can.

Q: Do I have to use the documents in my story?
A: Yes, there should be a substantial connection between the records you have obtained and your story. A good test of this is to ask, 'Could I really have done this story without the documents?'

Q: Can I use more than one set of records in my story?
A: Yes, if they fit into your piece. But one set of records from any of the levels of government is fine.

Q: I am having serious trouble obtaining records. What should I do?
A: Talk to Jim about any difficulties you might be having. We will discuss Plan B approaches in class to ensure you have documents on which to base your story.

Q: My classmate has a set of documents they're not using. Can I use them?
A: No.

A shopping list of key records (TOP)

20 records you can get using the federal Access to Information Act

1. RECORD: Ministerial briefing notes. DEPARTMENT: All departments. ASK FOR: All briefing notes prepared specifically to help the new minister become acquainted with his/her new portfolio. HINT: Make this request a week or two after a new cabinet is named. RESULT: Yields wide range of information about a department's plans/activities.

2. RECORD: Expense claims. DEPARTMENT: All departments/agencies. ASK FOR: Receipts, invoices and guest lists detailing travel and hospitality expenses claimed by a deputy minister or other senior bureaucrat. HINT: Limit request to no more than one year's worth of claims. RESULT: Can reveal spending habits and establish dates of key meetings, dealings.

3. RECORD: Correspondence. DEPARTMENT: All departments/agencies. ASK FOR: Correspondence with a minister or agency head on a topic of interest. HINT: Frame request narrowly. For instance, exclude letters from the public if you do not require them. RESULT: Can uncover letters from provincial premiers, lobby groups.

4. RECORD: House cards. DEPARTMENT: All departments. ASK FOR: All cards prepared for the minister in the House of Commons on a specific issue. HINT: Watch headlines, Commons debates for ideas. RESULT: Often contain much more detail, background than revealed in Question Period.

5. RECORD: Material on possible legislation. DEPARTMENT: All departments. ASK FOR: Records concerning possible legislation or other initiatives on a given issue. HINT: Limit request to cover the last year to ensure currency of material. RESULT: Provides insight into initiatives that might be in pipeline, and reasons why the initiatives might (or might not) proceed.

6. RECORD: Meeting minutes. DEPARTMENT: All departments/agencies. ASK FOR: Minutes from the two most recent meetings of a specific committee. HINT: Make calls to find out meeting schedules and whether minutes are kept. RESULT: Can aid in understanding internal policy debates and decisions.

7. RECORD: Audits. DEPARTMENT: All departments, most agencies. ASK FOR: Audits and evaluations completed by or for the department/agency on specific subjects in the last year. HINT: Ask department informally for list of audits conducted in the last year. RESULT: Audits often reveal shortcomings in programs, policies.

8. RECORD: Polls. DEPARTMENT: All departments, but especially Privy Council Office. ASK FOR: Polls conducted for the department on a given subject. HINT: Some (but not all) polls are released informally. RESULT: Can reveal public attitudes towards government policies.

9. RECORD: Contract information. DEPARTMENT: All departments. ASK FOR: A copy of the contract for a specific project. HINT: Public Works and Government Services administers many contracts. RESULT: Reveals details of financial arrangements with private companies.

10. RECORD: Responses to discussion papers. DEPARTMENT: Any department that publishes consultation/discussion paper. ASK FOR: Copies of all submissions in response to the department's paper. HINT: Put in request just after cut-off date for submissions. Only narrow request if certain submissions are required. RESULT: Reveals views of wide cross-section of groups on pressing issues.

11. RECORD: Contracted studies. DEPARTMENT: Privy Council Office. ASK FOR: Specific studies, research conducted for PCO. HINT: Ask informally for list of studies, which is updated regularly. RESULT: Yields advice prepared for government on unity, security, parliamentary affairs and other key issues.

12. RECORD: 20-year-old cabinet documents. DEPARTMENT: Privy Council Office. ASK FOR: Cabinet records on a specific issue. HINT: Check almanac for noteworthy past events. RESULT: Meeting minutes reveal thinking of ministers on issues. (Cabinet documents routinely become public only after 30 years).

13. RECORD: Prime Minister's email. DEPARTMENT: Privy Council Office. ASK FOR: E-mail sent to the Prime Minister by visitors to his website. HINT: Limit request to a one-week period. RESULT: Names of correspondents are deleted, but letters yield an interesting mix of feedback, including light-hearted, angry and thoughtful correspondence.

14. RECORD: Criminal intelligence briefs. AGENCY: RCMP. ASK FOR: Criminal intelligence briefs prepared during the last six months. HINT: Make time-frame the last couple of years if you are seeking a brief on a specific subject. RESULT: Briefs cover issues such as aboriginal militancy, drug trade and smuggling.

15. RECORD: Incident reports. AGENCY: RCMP. ASK FOR: Incident report on a specific event. HINT: Broaden request to include other records if incident is a prolonged one, such as a standoff. RESULT: Can help explain police decision-making.

16. RECORD: Lessons learned. DEPARTMENT: National Defence. ASK FOR: "Lessons learned" from major military missions. HINT: Wait a month or two after mission is complete. RESULT: Provides evaluation of peacekeeping tours and other assignments.

17. RECORD: UFO reports. DEPARTMENT: Transport. ASK FOR: Reports of unidentified flying objects filed by the public. HINT: UFO reports are also often filed with Defence and RCMP. RESULT: Names of people who make reports are deleted, but other details can be released.

18. RECORD: Observer reports. DEPARTMENT: Fisheries. ASK FOR: Observer reports prepared for the department. HINTS: Limit request to specific geographic area and time frame. RESULTS: Can provide details about operations of foreign vessels.

19. RECORD: SIRC reports. AGENCY: Security Intelligence Review Committee. ASK FOR: Specific reports prepared by committee on CSIS activities. HINT: Reports are listed in back of committee's annual report. RESULT: Reports, though heavily edited, provide check on spy agency CSIS.

20. RECORD: CRTC debriefing notes. AGENCY: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. ASK FOR: Debriefing notes prepared in connection with a specific licensing hearing. HINT: Make request shortly after licence decision is made. RESULT: Can provide behind-the-scenes reasoning on why TV, radio licences are granted or denied.

Ten ways to improve your searches (TOP)

1. Look to the headlines for ideas.

2. Check the relevant federal websites for forms, contacts, info on
departmental holdings.

3. Call the access co-ordinator before making your request.

4. Call the co-ordinator after submitting your request.

5. Make similar requests to more than one agency or government.

6. Keep a photocopy of each request and attach all return correspondence.

7. Negotiate with agencies.

8. Be persistent. If necessary, complain.

9. Read the records you receive carefully.

10. Don't get discouraged.

Biographies (TOP)

Jim Bronskill

Jim Bronskill is a reporter in the Ottawa bureau of The Canadian Press news agency, specializing in security and intelligence, the RCMP and justice-related issues. He has considerable experience using information laws to uncover stories. Before joining CP in November 2003, Jim was a reporter with Southam News (now CanWest News Service). He previously held various positions at CP and has also worked for the Ottawa Citizen, the Owen Sound Sun Times and TVOntario. Jim holds a master's degree in journalism from Carleton University. In each of the last two years he and colleague Sue Bailey were National Newspaper Award finalists for investigative stories on Taser stun guns. In 2002, Jim received two Canadian Association of Journalists awards, including one for best overall investigative report, for a series he co-wrote with David Pugliese of the Citizen about the crackdown by security agencies on public dissent. Three years ago he and Bailey won the national Justicia Award for a series on how the justice system often fails the mentally ill.

Jim was part of a team that collaborated with the CBC/Radio-Canada to earn the 2008 Michener Award for their series on taser use by the RCMP.

David McKie

David McKie is an Ottawa-based, award-winning journalist and an author who has been radio with the CBC for 19 years. In researching topics such as health and safety, he has become increasingly dependent on computer-assisted investigative reporting techniques, using the Internet to find sources, background material, and using spreadsheets and database managers to organize information and produce story ideas. He is now with the CBC's investigative unit.

To get an idea of the stories he has researched, written and broadcast, please go to the following links: A Matter of Trust, Faint Warning (for which he was nominated for a Michener Award in 2003), Prescribed to Death , Dying for a Job and Out of Synch, Beaten Down: Fear and Violence in Canada's Nursing Homes and Off-Limits. For a story in the series, A Matter of Trust, on a botched clinical trial and its effect on two families, David and CBC documentary maker, Bob Carty, won the 2003 Science in Society Journalism Award in the radio category. Faint Warning was a finalist for the 2004 Michener award, winner of the 2004 RTNDA award for best investigative report, and winner the Canadian Association of Journalists' 2004 computer-assisted reporting (CAR) award and the overall CAJ award for best investigative series. Faint Warning won the Service Journalism category for the 2004 Online News Association. The follow-up series, Prescribed to Death, that ran in 2005 was also a big award winner. The series won the CAJ's 2006 CAR award, the Open Radio News Award and, for the second year in a row, the overall award. The series also won the 2006 CNA ( Canadian Nurses Association ) & CMA ( Canadian Medical Association ) Media Awards for Excellence in Health Reporting and the American-based IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors) award in the radio category. Dying for a Job won the 2007 Excellence in Health Reporting from the Canadian Medical Associationa and the Canadian Nurses' Association. His latest project, Beaten Down: Fear and violence in Canada's Nursing Homes, examines the national problem of violence in Canadian long-term care facilities. And he recently followed that up with Off-Limits, an investigation into doctors who continue to prescribe atypical anti-psychotics to seniors despite Health Canada warnings about increased risk of heart attack, stroke -- and death. He's working with The Canadian Press and The Toronto Star on Tasers and food safety , respectively. And for the taser series, David and Jim were part of the large team that earned the 2008 Michener Award.

David edits a magazine for the Canadian Association of Journalists called Media, which you can find at: Media magazine And he maintains a website that keeps track of access-to-information requests that are made to federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations. The CAIRS site, which used to be maintained by professor Alasdair Roberts, has become a valuable tool for journalists.

David obtained a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University in the summer of 2001. One of the areas he researched was the evolution of computer-assisted, investigative reporting in Canada and the United States. And he was also one of four journalists/journalism instructors who wrote Digging Deeper, a Canadian textbook on investigative research techniques. You can order it by visiting And has helped write a second textbook, Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Comprehensive Primer.

He also contributed to a textbook on Canada's Access to Information Act entitled Brokering Access.


The Canadian Access to Information Manual (courtesy of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) at the University of Ottawa)

Federal Enquiry points

Info Source (directory of holdings)

Access to Information and Privacy Coordinators

Access to Information request forms

Brokering Access: Power, Politics, and Freedom of Information Process in Canada

Access to Information Act (including the institutions covered by the law)

Specific Exemptions under the Access to Information Act (Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat)

Completed Access to Information Requests ( a running tally of departments and agencies posting summaries of completed ATI requests)

Search Summaries of Completed ATI Requests

David McKie's CAIRs page

CAIRS.Info (maintained by University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist)

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act Bulletins

Office of the Information Commissioner (complaints, resources)

Report Cards (Information Commissioner)

Teaching Freedom of Information (FOI courses taught at universities around the world)


David McKie

Alex's Blog (Alex Himelfarb)

Alexander Holbourn: Information and Privacy Blog

Visible Government

The art of access (The blog serves as a companion to an American book by the same name)

Defamation Law Blog

Analysis & Opinion (Reuters)


The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records

Federal Access to Information and Privacy Legislation Annotated 2011 by Colonel Michel W. Drapeau & Marc-Aurèle Racicot


Notable Canadian news stories based on ATIA requests

Governmental Secrecy in Canada: An Update






Halifax Regional Municipality












British Columbia

Completed Freedom of Information requests at BCFerries

Access in the Academy: Bringing FOI and ATI to Academic Research (BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association)


Manitoba (Access to information requests -- weekly listing)

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia
List of departments:

The Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia


Decisions on complaints to the province's privacy commissioner: Decisions and resolutions

Prince Edward Island


Quebec access-to-information coordinators




Rouge Valley Health System


The World Bank,,detailPagemenuPK:64187510~menuPK:64187513~pagePK:64187848~piPK:64187934~searchPagemenuPK:64187283~siteName:WDS~theSitePK:523679,00.html

Historically Significant FBI Files

Open Government: a journal on freedom of information

Overview of FOIA Countries Worldwide – February 1 2006 (U.S.) (FOI logs)

U.S. FOI requests

U.S. FOI requests for electronic data by state

U.S. Coalition of Journalists for Open Government

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Electronic Reading Room

The FOI Advocate (U.S. news of developments in the area of freedom of information)

U.K. FOI requests

The Sunshine Government Initiative (a coalition of U.S. media groups that advocates opening up access to government records)


National Research Council Canada


Calgary Police Service

Durham Regional Police Service

Edmonton Police Service

Fredericton Police Force

Halifax Regional Municipality

Halton Regional Police

Hamilton Police Services

London Police Service

Niagara Regional Police

Peel Regional Police

Regina Police Service

Vancouver Police Department

Vancouver Police Department (Published Freedom of Information requests)

Waterloo Regional Police Service

York Region Police

Canadian Newspaper Association freedom-of-information audit of police forces (CBC story)


The 2011 National Freedom of Information Audit (The Canadian Newspaper Association and The Canadian Community Newspapers Association)

Access to Information Act Failure: Watchdog Suzanne Legault Finds Big Problems With Delays, Denials (Huffington Post Canada)

Access to information denied: Interview with Dean Beeby

Another Blow to Access to Information: Supreme Court of Canada Denies Access to Political Documents in Ministers’ Offices (Inforrm's Blog: The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog)

Budget cuts undermine federal access-to-information system: watchdog (The Canadian Press)

Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Minister of National Defence): Democratic Governance, Transparency and Accountability or Exective Priviledge?

BC Ferries to alter controversial policy on FOI disclosure

CBC document dispute continues at Access committee: Kady O'Malley liveblogs the House of Commons Access to Information committee hearings on the CBC (CBC News)

CBC head defends broadcaster on access to info (CBC News)

CBC must hand over files to information watchdog (CBC News)

CBC still refusing to release info (Toronto Sun)

CBC one in long list of federal agencies to go up against info czar in court (The Canadian Press)

Canada mediocre in access to information rankings (The Toronto Star)

Bid to see Champlain Bridge report denied: Gazette to appeal federal body's ruling (The Gazette)

Canada to probe alleged ‘muzzling’ of government scientists (The Japan Times)

Chilly White North? Canadian government secrecy on the rise (The Christian Science Monitor)

CommitteeWatch: Hey, remember formerly alleged Access to Information interferent Sebastien Togneri? (CBCnews_Inside Politics Blog)

Conflicting answers on whether complete Mercier Bridge reports will be released (The Gazette)

Court rejects CBC appeal in access-to-information feud (The Canadian Press)

CBC's David McKie on investigative reporting: Your Community Blog

Even Montreal's executive committee agenda is shielded (The Gazette)

Feds, several provinces get low marks for information transparency (Postmedia News)

Feds appeal judge's order to open up RCMP security file on Tommy Douglas (The Canadian Press)

From the bench, a boost for government secrecy (The Globe and Mail)

Government institutions don't respect access to information laws (The Hill Timesonline)

Groups demand inquiry after RCMP drops access to info case (The Gazette)

Notable Canadian print news stories based on ATIA requests

How Freedom of Information requests led to a Parliamentary scandal: Read an excerpt from Heather Brooke’s book (Ted Blog)

Info commish slams Foreign Affairs bureaucrats (Toronto Sun)

Perils of BC's New Freedom of Info Policy (The Tyee)

On access to information, Canada is a developing country (The Globe and Mail editorial)

Open CBC's records, Quebecor owner says (CBC News)

Restaurant inspection reports may go online (CBC News)

Rethink secrecy over Tommy Douglas files, Ottawa told (The Canadian Press)

Rules are no substitute for cultivating a culture of open government (The Toronto Star)

The Gazette's View: Inspection reports: the stonewalling must stop

Five ways Ottawa stymies Access to Information requests (The Globe and Mail)

SCC Establishes Scope of Access to Information Act (A legal blog about the law of information)

SCOC says no: ministerial agendas off-limits (CBC News)

Stephen Harper could relax now, but will he? (The Globe and Mail)

Tasha Kheiriddin: Supreme Court: PM entitled to a hidden agenda (National Post)

The push for Open Government - up to a point (CBC News)

Top court says PM, ministers not subject to info law (CBCNews)

Truce called in CBC dispute at Commons committee on Access to Information (The Canadian Press)


David McKie

Glen McGregor (A few tasteful snaps: Mostly about Canadian data journalism and politics)

Justin Piche (Tracking the Politics of 'Crime' and Punishment in Canada)

Fagstein (Maintained by Montreal Gazette copy editor Steve Faguy and self-described "twenty-something geek freelance journalist who lives in Montreal")

The SPJ International Journalism Committee Blog

Now The Details



Summary table — Debt to equity ratio by industries (Statistics Canada)

Business Insider

Financial glossary (Reuters)

Society of American Business Writers and Editors


Google Finance (Canada's largest provider of news & broadcast media monitoring, financial and corporate data)

Business Terminology

Campbell R. Harvey's Hypertextual Finance Glossary

The Canadian Investor Relations Institute (CIRI)


Corporations database online

FAQs for Business Reporters

The Globe and Mail Public Policy Wiki

Resources for Journalists (Society of American Business Editors and Writers, Inc.)

Canada NewsWire

CCN Matthews

PR Newswire (U.S.)

CBC Business News

CBC (Venture)

CBC Marketplace

Canadian Business Resource Centre

SEDAR (Canada)

Cyberbahn (fee-for-service)

Advice for Investors

British Columbia Securities Commission

Alberta Securities Commission

Manitoba Securities Commission

Ontario Securities Commission

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF)

Nova Scotia Securities Commission

The Securities Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador

Search for information about private businesses

Search for information about private corporations

Registre des entreprises du Québec

Disciplined Persons ( Canadian Securities Administrators)

Canadian Insider


Intellectual property (patents, trade-marks, copyrights)

Government contract tendering

Contracts Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (a federal agency that educates and protects consumers)


Business Edge ( Bi-weekly business news magazine)

Daily Business Buzz (Atlantic Canada's Source for business news)

Canada Revenue probe focuses on some RBC DS clients (CBC and Globe and Mail investigation)


Search for a Federal Corporation (Industry Canada)

CANSIM tables federal government revenue and expenditures

Statistics Canada

The Canadian Economy Online

Economic and Market Research/Statistics (Industry Canada)


CNW Group

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2007 (Statistics Canada)

Insolvency Statistics and Economic Analysis (Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada)

Investment Canada Act (Quarterly Statistics - Industry Canada) (lists of registered foreclosures throughout British Columbia)

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey

Catalyst Canada, Inc.

The Progressive Economics Forum


Northern Business Ontario

Alberta Oil: The Business of Energy


Access to airline safety reports held up by court action (CBCNews)

Ambrose got earful on definition-of-life vote (CBC News)

Access to Information Act turns 30 amid calls for reform (CBC News)

Access to Info Watch: In search of ... documents that never were (CBC News)

Advocates demand inquiry into Ontario's costly handling of Royal Crest nursing-home failure: Bankruptcy of nursing-home chain cost feds, province, unions tens of millions of dollars (CBC News)

ANALYSIS | Health Canada drug approval policy lacks key power (CBC News)

Another OC Transpo crash: Passenger suggests "refresher course" for bus drivers (The Ottawa Citizen)

Analysis: As Canada's junior miners flounder, long-term damage looms (Reuters)

A Twitter memorial to Canada’s war dead (Glen McGregor's blog for the Ottawa Citizen)

A CBC News investigation into the increasing use of atypical anti-psychotics among the elderly (CBC News)

1 in 1,000: How often Tories break ranks (The Ottawa Citizen analysis of House of Commons votes)

Air force warned about backlash over MacKay’s chopper flight (The Toronto Star)

Analysing data is the future for journalists, says Tim Berners-Lee (The Guardian)

An ugly campaign against the CBC (The Toronto Star)

Arthritis claims up in bid to speed applications: Advocates say it's easier to get a doctor to sign a prescription for pot intended to treat sore joints (PostMedia News)

Border agency policy spells out surveillance rules (CBC News)

Documents show ‘harperization’ of government communications (The Canadian Press)

Don't shoot the messenger

Drug seizure stories (CBC News)

Canada's arms sales to the Middle East (CBC News)

CBC's David McKie on investigative reporting

CBC releases some records to House committee (CBC News)

Censors must not arbitrarily black out public documents, panel rules (The Globe and Mail)

Complaints against OC Transpo drivers pile up
Transit commission mum on discipline (The Ottawa Citizen)

Clement seeks ‘culture change’ on government transparency (The Globe and Mail)

Code Red (The Hamilton Spectator)

Party discipline: Conservative MPs break ranks more often than opposition (The Globe and Mail)

Contaminated sites across Canada require clean up (CBC News)

Drunk driving tops list of pardoned offences (CBC News)

FATAL FLIGHTS A Perilous Rush to Profit (The Washington Post)

Federal agency ACOA writes off millions in bad loans (CBC News)

$1.4B tax scams nail donors:Taxman going after 106,000 who submitted inflated charity claims (The Toronto Star)

Absent Liberals under fire for giving Tories de facto majority (The Ottawa Citizen)

Arming the world (CBC National Radio News)

Beaten Down: Fear and violence in Canada's nursing homes (CBC National Radio News)

Behind the kitchen door (The Edmonton Journal)

Beauty and the Breast: The Controversy Continues (CBC News)
Click here to download the documentary

Bird strikes increasing at Canadian airports, data shows (CBC News)

Bruce Carson not alone in bankruptcy

Buying Influence? Which lobbyists gave money to councillors durring the last election? (Toronto Media Co-op)

Canada's air marshals cost $40 million a year, documents show

Canada OK's most Sri Lankan refugee claims (CBC News)

Canadian military grapples with drug convictions (CBC News)

Canadian Newspaper Association freedom-of-information audit of police forces (CBC story)

Canadian arms sales 2007-09 top $1.4B

Care and attention: Daycares lost track of children 230 times over five years (The Vancouver Sun)

CBSA urged to act on marriage fraud complaints: Immigration minister wants border agents to build credible cases
(CBC News)

Close call for Labrador-bound flight (CBC News Newfoundland)

Collision Course ( The Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator and The Record)

Dangling the Dollars ( The Ottawa Citizen and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald)

Database: G8/G20 spending numbers (CBC News)

Database: Accessing MPs' expenses

Deadly Mistkes: Critical Errors by City's Network Found in 40 Fatalities; Confidential Files Show Wide Pattern of Official Neglect (The Washington Post),Investigative+Reporting

Dirty little secrets: Abuse in daycares (The Toronto Star)

Dishing the Dirt (Winnipeg Free Press)

Driving the 401 a risky business (The Toronto Star)

Dying for Job (CBC National Radio New)

Explore the Data
The New York Times spent 10 months investigating business incentives awarded by hundreds of cities, counties and states

Europe's Hidden Billions - tracking EU structural funds (The Financial Times)

Facts & Figures (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Faint Warning ( CBC National Radio News)

Federal workers lead pack in rising absenteeism (The Ottawa Citizen)
Please read the story by clicking here.

Federal cuts threaten program hiring medically discharged vets (CBC News)

Feds open up access to government data (CBC News)

Fewer prisoners escaping federal custody (CBC News)

Fixing D.C.'s Schools (A Washington Post investigation)

Flaherty looked to Liberals for lessons on spending cuts (CBC News)

Florida's Stand Your Ground Law (Tampa Bay Times)

Fluctuations in refugee rulings trouble critics (CBC News investigation)

Elusive access pushing patients to B.C (Calgary Herald)

Government's online information access plan falls short (CBC News)

Government warned before loss of student loan, CPP data (CBC News)

'Guantanamo North': Inside Secretive U.S. Prisons (NPR)

Harvesting Cash (A Washington Post investigation into farm subsidies)

Health Canada planned to target binge, pregnant smokers (CBC News)

Hosed at the Pumps (The Ottawa Citizen)

Immigration programs still poorly tracked: Volpe

Increase in STDs in region alarming: officials: Health departments link rise to reduced condom use (The Ottawa Citizen)

Stemming the spread of STDs: Sexual health clinic expanded to handle the rising number of cases of infection (The Ottawa Citizen)

Industry Canada queried Bernier census claims

Information czar gives Canada Post, CBC low marks (CBC News)

Inmate programs fall short of capital spending (CBC News)

IMPACT (The Record series on road safety)

Inspectors averaged 2 hours a day inside listeria-infected plant (The CBC and Toronto Star)

Female appointments dip under Tories (CBC News)

Firms with worker deaths to lose rebates: Star investigation prompts WSIB change (The Toronto Star)

Food for thought (The Ottawa Citizen)

Food agency database shows rise in serious product recalls (CBC News)

Forced Out (A Washington Post Investigation Into the Casualties of the District's Real Estate Boom)

Gas-pedal problems plagued several carmakers (CBC News)

GIVE AND TAKE: Charitable empire has high costs

Gun seizures up but fears of porous border remain (CBC News)

Lebanon crisis sparked consular staff concerns (CBC News)

Listeriosis victims, families still waiting for compensation (CBC News)

Lobbyists mount full-court press (The Ottawa Citizen)

Looking for art? You can get a real steal at government buildings (The Canadian Press)

MacKay helicopter airlift 'under guise' of training (CBC News)

MacKay took taxpayer-funded helicopter after officials advised against media event (Postmedia News)

Marriages of convenience problems persist (CBC News)

Medical marijuana blurb (PostMedia News)

Medical marijuana requests spike, with severe arthritis most common claim (Edmonton

Memo warned Toews of risks in dropping gun show rules: Elimination of long-gun registry raises concern over gun show sales (CBC News)

More people failing revamped citizenship tests (CBC News)

Government signals crackdown on marriage fraud

Medical marijuana law changes under microscope (CBC News)

More CAR-related stories ( CARinCanada)

More home sellers taking a loss (The Baltimore Sun),0,3496598,full.story

More than $1M spent on VIP flights for Natynczyk since 2008 (CTV News)

Most medical marijuana users middle-aged men (The Ottawa Citizen)

Muslim panelists 'not available,' unredacted document says (CBC News)

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said he didn’t ‘know very much’ about energy projects, emails reveal (Post Media)

News stories produced by ATI Act requests, 2006-2010

No Running Water (The Winnipeg Free Press)

Nova Scotia government gave $2.3 million in merit pay to civil servants (The Chronicle Herald)

50 Alberta news stories made possible by FOIP Act requests

OC Transpo's waiting game (It’s not your imagination. According to a Citizen study, fewer than half of OC Transpo buses run on time. Glen McGregor crunches the numbers.)
PDF version of Glen's entire OC Transpo series, including the methodology

Oda's staff silent on travel expense changes (CBC News)

Ontario public servants' $100,00 Club growing; 24% Rise In Year (National Post)

Ontario runway problems cause rise in plane accidents (CBC News)

#OpenGov Watch: 48 ATI-governed entities down, 100+ to go! (CBC News)

Out of Synch (CBC National Radio News)

Overserved (Ottawa Citizen series on bar inspections)

Pardons allow new start, applicants say (CBC News)

Pardon applications expected to tumble (The Canadian Press)

Parking Secrets: Where you're most likely to be ticketed (The Vancouver Sun)

Police dip into victims' cash (The Toronto Star)

Political contributions: What the numbers say

Political donations in Alberta - 2004 to 2010 (Edmonton Journal)

Prescribed to death

Prison 'double-bunking' risks violence, ombudsman says (CBC News)

Payment plea for Tamil protest costs ignored (CBC News)

Private sector must help keep lid on drug costs, report argues (CBC News)

PS balloons on Conservatives' watch (The Ottawa Citizen)

Public service absenteeism jumps by 40%; 'Alarming' spike over past decade draws ire, sympathy from experts
(The Ottawa Citizen)

Please read the story by clicking here

Race Matters (The Toronto Star)

Rapid Fire (The Ottawa Citizen)

RCMP fire Tasers multiple times despite health hazards: probe (CBC-Radio-Canada, The Canadan Press)

RCMP softened Taser-use restrictions (CBC-Radio-Canada, The Canadian Press)

RCMP shocked 16 people five times or more last year (CBC and The Canadian Press)

RCMP spied on scholar Northrop Frye, records show (The Canadian Press)
To read article, please click here

RCMP spied on Tommy Douglas as early as 1936 (The Canadian Press)

RCMP halts use of older model Tasers after B.C. decision (The CBC)

Report details encounters with rude, accusatory border employees (The Canadian Press)

Ring of Fire mining may not benefit First Nations as hoped (The CBC)

Rise in prison gangs fuelling violence, drug trade (CBC News)

Roadside breath tests not always accurate: documents (CTV News, British Columbia)

Several news stories by Stanley Tromp, based upon Freedom of Information requests

Secret Skies (CBC News investigation into air safety on the 10th anniversary of the Swissair crash)

Security video of Robert Dziekanski: Select footage from 6 hours in Vancouver International Airport (CBC News)

Some airport screeners have sticky fingers, documents show (QMI Agency)

Some childcare facilities fall short of government standards (Martha Troian, CBC News North)

Some tested Tasers fire stronger current than company says: CBC/Radio-Canada probe

Taser this: RCMP increases its use of stun guns ( CBC National Radio News/The Canadian Press)

Tax breaks for volunteer firefighters - less than meets the eye (CBC News, Election 2011 reality check)

Temporary foreign workers hired in areas with EI claimants (CBC News)

Harper says foreign worker program is being fixed (CBC News)

The Hornet's Sting (The Ottawa Citizen)

The Joy of Parking (CBC Radio Halifax)

The long, hot summer (The Winnipeg Free Press)

The school nurse is in ... for now (Pioneer Press)

The Washington Post (artricles by former database editor Sarah Cohen)

Times launching database that maps, analyzes crime reports across L.A. County,0,4503455.story

Time's Up (Winnipeg Free Press)

Tory ridings the winners from stimulus (The Ottawa Citizen)

Tory MP who flirted with Chinese reporter passed security check (The Canadian Press)

Toxic spills put Arctic under threat, report finds

Too many drugs allowed on market: MP (CBC News)

Top-paid Ont. civil servants list jumps 11% (CBC News)

Tory crime plan fails victims, inmates: critics (CBC News)

Toyota floor-mat problems arose in 2003 (CBC News)

Toyota should have revealed '05 lawsuit: critics (CBC News)

Toyota problems seen months before recall (CBC News)

Toxic Waters: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering (The New York Times)

U.S. worries about Canadian meat flagged in memo
Coalition wants plug pulled on meat pre-clearance pilot project in wake of XL Foods recall

U.S. worries about Canadian meat flagged in memo (CBC News)
Coalition wants plug pulled on meat pre-clearance pilot project in wake of XL Foods recall

XL Foods warned 6 times over lapses before E. coli outbreak (CBC News)
Correction Action Requests issued at Alberta plant for sanitation, contamination

Vehicle safety bill moves ahead (CBC News)

Who are Saskatchewan’s medicinal marijuana users? ( The Leader-Post)

Who wins, loses from mass immigration to California? (The Orange County Register)

WORKING WOUNDED: Hiding injuries rewards companies




Open Directory Project

Cluster searches

Reporter's desktop

Verbatim tool: Search using the exact words you typed\

Incognito mode (browse in private)

DuckDuckGo (anonymous searches)

Firefox Private Browsing


Child Care Lookup (Government of Alberta)

Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services (Find Licenced Childcare)!!/delta/base64xml/L3dJdyEvd0ZNQUFzQUMvNElVRS82X0NfNENQ

Toronto's Children's Services

Nova Scotia Directory of Licensed Child Care Facilities

Care and Attention (The Vancouver Sun's investigation into daycares)

Child and Spousal Support: Maintenance Enforcement Survey Statistics (Statistics Canada)


InjuryBoard Blog Network

Chemical companies, Big Tobacco and the toxic products in your home (Chicago


CBC's adverse drug reaction database series

Rapid Fire ( the Ottawa Citizen's searchable online gun registry database )

National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting

Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.

Example syllabi

Syllabi - Curriculum Outlines and Ideas (IRE)

Center for Public Integrity


Percentage Calculator

NewsEngin's Percent Change Calculator

Stephen Lamble's computer-assisted reporting home page (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia)

Jakob Nielsen's Website (Expert advice on Internet trends and usage)

Domain name registries around the world

Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation

NGA Range Bearing Computation (the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)

SQL Server Express


Text editing with spreadsheets

‘Microsoft Excel Tips’ (CARinCanada)

Excel Tips

My Favorite (Excel) Things (Excellent tutorial from MaryJo (Sylwester) of the St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Comprehensive Primer

ProPublica News Apps Style Guide

Reporters' Cookbook!

Computer Tutorials


Miracle Solutions

Internet Relay Chat

Google Refine (ClusteringInDepth)

How to Scrape Websites for Data without Programming Skills (The Poynter Institute)

Scraping for Journalists: How to grab data from hundreds of sources, put it in a form you can interrogate - and still hit deadlines By Paul Bradshaw

For Journalism: Data journalism for all (@forjournalism)



Directory of chief coroners (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)







New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island





RCMP Detachments - Telephone Numbers

Criminal Intelligence Service Canada

Canadian Firearms Program (RCMP - facts and figures)

Marihuana Grow Initiative (RCMP)

Call for Backup (RCMP site)

Police reported crime statistics (Statcan summary table that compares "most serious crimes" from 2007 to 2008)

Crimes and offences (Statcan summary tables that break crimes down by province and territories)

Juristat (Statistics Canada)

Ottawa Police

Crime Reports (Ottawa police)

Canadian Association of Police Boards

Crime Reports (crime mapping company for police forces in North America)

The University of Ottawa

Queen's University

Security in the Community (Hintonburg Community Association)

Tracking the Politics of 'Crime' and Punishment in Canada

Adult Correctional Services Survey (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics)



Recalled Medical Devices

Vehicle Defect Complaints (Transport Canada)


Hospital infections

Vancouver Sun article

Ottawa Citizen article on domestic violence

Latest Statscan samesex data

Statscan2006 detailed samesex data

Statscan 2001 detailed samesex data

Proactive Disclosure

Ottawa CMA, all violation, 1998-2010

Food recall stats


Data & Research (The World Bank),,contentMDK:22547097~pagePK:50016803~piPK:50016805~theSitePK:13,00.html,,menuPK:476823~pagePK:64165236~piPK:64165141~theSitePK:469372,00.html (a comprehensive list of open data catalogs currated by experts from around the world)


Innovation in America (Peter Aldous)

Overview (visualizations of large document sets)

Public Data (Google)

World Development Indicators (The World Bank)

Code out loud


Data visualization course


Office of the Judge Advocate General (National Defence)

Decisions of convictions resulting from courts martial

The Canadian Veterans Advocacy

Summary Proceedings (National Defence)

The Technology Connection to Remembrance Day (Ottawa Citizen blogs)

University of British Columbia's Veterans Transition Program

Army Suicide Prevention Program (The U.S.)


Repositories of Primary Sources

Directory of Open Access Journals

WorldCat (WorldCat connects you to the collections and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide)




Globe and Mail article about political staff making changes to Wikipedias, please click here

Canadian Historical Association Booklets

Sources Directory

Acronym Finder

Canadian Business & Current Affairs (CBCA): Queen's University Library

Electronic Collection: A Virtual Collection of Monographs and Periodicals

Various Canadian sources


Atlas of Canada


Project Gutenberg

Canadian Encyclopedia

Columbia University Libraries (Oxford Dictionaries)

The Canadian Illustrated News (1869 to 1883)

Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Bilingual Dictionaries

History of the Federal Electoral Ridings since 1867

Historical statistics of Canada

The Early Alberta Newspaper collection

Saskatchewan News Index 1884-2000

Acadiensis: The Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region


World News Digest

Europa World


Chartered Accountants of Ontario


Google Groups

Yahoo! Groups

National Archives (listserv discussion and references)

Journalism Listservs

CataList (the official catalog of LISTSERV® lists)

Listserv search on journalismnet

Canada FOI listserv


The Slyck's Guide to newsgroups

Tile.Net/Newsgroups (The Reference to Usenet Newsgroups)

Cyberfiber Newsgroups

Women's Health

Road to Canada ( immigration discussion group)

Workscape ( a workplace discussion group hosted by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)

Health-related listservs ( The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)

The Canadian Women’s Health Network (CWHN)

AvCanada (a discussion forum about aviation issues)

Canadian Gunnutz

Ottawa South History Project (Canadian Heritage)


SMO Message Boards



Overview: Visual Document Mining for Journalists (beta)

Annotated documents: Highlights of key excerpts and findings from Freeh report on Penn State (

U.S. cables dissect Canada’s leaders: WikiLeaks (CBC News)

Chemical companies, Big Tobacco and the toxic products in your home (

Videographer Who Took Aim at NPR Gets IRS Approval for New Charity (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

A key witness’ changing stories (

Big pension payouts set in motion years ago (

Colorado bill tracker

Interactive: Inside The Health Care Ruling (National Public Radio)

How Nonprofits Spend Millions on Elections and Call it Public Welfare (ProPublica)

Legal Experts Decode the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Ruling (The Daily Beast)

Ex-Tyco CEO says "CEO-type bubble" made him feel entitled to steal millions (njcom)

Read selected e-mails from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's communication team (The Globe and Mail)

Search the Afghan detainee documents (cbcnews)

The Sarah Palin emails (The Guardian)

Read the Afghan detainee files and flag important passages (The Globe and Mail)

The Education of Dasmine Cathey (

Safety Flaws Found At Western State Hospital (KUOW News)

Some of Christie's biggest bills match model legislation from D.C. group called ALEC (


Bureau of Economic Analysis (U.S. Department of Commerce)

CPI Inflation Calculator (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Talking Biz News (Information about business journalism, from the Carolina Business News Initiative)

Business Blog (The Guardian)



Statistics Canada (Salaries of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities and colleges)

Statistics Canada (Education Statistics Program)

Media Research Methods by Arizona State University

An Open Letter to America's University Presidents (Knight Foundation)

Mercer, GPB and Telegraph form novel partnership


Elections Canada

Elections Canada: Electoral Districts: Maps Corner

Women Candidates in General Elections (1921 to Date)

History of Federal Ridings since 1867

Pundits' Guide to Canadian Federal Elections

British Columbia


Political donations in Alberta - 2004 to 2010 (Edmonton Journal)


Elections Ontario

Quebec political contributions

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia (electorial district boundaries)

Political Contributions Regime Annual Report (Nova Scotia)


Canada's Greenhouse Gas Inventory ( Environment Canada )

Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry

Canadian Environmental Protection Act and Fisheries Act (prosecutions)

Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory

Managing Contaminated Sites (Environment Canada)

Who to Call in an Emergency

Table of Inactive Lighthouses Declared Surplus (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Table of Active Lighthouses Declared Surplus (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Northern Contaminated Sites Program (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Contaminated Site Registry (PEI)

Environmental Communication Options' Media Releases

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Exposure Research - databases)

Keystone XL Pipeline stories (The New York Times)

Imperial Oil's role in museum's energy exhibit questioned: Foundation contributed $600,000 over 6 years to exhibit (CBC News)



The Link (Leading Indo-Canadian Newspaper)


We will place a lot of emphasis on ensuring that the website you use when researching a story is trustworthy. In order to determine credibility, it's necessary to have a checklist of key criteria that the site must meet. Here are some sites that will help reinforce and add to what you've already learned:;;;; also helps is to know who is behind the Web page in question. The following links will help you determine who set up the commercial site that has attracted your interest: (For Canadian websites); (deals with domains from all countries, and analyzes the website's reach; that is, the number and identity of visitors to the page) and and and , US/whois/index.jhtml, and and for "UK" domain names. When plugging in the website you're researching, be sure to exclude the "www." The first site on the list, "geektools," contains the easiest interface of the three. The choice is yours.


Canada News Centre

Open Data Pilot Project

Public Opinion Research Reports

Public Opinion Research Reports

Visible Government (government transparency in Canada)

Government-Wide Reporting (Treasury Board's listing of proactive disclosures by department)

Government of Canada official website

All Websites Administered by the Government of Canada

Years of Service in Parliament

Governor in Council Appointments

Orders in Council Appointments

Orders in Council Glossary

Federal government departments

Federal government search engines

How Did They Vote

Canada Gazette

Federal government selected disclosure of travel and hospitality expenses and contracts

Federal government phone book

Polling (click on the "continue to the document" link to get to the departmental polls)

Public Opinion Research Reports

Federal bugets

Reviews, Audits and Evaluations

Tools and Resources for Parliamentarians (Treasury Board gate to reports including Departmental Quarterly Financial Reports)

The Fiscal Monitor 2008 (the Finance department)

Auditor General of Canada

Proactive Disclosure

Travel and Hospitality Expenses Reports (Government of Canada: Privy Council Office)

Public Office Holders Search (Office of the Ethics Commissioner)

Plans and Priorities / Performance Reports

Public Accounts


The Federal Cabinet

Minotaur (website monitors the federal government telephone directory for changes in staff listings in ministerial offices)


Conservative Research Bureau,ou=CON-PAR,ou=HOU-AGE,ou=HoC-CdC,o=GC,c=CA

NDP Research Bureau,ou=NEW-NOU,ou=HOU-AGE,ou=HoC-CdC,o=GC,c=CA

Members of Parliament

Liberal critics

NDP critics

Parliamentary Secretaries

Cabinet ministers



House Government Bills ( Parliament )

Parliamentary Committees

House of Commons Procedure and Practice

Order Paper questions

Written Questions (Senate)

Written Questions (House of Commons)

The complete list of questions on the Order Paper (click on the "Status of House Business" tab on the left-hand side to obtain a running tally of MPs' written questions)

Current list of questions (for the current list of questions, select the Order Paper & Notice Paper tab on the left-hand side, then go to the "Questions" section)

Reports and Returns Deposited with the Clerk of the House (this is the website were you'll find ouf if the sessional papers have been produced on that particular day. This link should be checked every day in order to keep track of tabled documents.)

House of Commons Calendar (the dates highlighted in pink, indicate the days when the House is not sitting when documents like sessional papers are tabled)

House of Commons Journals (a link that provides the returns and reports tabled with the clerk when the House is not in session. The sessional papers that begin with the numbers 8555 are written answers to MPs questions)

House of Commons List of Reports and Returns brings (this is a generic description of documents that ministers are obliged to table in the House)

Debates (Hansard)


Current and Emerging Issues (Library of Parliament)

History of electoral ridings

Women in the House of Commons

Women in the Senate

Women in Parliament (Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Library of Parliament)

Women candidates in federal elections since 1921

PoliTwitter (Track what federal politicians are saying on social media)

Votes in the House of Commons


Canada School of Public Service

Chief Human Resources Officer

Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal

FAIR ( Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform)

Public service absenteeism jumps by 40%; 'Alarming' spike over past decade draws ire, sympathy from experts
(The Ottawa Citizen)

Please read the story by clicking here

Federal workers lead pack in rising absenteeism (The Ottawa Citizen)
Please read the story by clicking here.

Ethics boss found morale mess in office (The Ottawa Citizen)
Pleae read the story by clicking here.

Minotaur (website monitors the federal government telephone directory for changes in staff listings in ministerial offices)


Parliamentary Budget Officer federal spending watch


Food Recall Report (Downloadable food recalls from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Health Safety Watch (real-time health and safety information)

Food Recalls and Allergy Alerts

Audits, Reviews and Evaluations - Executive Summaries (The Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Audio Clips for Food Recalls and Allergy Alerts (The Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Food Safety Assessment Reports (Health Canada)

Reports on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (By the Auditor General of Canada)

CBC-Toronto Star food-safety investigation

Food safety at risk with budget cuts expected, union says (CBC News)

Federal food safety surveillance program stalled (CBC News)

Listeriosis victims receive reduced compensation (CBC News)

XL Foods warned 6 times over lapses before E. coli outbreak (CBC News)
Correction Action Requests issued at Alberta plant for sanitation, contamination

U.S. worries about Canadian meat flagged in memo (CBC News)
Coalition wants plug pulled on meat pre-clearance pilot project in wake of XL Foods recall

BC investigation into faulty juice boxes

Nova Scotia Food Establishment Inspection Reports

Newfoundland &Labrador Inspection Reports

The National Agricultural Library (the U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Gateway to Government Food Safety Information (U.S.)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Search for Peanut Butter Product Recalls (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Foreign Audit Reports (the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service)

United States Departrment of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service

Canadian food companies cerfitifed to export to the United States

Food safety reports from Thomas Hargrove of the Scripps Howard Service

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention_ cached Outbreak Surveillance Data (Department of Health and Human Services)

The Traceability Institute

Eat Safe ( the city of Ottawa's website for restaurant inspections)

Food Safety News

BarfBlog (safe food from farm to fork)

News for Shoppers

People's Food Policy Project

Caffeine Content of Drinks (A complete guide to caffeine)

Bites and barflog (safe food from farm to fork)


The Poultry Site

Current World Production, Markets, and Trade Reports (United States Department of Agriculture)


Canada's International Gateway

Canada's bilateral relations with countries around the world (Canada's International Gateway)


Budget 2009: Canada’s Economic Action Plan

Transactions under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)

Many Eyes (a website that helps visualize U.S. government spending)

Economic Stimulus: Transportation Infrastructure Projects by County (Associated Press)

Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan (Alberta)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (British Columbia)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (Manitoba)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (Newfoundland)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (New Brunswick)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (Nova Scotia)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (Nunavut)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (Ontario)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (PEI)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (Quebec)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (Saskatchewan)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (Yukon)

Canada's Economic Action Plan (NWT)

Stimuluswatch ( Algonquin College's federal stimulus tracking website)

Economic Stimulus: Distressed bridges often overlooked for repairs ( American Press)

ProPublica’s FAQ for (the official U.S. government website that tracks stimulus spending)


Chronic Disease Infobase (the Public Health Agency of Canada)

Canadian Patient Safety Institute

FluWatch (The Public Health Agency of Canada's national surveillance system that monitors the spread of flu and flu-like illnesses)

Deaths Associated with H1N1 flu virus in Canada

Canadian Institute for Health Information (statistics)

Statistics Canada (deaths from infectious diseases)

Statistics Canada (abortion rates)

Food recalls (Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada)

Food recall archives (The Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Medication Guides ( the U.S. Food and Drug Administration )


E-CPS (Canadian Pharmacists Association)!ut/p/.scr/Login



PharmaWatch Canaada

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs

Consumer Reports

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australian Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin)

Science Daily

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada

Health Canada

Health Canada (Dear Health Care Professional Letters and public advisories)

Health Canada, drug and medical device recalls

Health Canada Advisories, Warnings and Recalls by Subject

Health Canada, Consumer Product Safety Recalls

Index of Published Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletters

Health Canada's Adverse Drug Reaction Database

Health Canada list of expert advisory committees

Notice of compliance ( drugs Health Canada has approved )

Drug Products Database ( all of the drugs Health Canada has approved for marketing)

Food and Drug Administration advisory committees

FDA advisory committees (search)

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Controversial drug marketing

Recently approved medical devices ( FDA )

Health Space (contains online inspection information for provinces such as B.C.)

Patient Safety (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care)

Health Inspection Orders (Alberta Health Services)


Nova Scotia Prescription Monitoring Program


International Society For Infectious Diseases

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Healthy Debate ( is led by a core team of physicians, policy advisors and researchers based at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto) (Non-partisan health policy experts and evidence)

Cutting Edge Information


Housing Again (a site dedicated to putting affordable housing back on the public agenda)

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, average rents for areas with a population of 10,000 and over (Statistics Canada)

Forecasts and Analysis (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)


National databases of regional occupations under pressure

Regional Occupations under Pressure List for British Columbia

Regional Occupations under Pressure List for Alberta

Regional Occupations under Pressure List for Manitoba

Regional Occupations under Pressure List for Ontario

Regional Occupations under Pressure for Quebec

Regional Occupations under Pressure List for Nova Scotia

Regional Occupations under Pressure List for Prince Edward Island

Human Resources and Social Development Canada (Looking-Ahead: A 10-Year Outlook for the Canadian Labour Market [2006-2015])

Facts and figures 2007 – Immigration overview: Permanent and temporary residents (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Canadian Immigration Statistics (Canada Immigrant Job Issues)

Canadian Immigration Stats (for Canada and all regions from the 2001 and 2006 censuses)

Immigration to Ottawa (A snapshot of immigrant labour market integration)

The Monitor (An online newsletter posted quarterly by Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Recent immigrants in metropolitan areas (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Lost Canadians (CBC investigative series on people who lost their Canadian Citizenship)

2006-09 Refugee Claim Data & IRB Member Grant Rates (Compiled by Sean Rehaag, Assistant Professor Osgoode Hall Law School York University)

2010 Refugee Claim Data and IRB Member Grant Rates

2011 Refugee Claim Data and IRB Member Grant Rates

2012 Refugee Claim Data and IRB Member Grant Rates

Immipedia (The free Canadian Immigration guide that anyone can edit)

Quarterly Administrative Data Release

Human Rights Research and Education Centre

Revoked immigration consultants (The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants)

Centre for Immigration Policy Reform


Reporters' Lab Reviews

Freeware Hex Editor XVI32


Mikogo (Free web conferencing and desktop sharing software)



The Word on Wikis

Docudesk (converts pdfs to spreadsheets for PCs and Macs)


Free PDF Text Reader 1.1

Chapter 3: Turning PDFs to Text (ProPublica)

Nitro PDF Professional

Guaranteed PDF Decrypter



ABBYY FineReader

Awsome Screenshot (Capture the whole page or any portion, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text.....)

Xpdf (An open source viewer for Portable Document Format (PDF) files)

PDFill PDF Editor 5.0


PDFtoExcel (online converter)

Zamzar (Free online file conversion)

Cometdocs( Free online file conversion)

Able2Extract (Standalone conversion to Excel, Word etc. Probably the best overall choice. Reliable and accurate results)


Irfanview (A Windows graphic viewer)



Beta Office 1010

Docsplit (a command-line utility and Ruby library for splitting apart documents into their component parts)

Chrome Extensions

Plug in for Firefox MP3 converter

YouTube Video Downloader 1.5 (can download videos in FLVand MP4 formats)

Audio Hijack Pro (audio recorder for Macs)

NodeXL for Social Network Analysis

Googe Motion

ASAP Utilities (add-ins for Excel)

TimelineSetter: Easy Timelines From Spreadsheets, Now Open to All (Propublica)

Mobile Journalism Reporting Tools Guide (The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute [RJ])

dtSearch (searches files on your desktop)

Online Dictionary (Translation, definition, synonyms, English, French, Spanish, etc)

Zoocasa (estimated Canadian home prices)


Measuring Worth


People Search Pro (Julian Sher)

Google News Timeline (Search Free Public Records in the United States)


TRANSCRIPT | Peter Mansbridge talks with Stephen Harper (CBC News)


Open Channel


Center for Investigative Reporting to curate investigative reporting on new YouTube channel (Poynter)


Resource Shelf


Price's List of Lists

Complete Planet (The Deep Web Directory)

Invisible Web tutorial

Search Engine Watch


Repositories of Primary Resources ( The University of Idaho)

Directory of Open Access Journals (This service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals)

WorldCat (Finds items in libraries near you)

Academic Search Engines (JournalismNet)



Brittny Goodsell

Brad Cabana

David Eaves

David Pugliese Defence Watch

Glen McGregor

Paul Krugman

Heather Scoffield

Kim Bolan: The Real Scoop ( The Vancouver Sun)

Sarah Schmidt (Postmedia News)

Aaron Wherry - Beyond the Commons (


David Gehring (Google)*1_*1_name_DYP2_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1&locale=en_US&id=7898109

Eric Newton (The Nieman Journalism Lab)

Jay Rosen's Press Think

Karen Kleiss (The Edmonton Journal)

Marion Warnica

Mark Coddington

Meg Wilcox

Nicole S. Cohen

Lisa Johnson (CBC Vancouver)

Lisa Roberts

Melanie Coulson (The Ottawa Citizen)

Sam Wang (Princeton Election Consortium)

Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight)

Tamsin McMahon

The Media Business (Robert G. Picard)

The Filter Buble (Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley)

Taylor Owen

The Ottawa Citizen

The Bulldog (A blog by Ken Gray)

The Huffington Post

WSJ blogs


Carleton University (Office of Institutional Research and Planning

Columbia Journalism School

Tow Center for Digital Journalism (Columbia Journalism School)

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

UBC Graduate School of Journalism

Philip Merrill College of Journalism


Journalist's Resource (Harvard Kennedy School, Joan Shorenstein Center)

Newspapers Turning Ideas into Dollars (Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism)

Thinking about the Future of Informed Communities and Journalism

Survey Research, Its New Frontiers and Democracy (Pew Research Center)

Data Journalism Handbook


Society of Profesional Journalists eCampus


CNet (a well-respected technology website)

The Canadian Journalism Project

The Canadian Association of Journalists

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

The Center for Investigative Reporting

The Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University's School of Journalism

Journalist's Toolbox

PowerReportering (resource for journalists)

Committee to Protect Journalists (Defending Journalists Worldwide)


Online Education Database

Investigative Reporters and Editors

Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE)Quick Hits

Investigate This! With Alex Roslin

IRE story search

How Stuff Works

Media magazine

Logan Symposium

The scoop (A blog maintained by computer-assisted reporting specialist Derek Willis)

FINAL REPORT ON THE CANADIAN NEWS MEDIA (Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications)

ProPublica: Journalism in the Public Interest

The Investigative Reporting Workshop (a project of the School of Communication at American University)

The Toronto Star indepth stories

Enquete ( Radio-Canada's investigative program)


Chicago Tribune

The Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC)

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Media in BC. (a report of Simon Fraser University's Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities)

The Canadian Military in the news

Online News Association

Adrian Holovaty (web developer and Chicago-based journalist)

Online Journalism Review

NowPublic (crowd powered media)

Orato ( True stories from real people)

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

JNet's Picks of the Week (a random selection of websites of use to journalists)

Radio-Canada (archives)

Kirk LaPointe's J-home


The Canadian Press

National Post photos

The Hill Times


World news

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

Independent media

Independent Media TV


ABYZ News Links

Newspaper archives


Sept.11 Archives

Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA)

Community Press Online (Ontario)

Online Newspapers

Google News Advanced Archive Search

LexisNexis AlaCarte! (advanced search)

LexisNexis AlaCarte! (free short-term news searches on hot stories)

Hospital News

Medical Doctor (a Canadian website that tracks medical coverage)

Columbia Journalism Review

The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine

Counterpunch (left-wing American political newsletter) ( The Online News Association )

Expert sources -- ProfNet

Carleton's journalism in Rwanda effort (Rumour Has It)

Regret The Error ( it reports on corrections, retractions, clarifications and trends regarding accuracy and honesty in the media)


OhmyNews International

Canadian Association of Internet Providers

Public Eye Online

Public Editor ( The site of the New York Times public editor )

Project for Excellence In Journalism (The State of the News Media 2008) (obituary searches)

American Press Institute

Canwest News reporter David Akin's blog

Inside the Queensway: Maclean's blogger Kady O'Malley

Jacqui Banaszynski tips on finding stories

Famous quotes & quotations

The Future of Journalism,com_sectionex/Itemid,200076/id,8/view,category/#catid69

Investigative Reporting Workshop (The American University)

“American Radical: The Life and Times of I.F. Stone" (DemocracyNow)

Alternate News Sources

Narrative Matters (A peer-reviewed, personal-essay section of the policy journal Health Affairs)

VND (Algonquin College's Virtual News Desk)

Marion Warnica

The New York Review of Books

OWNI.EU Digital Journalism (Technology, Politics and Culture)

Charlie Brooker - How To Report The News (on Youtube)

National News Watch

The Huffington Post (Canada)


Access 2000 tutorial (Florida Gulf Coast University)

Allen Browne's Database and Training

College syllabi on computer-assisted reporting, precision journalism and news research

Gannett Newsroom Resources

Institute for Analytic Journalism

Journalism Education in Canada (Carleton professor, Mary McGuire)

JournalismNet (Julian Sher's Internet site)

MVP Web Sites (tutorials for Microsoft Access)

Neil Reisner's page on NICAR

Paul Myer's Internet site

PewResearchCenter Publications

Newscollege ( Practical Journalism Tips )

News University (A project of The Poynter Institute for Media Studies funded)

No Train, No Gain

Online tutorials from Brown University$generalUtil.urlEncode($spaceKey)&startIndex=0

Poynter Institutue

Knowledgewebb (Baltimore-based online training for people working in the digital media)

Writing About Business (The New Columbia Knight - Bagehot Guide to Economics & Business Journalism)

Society of Professional Journalists

Citizen Journalism course at Kwantlen Polytechnic University



Google Keyword Selector

The Official Google Reader Blog (Follow changes to any websites)

Yahoo Search

Windows Live (MSN Search)




Killer Info

Search Engine Showdown (The User's Guide To Searching the Web)

Wayback machine (Internet archives)

Finding Old Web Pages

baidu (a large Chinese search engine that has a cache link)

Search Engine Showdown (The Users' Guide to Web Searching)



Public Records Research 6700.03

Digital Journalism 1


Temporary Foreign Worker Program Labour Market Opinion (LMO) Statistics (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada)

Occupation - Standard Occupational Classification 1991 (Historical) (707) (Statistics Canada),97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0&Temporal=2006&THEME=74&VID=15743&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=&D1=0&D2=0&D3=0&D4=0&D5=0&D6=0


The ( is a website of title searches / registry agents across Canada )

Alberta Land Titles

British Columbia Land Titles

Manitoba Property Registry

New Brunswick Land Titles and Assessments

NewFoundland and Labrador Deeds

Northwest Territories Land Titles

Nova Scotia's Property Online


Ontario Land Registration Information

Prince Edward Island Registry of Deeds

Quebec Land Titles

Saskatchewan Land Registry

Yukon Land Titles


National Class Action Database (The Canadian Bar Association)

Legal terminology

Canada's justice system

The Criminal Code

Justice Laws Website Title (The Department of Justice Canada)

The Association of Justice Counsel (The bargaining agent for Justice lawyers and notaries for which Treasury Board is the employer)

Table of Public Statutes and Responsible Ministers (The Department of Justice Canada)

Federal Accountability Act (S.C. 2006, c. 9 - The Department of Justice Canada)

Canadian legal resources

The Canadian Legal Information Institute

The scope of CANLII's databases

Law Society of Upper Canada ( list of disbarred lawyer )

The National Class Action Database (a voluntary initiative and is not a comprehensive listing of all class action lawsuits currently underway in Canada)

Canadian Media Lawyers Association (Ad IDEM)

WestlawECarswell (site to be used by Carleton student ID number)

Supreme Court of Canada

Judgements of the Supreme Court of Canada

Federal Court of Canada

Federal Court watch (This site monitors the most recent files on the Federal Court of Canada trial division docket)

Tax Court of Canada

Manitoba Courts

Ontario Courts

Quebec Courts

Provincial Offences Court - Ottawa

Canadian Bar Association

Canadian Law List

Law Commission of Canada (intellectual property, trade-mark & Internet law)


Smoking Gun

British and Irish Legal Information Institute

Ottawa Law Review (Worldwide legal directories)
















Lien Records[Top]

Definition: Liens, available through provincial and territorial government offices, are records of consumer and busines loans to individuals who use their property as collateral. - Source: Digging Deeper: A Canadian Reporter's Research Guide

Lien (PPSA) Search

Canada Search and Registry Corp.


British Columbia


New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia



Prince Edward Island





Library of Parliament

Library and Archives Canada

The Internet Public Library

The Canadian Council of Archives

Theses Canada Portal (Library and Archives Canada)

ArchiviaNet Online Research Tool

Ottawa Public Library 

Proquest (a complete reference guide)

Gumshoe Librarian ( A bibliography of Recommended Websites for Global Research Issues )

U.S. News Archives on the Web


Federal Public Registry of Lobbyists

Federal lobbyists search

Lobbyists (Alberta)$$Search

Lobbyists ( British Columbia)

Lobbyists (Nova Scotia)

Lobbying (New Brunswick)

Lobbyists (Ontario)

Lobbyists (Quebec)

Lobbyists (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Lobbyists (City of Toronto)

The Lobby Monitor

Lobby Watcher!/lobbywatcher

Elections Canada (contributions and expenses)

Open Secrets (a nonpartisan guide to money’s influence on U.S. elections and public policy)

Project On Government Oversight (U.S. non-profit watch-dog group)


For Fusion Table tutorial, click here

Simple Polylines (Google Maps JavaScript API v3)

Oil and Gas Rights Digital Files (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada)

Qgis (on windows)

Qgis (for Mac users) (for Snow Leopard 10.6) (for Leopard 10.5)

Qgis basics for journalists


Knight Digital Media Center's data visualization tutorials

Knight Digital Media Center's digital media tutorials


Natural Resources Canada's collection of maps

Natural Resources Canada ( Understanding projections)

Maps Corner ( Elections Canada)

Federal Electoral Districts

Geospatial Database (Queen's University Library)

Data Catalogue (City of Ottawa)

GeoCoder (converts addresses into longitude and latidue for use in mapping)

Latitude and longitude locator



Degrees, Minutes, Seconds and Decimal Degrees Latitude/Longitude Conversions (Federal Communications Commission)

Understanding Latitude and Longitude:The Global Grid



GIS for Stimulus Reporting

Tableau Public ( a free application that helps to visualize data )

Google Fusion Tables

Googe Fusion Tables discussion group!topic/fusion-tables-users-group/4SVxAew5P78

Google Fusion Table (shape file to KML conversion)

Google fusion tables beta (data sets you can use)

FusionTablesLayer Builder

Google Sites (allows you to see what your Fusion Table maps or charts look like before publishing them)

ColorBrewer (for doing fancier colour schemes in Fusion Tables)

A map to help voters find their polling places using Fusion Tables as a data source (Google fusion tables)

Google earth

How to make your own data map of Montreal

Zonum Solutions (Converts shape file files to KML files)

Gut Those Shapefiles (shape file converter)

Google Geo Developers Blog

Google's Chart Tool

Shape to Fusion ( A website that allow users to import shape files into fusion tables) (A journalist who makes maps for the Web)

All things spatial (a good mapping blog)

Google public data explorer

GPS Visualizer

Infinite Gravity Data Services (The Canadian Postal Code)

Think Data

Fusion Table URL for the Ottawa bike thefts A journalist who makes maps for the web


Boundary files (Statistics Canada)

Geogrpahic levels for 2011 census (Statistics Canada)

2006 Census Population (Statistics Canada)

2006 Census Income and Earnings,97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0&Temporal=2006&THEME=81&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=

2006 Census Household Income,97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=814&Temporal=2006&THEME=81&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=

2011 Census - Province and Territory Cargographic Boundary Files (Statistics Canada)

Geography (Statistics Canada)

Fusion Table Test


2011 Census Population Data by Ward (Raise the Hammer)

Crime in St. Paul

2011 Wisconsin Senate Recalls

After federal changes to waterways rules, 90 per cent of protected lakes lap on Conservative shores (The Ottawa Citizen)

Conservatives defend new waterways rules against accusations of favouritism (The Ottawa Citizen)

A new view of Edmonton (Edmonton Journal)

Battleground B.C.: Election Trends (The Vancouver Sun)

Canada's climbing tuition fees (CBC News)

Median home prices in 2010 remained below 2007 levels across Cuyahoga County


Lying with Maps: How Enbridge is Misleading the Public in its Ads

Current Events Maps

Crime rates continue to fall in Canada: Declines recorded across country, for most offences (CBC News)

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Census 2010 Interactive Map: Texas Population By Race, Hispanic Origin (The Texas Tribune)

Census 2010 Interactive Map: Texas Population By House, Senate District (The Texas Tribune)

Family, church important to Filipinos: Many call the central neighbourhood around Fraser Street home, and Tagalog signs abound (The Vancouver Sun)

Federal Parolees Per Capita (The Vancouver Sun)

Fare evasion on SkyTrain and Canada Line (The Vancouver Sun)

Election Prediction 2011 (Hill and Knowlton),4:0.302,3:0.165,2:0.04,5:0.083,1:0.012&r=0

Enbridge affiliates have had 175 leaks, spills over 10 years in U.S. (The Ottawa Citizen)

Explore the data: Toronto bicycle collisions mapped over 25 years (The Globe and Mail)

50 ridings to watch in the 2011 election (The Globe and Mail)

2008 Federal election: GTA ridings (The Toronto Star)

Highway 63 features map (The Edmonton Journal)

Homicides mapped: 1999 to 2011 (Edmonton Journal)

How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown? (Slate)

INTERACTIVE: Census Explorer (The Canadian Press)

Interactive map: Data links low income to poor school test results (Global News)

Interactive Map: Nov. 8 Amendment Vote by County (The Texas Tribune)

Interactive: What's My District Now? (The Texas Tribune)

Interactive: Perry Tracker (The Texas Tribune)

Interactive: Exploring Presidential Donors by ZIP Code (The Texas Tribune)

Interactive: Census: Where you live (The Telegraph)

Interactive map: Bibb County’s congressional redistricting (The Telegraph)

Interactive: Making the WNYC Census Map (

Interactive: SNAPSHOT: Motorcycles per 1,000 residents, 2010 (

Interactive Map: Explore the data behind Toronto's working poor (The globe and Mail)

Interactive: City of Toronto homicides and gang activity, 2008 to present

Investigate with us (Edmonton Journal)

Grand Falls-Windsor growing without paper mill (CBC News)

Living on the Edge (Edmonton Journal)

Map: See Dallas-area holiday light displays (Dallas Morning News)

Metro Vancouver Daycare Ratings Map (The Vancouver Sun)

New Ramsey County sheriff approves a higher percentage of gun applications than Fletcher (Pioneer Press)

NYC Evacuation Zones

Minnesota's public pensins: 40-year financial snapshot

Pioneer Press Family Outings Find fun things to do with your kids in the Twin Cities

Riding Profile -- Edmonton - Strathcona (The Edmonton Journal)

BC Liberal leadership vote by the numbers -- exclusive maps, graphics and analysis (The Vancouver Sun)

(902)-9-1-1 (A King's College Investigation)

Comment vos voisins ont-ils voté en 2008? (

Canada Votes 2011 ( Interactive map:

Canadian federal election results for 2004, 2008 and 2011 (ERSI Press)

Canada's 41st Election Explained ( Flickr )

Find Your Polling Place (

Global News Exclusive: Maritimers leading the way in organ donor registration (globalnewsmaritimes)

Interactive map shows breakdown of HST vote (The Vancouver Sun)

Interactive: Direct your own exploration of Minnesota Census data (Pioneer Press)

Interactive: Get to know your candidates (The Gazette)

Interactive graphics and databases (The Seattle Times)

Interactive: Texas Presidential Contributions by ZIP Code (The Texas Tribune)


Proposed Keystone Pipeline road map (CBC News)

How WNYC Used Texts from Citizens To Map Snowstorm (Mobile Phone Blog)

Map of the Week: Grow operations (The Toronto Star)

Mapping our ethnicity Parts 1,2,3,5 (The Vancouver Sun)

Mapping the Nation's Well-Being (The New York Times)

Maps: Who are the dogs in your Toronto neighbourhood? (Global News)

Map: Where the tornadoes hit

Medical marijuana use in Canada by postal code, 2001 to 2007 (Postmedia News)

Metro Vancouver Mapped: If you're living in sin, you're most likely living in Kitsilano (The Vancouver Sun)

Metro buses involved in hundreds of crashes a year (CBC News Nova Scotia)

Mississippi floods: how does 2011 compare? (New Scientist)

Oilsands website (Alberta government)

Ontario voter turnout lowest since 1867 (

Rains come to Texas but drought could last for years (New Scientist)

Spence residents complaining about bedbugs (globalwinnipeg)

Spinal-cord injuries hit teen athletes hardest (Pioneer Press)

'Sputnik moment'? A report card for US cities (New Scientist)

Storm warning: prepare for a busy hurricane season (New Scientist)

St. Paul gun incident reports up 65 percent so far in 2012 (w/ searchable map) (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

The Census: Canada's Changing Society (The Canadian Press)

Toronto data reveals hundreds of discarded syringes

TransLink bus routes with the most passups (The Vancouver Sun)

Travelling memorial: Canadians in Afghanistan (CBC News)

U.S. tech workers by the numbers (Computer World)

Unemployment rates in Canada (CBC News)

Vancouver Photos from Flickr (The Vancouver Sun)

Vancouver Crime 2006-2011

Welcome to The Bay Citizen's Bike Accident Tracker! (

When Maps shouldn't be Maps (Matthew Ericson, deputy graphics director for The New York Times)

Where are the world's nuclear reactors? (New Scientist)

Where are the mayoral candidates raising their money? (NPR)


Bringing Google spreadsheets and Fusion Tables closer together

Fusion Table tutorial (MaryJo Webster, St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Quickly visualize and map a data set using Google Fusion Tables

How to make a map in Google Fusion Tables

Spatial Analysis Tip Sheet -- Spatial Joins and Overlays, Density, and Proximity Analysis (Barbara Parmenter, Tufts University)

HTML Tutorial - (HTML5 Compliant)

City of Ottawa building inspections (practice data)

Mapping Tutorial for 2010 Ottawa bike thefts

Mapping Tutorial for the distribution of baseball diamond in Ottawa wards

Mapping Tutorial for matching specific bike thefts in each wards using Qgis


Cracking PDS

Tableau Public

Tutorial on visualing data separated into groups and creating a legend

Quantum GIS (QGIS) Tutorials

To obtain the first Qgis tutorial, please click here.

Here's the second Qgis mapping tutorial.

Data for the third Qgis tutorial

2006 Census - Boundary files


After obtaining the census boundary file in the link above and downloading the "TotalIncome" file, you are ready for the third Qgis tutorial.


Health Canada's list of recalled drugs and medical devices

Health Canada's list of warnings, advisories and recalls (on marketed health products, including Natural Health Products and medical devices)

Food and Drug Administration's list of device recalls

Food and Drug Administration's Medical & Radiation Emitting Device Recalls

Food and Drug Administration's Medical Device Databases

Food and Drug Administration's MAUDE - Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE data contains reports of adverse events involving medical devices)

Panel says medical device review system 'flawed' (The Associated Pres and CBC News)

Medical device changes to come in U.S. (The Associated Press)

Medical device licence pulled, but still on the market (Marketplace)

Recalled Medical Devices

Recently approved medical devices ( FDA )




Blog search (blog search)

Google's BlogSearch



All Calculators

Day-of-the-week calculator

Calculate distance between two locations

The World Clock -- Time Zones

Weather (Environment Canada)

Bank of Canada exchange rate converter

Bank of Canada Inflation Calculator

Translation sites


Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick you with the bill)




Blinkx (Over 35 million hours of video. Search it all.)


The Tyee

The Printed Blog


The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)

Munimall (general information and news stories about municipalities)

Quebec municipalities

Property assessments (Quebec municipalities)


Medium Close Up ( a blog by former CBC TV producer, Howard Bernstein)

How Canada became an open data and data journalism powerhouse (The Guardian)


Server SQL modes


A tipsheet on dealing with numbers
Dealing with numbers

Don Gibb's numeracy column for Media magazine

Math Quiz (the numbers are contained in Excel worksheets)

Math cribsheet courtesy of Steve Doig


John Allen Paulos

No Train No Gain

The Poynter Institute

Math for Journalists (Debbie Wolfe)

Capping Credit Card Rates ( The NDP)


Ottawa city council

City Council & Committee Agendas & Minutes

Ottawa Police Board minutes

City of Ottawa data catalogue

City of Ottawa Ward profiles

Previous City Budgets (City of Ottawa)


The Municipal Performance Measurement Program

Community Information Centre of Ottawa

Community Case Study: City of Ottawa (Natural Resources Canada)


The Huffington Post (Canada)

The Canadian Journalism Project

Open File (Community-powered news in several Canadian cities)






Halifax's Open Data Catalogue






Open Data Pilot Project (federal government)

World Development Indicators (The World Bank)

Québec Ouvert (les données ouvertes pour le Québec)


Accurint (LexisNexis)


Facebook Graph Search is a “journalist’s rolodex”

LinkedIn for Journalists

FAIR ( Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform)

Blue Book (University of Toronto)

Exerpts on Call (University of Ottawa)

Experts on Call (Carleton University)

Experts on Call (Dalhousie University)

Ixquick International Phone Books

Canada 411

Find a Postal Code (Canada Post)

VitalCheck (a source for U.S. government-certified vital records)

Area Code Listing, by Number (obituary searches)

Omgili forum search engine



AnyWho directory

Free Public Records (access to more than 5,000 U.S. public record databases)


Usenet archives

Bar-eX ( property searches in Ontario )

IP Address Lookup

What is my IP address




Twitter tools


Canada Background Checks (A Canadian site described as a "do-it-yourself "net-detective" software or unlimited "membership" type of company")

BackCheck (A Canadian site described as specializes in pre-employment background checks, including Criminal Record Checks, Credit Bureau Inquiries)


Canadian Association of Journalists' 2003 photojournalism award

Canadian Association of Journalists' 2004 photojournalism award

Canadian Association of Journalists' 2005 photojournalism award

Canadian Association of Journalists' 2006 photojournalism award

Louie Palu

Sports Shooter

The best photographs of 2008

Sarah Moffat Imagery

World Press Photo

World Press Photo


The Hill ( a blog on U.S. politics )


Evaluating the Polls: an Open Letter to Ontario’s Journalists (an article on the Ipsos website)


Selected trend data for Canada, 2006, 2001 and 1996 censuses (Statistics Canada)

Statistics Canada census data ( from 2001 and 2006 censuses)

2011 Census topics and release dates

Population by year, by province and territory (Statistics Canada)

Population of census metropolitan areas (Statistics Canada)

Statistics Canada (population and dwelling counts)

City of Ottawa (population stats)

Ottawa neighborhood information (The University of Ottawa)

Nova Scotia Community Counts

Census.IRE.ORG (Download bulk U.S. census data)


Interviewing Tips


Revelations from the Rocket on '60 Minutes?' Not likely (A John Swatsky analysis)


George Orwell's Six Rules
To find Orwell's rules, please click here.

The story process

We are storytellers
PowerPoint presentation on getting away from numbers in order to tell great stories

Accuracy checklist

Grammar and punctuation

Journalism ethics

Journalism Ethics Morals and the Media, 2nd edition, by Nick Russell (sample

Journalism Ethics for the Global Citizen (UBC School of Journalism)

The Canadian Press's Copy Talk

Don Gibb's writing columns for Media magazine

Winter 2009

Spring 2008

Fall 2007

Spring 2007



British Columbia


New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia



Prince Edward Island






British Columbia




Government of Alberta (International Travel Expenses)

Links to provincial government directories

B.C. Online

Alberta Legislative Assembly

British Columbia Legislative Assembly

Manitoba Legislative Assembly

Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly

New Brunswick Legislative Assembly

Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly

Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly

Nunavut Legislative Assembly

Ontario Legislative Assembly

Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly

Quebec National Assembly

Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly

Yukon Legislative Assembly


DineSafe (the city of Toronto's Food Premises Inspection and Disclosure System)

Community Acquired Infections Division (The Public Health Agency of Canada)

Reportable Diseases by Year for Ottawa Residents (The city of Ottawa)




Atlantic Institute for Market Studies

Canadian Policy Research Networks

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Centre for International Policy Studies ( Universit of Ottawa)

Institute for Research on Public Policy

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation

The Fraser Institute

The C.D. Howe Institute

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy

The Polaris Institute

The Parkland Institute

Policy Monitor Canada

Congressional Research Service (The "Congress's think tank" is the public policy research arm of the United States)

Congressional Budget Office (Provides economic data to the U.S. Congress)

Government Accountability Office (the audit, evaluation and investigative arm of the U.S. Congress)

The British Psychological Society


Working the fringes

Journalism trends in Canada
Public journalism in a Canadian context

The elements of journalism

The quest for context

Tips for rediscovering your passion for story telling

`Right to Know' Series -- Toronto Star
Please click here to read the articles

Report Card on Canadian News Media

2005 Report on state of the media

2008 List of Banished Words

Banishment Word List Archive

Election Coverage


Science Media Centre of Canada (SMCC)

Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

The Canadian Research Information System

Science-related search engines ( in French and English )

The National Academies Press (U.S)


Adverse Events (A U.S. website that tracks adverse drug reactions in real time)

Arms Exports (Industry Canada)

Arms Exports ( Foreign Affairz and International Trade Canada)

Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry

Charities (Note: click on the "Download results" tab on the left-hand side inorder to save the database)

Elections Canada

Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory

Health Canada's Adverse Drug Reaction Database

Health Canada's Drug Product Database

Lobbyists ( registered with the federal government )

Rapid Fire ( the Ottawa Citizen's searchable online gun registry database )

Transport Canada (Air safety)

Vehicle recalls on-line database ( Transport Canada )

Vehicle recalls on-line database (Department of Transportation)

DineSafe (the city of Toronto's Food Premises Inspection and Disclosure System)

Data Planet (The Data Planet is a resource for searchable databases or interactive maps from the Pioneer Press, government agencies and non-profit organizations.)

Publc Service Staff Relations Board (search decisions)


Research Strategies: Finding Your Way through the Information Fog. William B. Badke. 2d ed. iUniverse, 2004.

Search Engine Watch




Offlimits (CBC News investigation into the continued use of atypical antipsychotics in seniors)

Beaten Down: Fear and Violence in Canada's Nursing Homes (CBC News investigation into nursing homes)

Advocates call for inquiry into nursing home chain collapse

Care and Attention (Vancouver Sun investigation into nursing homes)

Long-Term Care Medical Directors Association of Canada

Reports on Long-Term Care Homes ( Ontario )

Quebec long-term care inspections

The Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés (Quebec)

Residential care facilities ( B.C. )

The Care Guide (calls itself "Canada's most comprehensive guide to seniors' housing and care services")

Aging and Seniors (Public Health Agency of Canada)

Elder Advocates Of Alberta Society

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (nursing home study)

MEDICARE, The Official U.S. Government Site for People with Medicare

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (nursing home study)

The Senior Brigade (A Michigan Seniors' website)


HerdictWeb (A Harvard University project chronicling potential censorship of the Web around the world)

Renesys (Internet monitoring firm)





PoliTwitter (Track what federal politicians are saying on social media)

Archiving tweets isn’t as easy as it seems (Reporter's Lab)


Canadian Interuniversity Sport


How journalists can use Excel to organize data for stories (The Poynter Institute)

Making a chart

Basics about math

Microsoft Support

Spreadsheet tutorial from CARinCanada

Reporters' cookbook

Technology training for journalists


Experiments in Finance (Excel Function Tutorials)

Math for Journalists


Spreadsheet tutorial from Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Pratical Guide, 3rd edition, by Brant Houston

Nilesonline (a simple guide to understanding statistics)

Spreadsheet tutorial

Introduction to spreadsheets

Daily Dose of Excel

Jon Peltier's Excel Page

Pearson Software Consulting

Stephen Bullen's Excel Page

David McRitchie's Excel Pages

Mr. Excel


The City of Ottawa budget in Excel format
Ottawa Budget


The Calgary Herald (editorial)
How to lead a more transparent government


What 2011 holds for investigative reporting (The Poynter Institute)

The best journalism-job want ad ever ever (Mother Jones)


Hidden Profits, Student Debt (Columbia City Paper)

University of King's College


JOUR 6001.06 Digital Journalism 1(The University of King's College)


The Wire Report: Covering Canadian Telecom, Broadcasting and Digital Media


Canadian Import and Export Stats (Industry Canada)

U.S. International Trade Statistics


Drug Rep Chronicle


The Western Producer


The Packer: Covering the fresh produce industry since 1893

ReNew Canada (The Infrastructure Magazine)




Secret Skies (A CBC News investigation into air safety)

Aviation safety investigations database (CBC News extract of helicopter misshaps from CADORS)

Number of reported bird strikes at Windsor airport soars (The Windsor Star)

Search for Complaints (the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration )

Top-secret measures taken over possible explosives at Pearson (CBC News Investigation)

Transport Canada: Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS)

TP 185 - Aviation Safety Letter (The Aviation Safety Letter (ASL) is published quarterly by Transport Canada, Civil Aviation)

Skybrary (billed as "the single point reference for aviation safety knowledge") (Live Air Traffic - From their headsets to you)

Live Flight Tracking

Transport Canada: Bird Strike Summary Reports

National Wildlife Strike Database ON-LINE (The United States)

Bird Strike Committee Canada


Links to Canadian Airport Authorities

Canadian list of airports ( Transport Canada)

Transport Canada: Corporate Offenders Enforcement Action Summaries

Transport Canada Overview Reports

Transport Canada (service difficulty reports)

Transport Canada (continuing airworthiness reports)

Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada

Transport Canada Flight Training Units

Federal Aviation Administration (Canadian service diffciulty reports can be downloaded from this site thanks to an agreement between the FAA and Transport Canada)

The Canadian Civil aircraft register

The Canadian Transportation Agency (Air Carrier Licence Search)

The Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC)

Aviation service bulletin (Statistics Canada's trends, including air carrier statistics, including number of passengers carried and kilometres travelled)

Aircraft Movement Statistics (NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations )

Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)

The Canadian Transportation Research Forum

The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA)

Aviation Safety & Security Digest

Bill C-26 Home Page

Transport 2000

AVCANADA (a discussion forum on aviation in Canada)

Flight Global

British Columbia Safety Council

Aviation Alberta

The Saskatchewan Aviaton Council

Manitoba Aviation Council

Ontario Region ( Transport Canada)

Quebec Air Transport Association

Aviation Safety (Atlantic Region)

North American Transportation Statistics Database

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

FAA airworthiness directives

U.S. aircraft register

U.S. Department of Transportation

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (Aircrart Inquiries)

National Transportation Safety Board inventory of databases

The Family Assistance Foundation

Pilot Getaways (U.S.)

The UK Civil Aviation Authority

Aviation Safety Network

The International Air Transport Association (IATA)

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

International Aviation Safety Association (started by a relative of a victim of the Swissair disaster)

Flight Safety Foundation

Flight Aware

The Boeing 737 Technical Site


Vessel Register (Transport Canada)


Transport Canada Collision and Road Safety Statistics

Road collision statistics (B.C.)

Road collision statistics ( Saskatchewan )

Road collision statistics (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Road collision statistics (Nova Scotia)

Transport Canada:Vehicle Recalls On-Line Database

Vessel registry

Autoglass search ( vehicle recall database )

Ontario driver, vehicle information

Ontario Road Safety Annual Report

La Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ)

Driving Statistics for Nova Scotia's department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

Annual Road Safety Reports (the city of Ottawa)


Centretown News (Online)

Off Centre

Hartwells (Living well in Ottawa)

Convergence magazine (Humber College)

Face Time (Mount Royal University News)

The Canadian Journal of Media Studies (Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario)


The Whitehouse President Barak Obama

GPO Access (The Federal Depository Library Program Electronic Collection (FDLP/EC) is a comprehensive digital library of U.S. Government information)

Federal Audit Clearinghouse (datasets from top U.S. executive departments) (Raw data sets)

Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group (U.S. non-profit group that tracks federal spending)

U.S. Business [Top]

National Bureau of Economic Research

Business Wire (U.S.)


SEC Filing Alerts

Morningstar Document Research (formerly 10-K Wizard)

Descriptions of 10-Ks, 10-Qs, 6-Ks and other forms companies are required to file with the SEC

New York Stock Exchange

The National Association of Securities Dealers

The North American Securities Administrators Association

Equilar (a firm that tracks executive and director compensation)

Standard & Poor's

Moody's Investors Service

Dun & Bradstreet

Hoover's Online

Financial Directory

Fast Company


Business magazines


The McKinsey Quarterly

Sources and Experts

American Experts

The National Bureau of Economic Research

Searchable database for bills in Congress

U.S. Government Printing Office

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's archive of warning letters

FDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts

FDA Enforcement Report Index

Securities lawsuits


Confined Space ( A U.S. site on workplace safety)

U.S. Department of LABOUR (Occupational Safety & Health Administration)

Power Reporting (resources for business journalists)

Reynolds Centre

Workforce Explorer Washington (state)

BNET Industries (A site for managers and executives)


Left Business Observer

LBO News from Doug Henwood




The Public Library of Law (U.S.)


United States Department of Justice

United States Bankruptcy Courts


CLB Media Inc. (A publisher of many trade magazines and other media services)

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse ( TRAC is a data-gathering, data research and data distribution organization at Syracuse University)


Stories about Entegrity Systems

Insolvency information about Entegrity

Sample foreclosurelist for Greater Vancouver

IRB decisions database

Public Records


Computer-Assissted Reporting

Parole Board of Canada

Arms Sales to the Middle East

B.C. election campaign contribution data


Statistics Canada

Canadian vital statistics offices

Ontario births, deaths, marriages

Ontario historical births, deaths, marriages

Ontario coroner's reports

Ontario wills

Ontario divorce files

Ontario land registration

Ontario personal property registry

Ontario liens

Ontario fire deaths


Ontario's Public Sector Salary Disclosure

Terrorism Financing (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada)

Healthy Canadians

Food Recall Report (Downloadable food recalls from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database

Community Acquired Infections Division (The Public Health Agency of Canada)

Data-Pass (Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences)

Elections Canada

Road Safety Vehicle Recalls (Transport Canada)

Search for Complaints (the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration )

National Transportation Safety Board inventory of databases

Women Candidates in General Elections (1921 to Date)

Quebec political contributions

Elections Ontario

Elections BC (Political Contributions System)

Canadian charities ( Canada Revenue Agency )

Federal lobbyists

Canada Foundation for Innovation ( all the grants awarded )

Transport Canada (road safety)

Environment Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)

Canada's Greenhouse Gas Inventory ( Environment Canada )

Greenhouse Gas Reporting Site ( glossary of terms )

Contaminated sites in Quebec

ACOA Project Information (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Health Canada's Adverse Drug Reaction Database

The FDA's Adverse Drug Reaction Database

European database of suspected adverse drug reaction reports

National Collision Database Online (Transport Canada)

Notice of Compliance Online Query

Notice of compliance ( drugs Health Canada has approved )

Health Canada's Register of Innovative Drugs for Pediatric use

Drug Products Database ( all of the drugs Health Canada has approved for marketing)

Health Canada's list of recalled drugs and medical devices

Health Canada's list of recalled consumer products

Health Canada's list of warnings, advisories and recalls (on marketed health products, including Natural Health Products and medical devices)

Health Canada's Licensed Natural Health Product Database (LNHPD)

Treasury Board, Directory of the federal real estate properties


Statistics Canada

Census (Statistics Canada)

Average Annual Percentage Wage Adjustments by Year (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada)

Income statistics (Canada Revenue Agency)

Exploring Data (a tutorial for examining statistics)

Fatality Reports Database ( The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)

Arms Exports

Complaint Statistics (Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services for the years 2001 to 2005)

Canadian National Defence Contracts over $10,000

RCMP Detachments - Telephone Numbers

City of Ottawa paramedic serives

Office of Pipeline Safety (U.S.)

UJIMA project (U.S. site that contains Canadian data such as arms exports)

SIPRI Arms Transfers Database

Environmental Journalism Tipsheet

Data Handbook ( city of Ottawa )

National Wildlife Strike Database ON-LINE

Health Inspection Orders (Alberta Health Services)


Transparency Tracker (Propublica)

National Data Catalogue ( the United States )

The World Bank

Unofficial Open Data Ottawa

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration)


Find NY state and local pensions (2010)

DataStore: World Government Data


Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Workplace Incident Fatalities

Links to Workers' Compensation Boards/Commissions

Enforcement Activities: Prosecution and Conviction Statistics (Ontario Ministry of Labour)

Workplace Safety Fines: Ontario Ministry of Labour (courtesy of CNW Group)

Workplace Safety Fines: Ontario Ministry of Labour (courtesy of the Occupational Safety Group)


Farm Association (of Ontario)

Laborsta (An International Labour Office database on labour statistics)


Fifty-two ugly leads: The first sentence is prime real estate, so don`t waste it (By Don Gibb, pages 7-8 of Media magazine)

What's bugging our writing coach, Don Gibb? (pages 7-8 of Media magazine)

CAJ column on reporting tips (Don gibb's last column for Media magazine)