New Library Layoffs and Buyouts

Here is a link to a spreadsheet pulled together by news librarian Michelle Quigley, showing the organizations and positions cut and positions remaining.  It’s a startling and discouraging read.

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Suggestions for covering Swine Flu as local story

These suggestions come from Al’s Morning Meeting on Poynter and are worth a look, especially if the story becomes local.  Here’s the link:

It’s also useful for Poynter’s links to more pages of information and suggestions.


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Filed under Disaster, Health, Journalism/Reporting, Tipsheets

Google Interactive Timeline

As many people probably know by now, Google came out with another of its Google Labs features on Monday: a Google News timeline view, which gives users the ability to see and scroll through headlines, photos and news excerpts by day/week/month/year. The sources of this data can also be customized to include not just traditional news sources but also sports scores, blogs, etc. It’s a fascinating way of interpreting the news — not something that is likely going to replace a regular old Google News headline view, but an additional way of looking at things. from NiemanJournalismLab

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House Swapping

I read this with interest on Al’s Morning Meeting today because I know of several friends who are having trouble selling their homes in this economy.

I thought this might be a solution for them.  But as the post makes clear, it’s a complicated process and difficult to pull off.  Not impossible though.

Al’s lists several sites that are swap facilitators, such as:

OnLine House Trading

DomuSwap

MK HomeSwap

GoSwap

You can also check out permananet swap listings on CraigsList.

The posting ends with a WSJ article detailing the risks involved with this kind of transaction.

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Filed under Consumer, Economy, Story Ideas

Resources for tracking layoffs and for covering unemployment report

Let’s look at layoff resources first.

Larry Mrazek named a few layoff trackers recently on the NewsLib listserv.  There’s:

TechCrunch which focuses mainly on the tech industry

Forbes which tracks America’s 500 largest public companies

Vault which tracks companies world-wide as well as U.S.

GeekMBA360 is a blog that tracks layoffs

ComputerWorld IT Layoff Tracker has been tracking since autumn 2008

This Friday the U.S. Department of Labor will release the latest unemployment figures, and Al’s Morning Meeting on Poynter just posted some great resources for journalists who will be covering this story.  Here’s the post.

He’s given us links to various industries and their unemployment rate from the January report, plus he looks at various aspects of that report in regard to race.

He lists some useful charts, such as state-by-state unemployment stats and your local economy at a glance.

Then there’s a valuable discussion on how the government knows who is unemployed….where does it get these numbers, how do they make the count.


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Open Records Guide by State

There is an informative guide online called Open Government Guide, which lists records for every state.

Not only will it tell you what records are available to the public but also it references the applicable legal passage.

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Filed under Databases, FOIA, Journalism/Reporting, News reference, Pennsylvania, Public Records

“Our love affair with shopping malls is on the rocks”

I began reading this NYT story this morning and became enthralled with our conundrum:

“In other words, shopping was part of the problem and now it’s part of the cure. And once we’re cured, economists report, we really need to learn how to save, which suggests that we will need to quit shopping again.”

I’m not a shopper, per se, but still, I would hate to see the end of malls because of what it would seem to mean for our retail health.

“The economic crisis has caused shoppers to go into an essentials-only mode. But the mall has never trafficked in essentials.”  The few can’t save the many, it seems.

Did you know there’s a website that tracks dead malls?  It’s called, appropriately, deadmalls.comThe site posts lists of dead malls and photos and gives history for some of the malls.

Then, there’s a blog called labelscar, that describes  itself as a retail history site.  It keeps a list of malls by state (Pennsylvania’s listing includes the Harrisburg East Mall and The Capital City Mall.) This blog seeks to record the changes in retail history.

Big Box Reuse is a site illustrating how some communities are reusing the big box spaces.

Check out the Retail Merchandiser, the industry trade-paper. 

Groceteria looks at the grocery industry the way that deadmalls looks at malls.  There is an illustrated section of the histories of stores that are and stores that are no more.

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