The Journalist's Toolbox: Federal Government

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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

 

Last Update: August 13, 2010

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Recent Additions to This ResourceSection
(This section features sites added to the page in the last few weeks.
Each link is cross-referenced on the page in its proper category.)

 

GovLoans.gov - U.S. Federal loans and resources.

National Priorities Project Database
Search state data on socio-economic needs and federal expenditures. You also create your own customized tables, graphs and reports.

Gov Browser
Search Federal, State, Local and Tribal government websites.

State and Federal Government Surplus Sales
Search state-by-state for all kinds of items seized by the government or surplus items for sale. Can make for some interesting stories to see what bizarre things are up for auction in your state/area.

Federal General Services Administration (GSA)
Search state-by-state for all kinds of items seized by the government or surplus items for sale. Can make for some interesting stories to see what bizarre things are up for auction in your state/area.


LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

Congressional Quarterly
Breaking Washington news and scheduling updates.

Library of Congress: Religion and the Government
Takes effect October 2002.

Center for Responsive Politics' Congressional Travel Database
Track how congressmen spend our tax money. This database is searchable by lawmaker, special-interest group sponsor or destination.

GAO's Congressional Investigations
Track investigations through the General Accounting Office.

Vote-smart.org
Easy way to track a Congressman's voting record.

Library of Congress
The library's catalogs, full-text access to bills under consideration in both the House and Senate.

Library of Congress Thomas Legislative Information
Find bill summaries, legislative agendas, roll call, etc.

YourCongress.com

Office of the Congressional Clerk
Obtain copies of House documents that the Clerk makes available as part of the official duties of this office, including public disclosure. You can also find historical information about the House of Representatives and information about its Members and Committees.

LII.org: U.S. Patriot Act Resources
Resources from the Librarian?s Index to the Internet.

House.gov
U.S. House of Representatives info. and directory

Senate.gov
U.S. Senate info. And directory.

EditorsWeb.org
Our daily service, which gathers links to governmental and congressional press releases, is used by hundreds of editors and reporters.

Lobbyist Database
Opensecrets.org, part of the Center for Reponsive Politics, has a database of registered lobbyists. Also tracks spending in particular sectors of lobbyists.

Special Interest Groups List
Opensecrets.org, part of the Center for Reponsive Politics, has downloadable lists of special-interest groups.

The Center for Public Integrity: Special Interest Politics in State Legislatures
Articles and books on groundbreaking investigation into this area. Example: One center study revealed lobbyists spent at least $570 million impacting legislation.

Wisconsin Advertising Project
Studies campaign spending and advertising.

FEC Info/Political Moneyline
Search PAC, soft money, lobby databases and more.

YourCongress.com
An easy way to check how your Federal reps are voting and what they have to say on the House and Senate floors.

Who's Who in the Federal Government
Need to brush up on who are our federal officials? Check out this site.

U.S. International Trade Commission
Press releases, research and more.

Congressional Budget Office

Office of Management and Budget

Technet.org
Bipartisan tech network allows you to look up tech-related bills being considered in Congress.

Library of Congress: A Century of Law Making
Annals of the House and Senate, bills and resolutions.

Library of Congress: Time Capsule
An online collection of broadsheets, pamphlets and more, which lets you examine early American life as it was lived.

Center for Public Integrity
Has background on congressional spending, including travel.

C-SPAN's Congressional Directory
Track down the office of any congressman.

Technet.org
Bipartisan tech network allows you to look up tech-related bills being considered in Congress.

Congressional Accountability Project
Site, which claims to fight corruption in Congress, offers information ranging from pay and perks to ethics.

The U.S. Constitution

United States Constitution Search
This search engine allows you to search for words and phrases and find lists of links to the location within the text of your search terms.

Constitution Facts
This site provides insights into the men who wrote the Constitution and how it's been interpreted over the years.

U.S. Senate Glossary Page
Alphabetical list of hundreds of terms.

Presidential/Congressional nominees history
Information about all nominees (received, rejected, confirmed) for the current session of Congress. It gives names, position for which the individual was nominated and the status of their nomination.

Senate Budget Committee

House Energy and Commerce Committee: Majority

House Energy and Commerce Committee: Minority

House Rules Committee

Speaker of the House

House Majority Whip

House Republican Conference

Congress Online: Assessing and Improving Capitol Hill Web Sites
An analysis project funded by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Government Computer News

History of the United States Capitol
The site's described as "a chronicle of design, construction, and politics.

Library of Congress: A Century of Law Making
Annals of the House and Senate, bills and resolutions.

National Association of Counties


EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Whitehouse.gov
It's the official page..

Library of Congress Executive Branch Links
One-stop shopping for government agencies (many of the links are listed below, by the way). This page is just a set of links to government agencies and are organized by the departments they're governed by.

Washington Post Watergate Archive
The Post put up this archive site in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Watergate scandal. Site includes a chronology of events, bios of key players, articles, reforms and transcripts of chats with Bob Woodward and Ben Bradlee.

Department of Energy
Another database of nuclear accidents.

Department of Commerce

Department of the Treasury

Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Agriculture

Department of Education

Department of Labor

Department of Transportation

Department of the Interior

White House National Cybersecurity Plan (.PDF)
A .PDF of the White House national cybersecurity plan, with the coverage focusing on the federal government, consumers and private industry.

PBS: The American President

Presidents of the United States

Past Inaugural Addresses

Presidential/Congressional nominees history
Information about all nominees (received, rejected, confirmed) for the current session of Congress. It gives names, position for which the individual was nominated and the status of their nomination.

C-SPAN: Nixon Tapes 1971-73

Presidential Libraries

Presidential Videos
C-SPAN provides a Campaign Video Search feature that includes speeches from the campaign trail and more.

Presidential Homes
A collection of photo essays and online tours of former presidents? homes.

Dancing Dubya
Watch the president get the groove on on this digital dance floor.

C-SPAN: Nixon Tapes 1971-73
Excerpts from his foreign relations dealings, Supreme Court issues, etc.

2002 Edition of the Economic Report of the President
Full text .PDF document (441 pages).

Search Previous Editions of the Economic Report of the President


JUDICIAL BRANCH

U.S. Department of Justice

IRS.gov

FBI.gov

Drug Enforcement Agency
Good stats and research tools.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Good stats and research tools.

UScourts.gov
A good starting page for research on federal courts.

A Guide to the U.S. Federal Legal System: Web-Based Publicly Accessible Sources

Oyez: U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Database
Hundreds of hours of audio materials delivered through a free player available from Real.com as well as summaries of cases before the court, organized by year.

Pacer's U.S. Courts
Search district and bankruptcy courts.

Federal Courts Finder
Image map guide to courts from Emory University.

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
This national, public interest law firm offers cutting-edge legal briefs and news on public interest legal issues, including consumer protection, civil rights, and access to justice, plus a unique online database of all accredited law schools and 2,300 public interest groups, sorted by dozens of focus areas.

Supreme Court Collection
A database of upcoming Supreme Court cases compiled by Cornell Univeristy.

On the Docket
A database of upcoming Supreme Court cases.

Syllabi of Current U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

Department of Justice: Office of Solicitor General
Search government briefs filed with the United States Supreme Court.

Bill of Rights Institute
Links, search tool, educational resources.

Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals
Links to the full-text opinions of all 11 U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals.

Federal Laws and Regulations
The National Archives and Records Administration has a database of public laws, presidential orders and more.

Florida State: Duties of a Courthouse Reporter
Journalist Craig Pittman offers great advice on walking a beat.


LOCATE GOVT. AGENCIES/DEPARTMENTS

Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Chilling Effects of Anti-Terrorism" Project
Lists all the major government agency site "takedowns" since 9/11.

OMB Watch
Lists all the major government agency site "takedowns" since 9/11.

Toll-Free Government Numbers
A must bookmark.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
This "redesigned" site was opened with an interesting press release titled "NRC deploys new Webs site that provides live broadcasts of Commission meetings over the Internet.

TRAC Government site
A super site developed by Syracuse University to guide you to and through several government sites, including the IRS, FBI, DEA and ATF.

U.S. Blue Pages Directory
Federal Gov't contacts, including phone numbers and Web sites.

Fedworld.gov
A guide to thousands of federal government agencies
.

Government Info. Exchange
Federal phone directories, Web locator, resources.

U.S. State Department: Public Diplomacy Calendar

Federal Web Locator
A deep site of links to government agencies from the Center for Information Law.

Who's Who in the Federal Government
Need to brush up on who are our federal officials? Check out this site.

Locate Executive Branch Senior Executives

Federal Agency Employee Locators

Federal White Pages

Firstgov.gov
Clinton's one-stop government site.

Government Audits
State inspector general's offices that audit federal programs that the agency oversees.

Federal Laws and Regulations
The National Archives and Records Administration has a database of public laws, presidential orders and more.

Tray.com
A good site for FEC and PAC data.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment, wages, unemployment broken down by region.

Government by Sterby
U.S. government links and world government sites.

Government Printing Office
Search congressional bills, presidential documents, Federal Register, Congressional Record, the U.S. Government Manual and other government documents.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
A non-partisan research organization focusing on analysis of government programs affecting low- and moderate-income people.

Consumer.gov
Links and research from the FTC and other federal agencies.

Housing and Urban Development

IRS.gov

FBI.gov

Drug Enforcement Agency
Good stats and research tools.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Good stats and research tools.

Internet Fraud Complaint Center
Database is part of the FBI's site.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

National Safety Council
Accident statistics, safety prevention material and a great research for health information.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Database of nuclear accidents.

Department of Energy
Another database of nuclear accidents.

Department of Commerce

Department of the Treasury

Bureau of Public Debt
Part of the Treasury Department.

Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Agriculture

Department of Education

Department of Labor

Department of Transportation

Department of the Interior

Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Trade and Development Agency

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Commission on Civil Rights

Federal Communications Commission

General Accounting Office

Social Security Administration

Securities & Exchange Commission

Consumer Protection Agency

Statistical Abstract of the U.S. 2001 Highlights and Fast Facts

Direct to Full-Text (Available by Chapter)

FEC's Semi-Annual Federal PAC Report

U.S. National Archives: Accessions and Openings for the Fourth Quarter, 2001

U.S. Postal Service

Sree's Tips on Government Resources
Centers on New York City, but includes some federal links.

National Security Archive
Site run by George Washington University.

WebGator: State and Government Phone Directoriesfont>


INVESTIGATIVE/CAMPAIGN FINANCE

Anti-Money Laundering: Efforts in the Securities Industry
The General Accounting Office's 92-page report on the issue of combating money laundering in the securities industry.

Opensecrets.org
A fantastic site for researching campaign finance statistics.

Votenet.com
A fantastic site for researching campaign financing statistics.

Campaignfinance.org
Includes campaign finance research
and a clearinghouse of key FOIA sites.

name, occupation, employer, zip code.

 

FollowtheMoney.orgfont>

Campaign Finance Information Center
Use the handy image map to call up information by state.

Washington Post: Campaign Finance Reform -- What Does it Mean?
A useful collection of stories and graphics that help break down the complex issue.

GAO's Congressional Investigations
Track investigations through the General Accounting Office.

Lobbyist Database
Opensecrets.org, part of the Center for Reponsive Politics, has a database of registered lobbyists. Also tracks spending in particular sectors of lobbyists.

Special Interest Groups List
Opensecrets.org, part of the Center for Reponsive Politics, has downloadable lists of special-interest groups.

Government Audits
State inspector general's offices that audit federal programs that the agency oversees.

Annenberg Public Policy Center University of Pennsylvania (Issue Ads)

Campaign Study Group

PoliticalMoneyLine

MoJo 400
Mother Jones magazine takes an in-depth look at campaign finance.

Tray.com
A good site for FEC and PAC data.

Social Security Death Records

Securities & Exchange Commission

Fraud: GSA List of People Excluded from Government Contracts

GovExec.com: Top 200 Federal Contractors
Listed by agency with which they contracted and by amount.

Top 100 Prime Contractors with the Federal Government
Use to localize any stories about contractors or government agencies in your area.

Previous Top 10 Government Contractors by Year
Use to localize any stories about contractors or government agencies in your area.

Natural Resources Defense Council Papers
NRDC makes available papers relating to the White House energy task force.

WashingtonTechnology.com: State Government Contracts to Watch in 2002
Use to localize any stories about contractors or government agencies in your area.

ActivistCash.com
A great site. Roots out the funding sources of the most notorious anti-consumer groups. It continually adds profiles on the first of every month.


U.S. CENSUS

Census.gov News
This news section is a quick reference guide to the census
.

CensusScope
This portal to Census 2000 data is an easy-to-use tool for investigating U.S. demographic trends. Developed by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) at the of Michigan it produces graphics and exportable trend data.

U.S. Census: Fastest-Growing Counties
Fastest-growing counties between Census Day, April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2001. Overall, 55 percent of all 3,141 U.S. counties grew since April 1, 2000.

Census Bureau's CenStats
This free site offers county and zip code business patterns, monthly building permit data, federal spending, census tract data, etc.

Lewis Mumford Center: Census Research
This site lists some census research analysis that is used by many reporters, especially those covering census information. It is run by Merci Miglino of the Lewis Mumford Center at the Research University at Albany, SUNY.

State Census Data Centers
A quick reference to local information.

Online Journalism Review: Using the Census

Census Data FactFinder
A huge collection of demographic and economic data.

Census Factoid Central
Get the statistical lowdown on where you live with a few mouse clicks at State and County QuickFacts.


INTERNATIONAL GOVT. SITES

International Government Database
Call up information by country.

Global Edge Resources: International Federal Governments
Directory of hundreds of offices, embassies, councils and more.

International Trademark Assn.


MISCELLANEOUS GOVT. AND STATS SITES

Fedstats.gov
Links to hundreds of government agencies.

What Reporters Need To Know About Municipal Budgets
Includes terms, and it walks you through the process.

Federal News Service
FNS produces transcripts of Presidential statements; briefings at the White House, State, Defense and Justice departments; speeches and press conferences of major political leaders and spokespersons; and Congressional hearings. Also offers English translations of Russian political speeches.

Almanac of American Politics
Key votes, committee changes and election results.

U.S. Government Information -- Post 9/11

ABA Administrative Procedures Database ABA Administrative Procedures Database
This site "is designed to facilitate the exchange of information about federal and state administrative law among legislators, lawyers, hearing officers, judges, and citizens. (It) contains links to federal and state Administrative Procedure Acts (APA), reform proposals, and organizational and other resources."

Catalaw
Organizes legal and government sites into a basic catalog.

University of Texas Law and Politics Internet Guide

CIA Biological Incidents--Handbooks
A recently released unclassified document.

Office of Personnel Management
Federal government human resource agency.

The Votebook.com: Bush, Gore and the Supreme Court

Students.gov: Guide to U.S. Government

The United States in International Context Summary Fast Facts

The United States in International Context Full-Text Report
A 12-page .PDF document.

FirstGov.Gov Search Database
The new database is built and powered by FAST Search and Transfer. FAST also provides the AllTheWeb engine. Limit terms by title, URL, text, state government, federal government or a specific domain.

Center for Digital Government
Affiliated with Government Technology magazine, this organization has people who will talk to you, although they tend to be on the technology-is-the-solution side of things.

The National Journal
A weekly on politics and government published in Washington, put out a Guide to the Web in its Dec. 8, 2001 issue that probably would be helpful because it includes lots of government sites.

MSNBC: Foreign Policy

Federal Consumer Information Center

FDA Children and Tobacco Compliance Checker
An FDA database of every business that has been cited for selling cigarettes to minors -- searchable by zip code. Also try this database.

Who's Who in the Federal Government
Need to brush up on who are our federal officials? Check out this site.

Progress & Freedom Foundation and the Center for Digital Government
Tracks happenings in online government sites.

GovExec.com
The online version of Government Executive magazine.

Some states also have now put their lists of people who are owed money online.

About.com's U.S. Government Info./Research

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
A non-partisan research organization focusing on analysis of government programs affecting low- and moderate-income people.

Searching Uncle Sam
Searching for online government info just got easier, thanks to the cutting-edge search engine Google.

Citizen Helper
A user-friendly guide to looking up government information.

National Archives and Records Administration Research Page
Sections for federal government, courts, textual records, microfilm, etc.

Gay Census Totals
Allows you to eliminate pop-up banner ads on your browser.

Terrorism Info. Awareness Program

Civic.com
An e-government site that provides tools and links for federal, state and local government.

FedNews.com
A pay service that provides written transcriptions from government meetings and hearings the day of the event.

Govspot.com
Government information portal: world, state, federal, etc.

OneWorld.net
Not your garden-variety politics site, but you can search a superb database on human rights issues by country or topic.

Center for American Women and Politics

National Archives and Records Administration
Look up just about anything on this government-run database.

Common Cause
Washington watchdog group includes articles and studies the organization has done on the influence of campaign contributions on Congress.

Planetgov.com
Up-to-the-minute updates on federal government news.

Publicagenda.org
Inside source for public opinion and policy analysis on dozens of social issues.

HiCitizen.com
A guide to basic government functions, such as registering to vote.

Council on Foreign Relations

Listing of Government Grants

Justice for All

The Federal Access Board
Agency that writes the regulations dealing with disabled access.

www.politicalresources.netA fantastic site for researching global political issues.

Social Security Administration Data on Women
A new site with demographic info. on women.

Social Security Death Records

Federal Demographic Information

Yahoo! Government Statistics

U.S. State Department Living Abroad Guidelines
Dozens of links to helpful resources for U.S. citizens on exchange rates, vital records, emergency services and more.

PBS Frontline: Government and Elections
A collection of companion Web sites on various political topics.

EditorsWeb.org
Internet portal to stories and news releases from Washington.

The Avalon Project
Yale Law School site that offers digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government.

FEMA: World Trade Center Building Performance Study
Executive summary, findings and recommendations as .PDF files.

U.S. Department of State: Patterns of Global Terrorism, 2001
Full text available as .PDF and html documents.

U.S. Department of State: Additional Info and Past Editions
Full text available as .PDF and html documents.

CyberCemetery
Access web sites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions.

National Center for Education Statistics
A complete electronic catalog and fast facts.

Family Taxpayers Network
Look up Illinois teacher salaries at public schools. Helpful research tool.

National Gambling Impact Study
A government study on gambling that includes all research, recommendations, e-mail contacts and some news regarding the study. Also includes a state-by-state list of gambling laws.

Birth Rates by Country
An Infoplease chart containing both years and "selected countries."

States News Service
SNS provides Washington coverage for all the small newspapers of America.

2002 Federal Poverty Guidelines
To get a different year's stats, just change "02" in the URL to the correct date.

Internet Resources in History: Government
Tennessee Tech site offers hundreds of links to international government and non-profit sites.

About.com's U.S. Government Info.

About.com's U.S. Politics

Homeland Security Monitor
A comprehensive Web-based tool providing critical information and insightful analysis on homeland security issues for state and local governments, law enforcement, emergency management and corporate executives at all levels. This is the link to the public site.

State and Federal Government Surplus Sales
Search state-by-state for all kinds of items seized by the government or surplus items for sale. Can make for some interesting stories to see what bizarre things are up for auction in your state/area.

Federal General Services Administration (GSA)
Search state-by-state for all kinds of items seized by the government or surplus items for sale. Can make for some interesting stories to see what bizarre things are up for auction in your state/area.

National Priorities Project Database
Search state data on socio-economic needs and federal expenditures.You also create your own customized tables, graphs and reports.


SPACE/NASA

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