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Journalism - J4450 Reporting and Writing I

Finding People

Information about most people can be found on the Internet.  Professional occupations often require licenses or certification to do business.  Since it is important to know whether a CPA, physician, dentist, lawyer, etc. is licensed, the information is usually available online.  However, it may not always be freely available, you may encounter barriers such as paywalls, members only access, or registration.

Find Local and Regional People

Find Columbia, MO Officials

Find People Mentioned in Columbia Newspapers (Search names with quotation marks - "first name last name")

Find People in Boone County Missouri (Search within County Divisions - Search the Sheriff's Office for inmates in the county jail, etc.)

  • Boone County Website - Find Boone County officials, property owners, county jail inmates, registered sex offenders, marriage licenses, felony & misdemeanor warrants, etc. (You may need to register for some information.)

Find People in Missouri (Many professions require state licenses and registration.)

Find People Involved in Missouri Court Cases (Search by suspected defendant or plantiff's name.)

  • Casenet - Find records (docket entries, parties, judgments, and charges in public court) of people involved in Missouri court cases.

Find Information about People and Organizations Using Advanced Search Techniques

Create a Background Profile Using Google and Boolean Search Operators


  • Find facts and opinions using "is"
    • "David Kurpius is" AROUND 15 missouri
  • Find out what people not from Mizzou, are saying
    • "Dav* Kurpius"-site:missouri.*
  • Search within a specific website, blog, online publication, etc. (searches part of the address, doesn't have to include the domain)
    • inurl:nytimes "University of Missouri"
    • inurl:espn "Mizzou"
    • inurl:columbiamissourian "#MeToo"
  • Search within a domain (site)
    • "University of Missouri"
    • "Mizzou"
    • "#metoo"
  • Search local media archives (;;;;, columbiaheartbeatinsidecolumbia, etc.)
  • Search regional/state/global media archives

Where & When

  • Use Echosec and Google Images for images over time (filter by date)
  • Search social media (filter by date; use advanced search to see who your subject follows, is talking to, etc.)
    • @mujschool
    • "missouri school of journalism"
    • "missouri school of journalism" site:linkedin