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Journalism - J4450 Reporting and Writing I

Use the Government Tab to Answer These Questions

  • Explain the step-by-step process that you used to find the information.
  • Indicate what you found.
  • Determine whether the information that you found is trustworthy.

Local Government Information

City of Columbia

  • Find the ComoConnect bus route schedule.  Use multiple methods (Google search, city website, etc.)
  • According to Columbia's "urban chicken" ordinance, how many chickens may a resident have on his or her property?

Boone County:

  • Find a list of inmates currently residing in the Boone County jail.
  • Find the names of registered sex offenders listed in zip code 65201.
  • Locate the real estate tax assessment record and map for a home owner in Boone County, MO. 
    • Using the "tax entity viewer," find out how much the owner of this property paid in taxes to Columbia Public Schools for 2014.

Suggested Activity:

You have been tasked with writing a story about crime in Boone County Missouri over the past decade. Using the Sheriff's incident report:

  • Download all incidents occurring from Jan. 2005 through Jan. 2018. 
  • Sort the data by type, location, date of occurrence.
  • Create an infographic showing:
    • Where crimes have occurred
    • When (year(s), months) types of crimes occurred most often
    • What types of crimes occurred
    • Patterns indicating the affect of time and location on the type of crime that occurred

State & Federal Government Information

State of Missouri

  • Who is Caleb Rowden and what bills has he sponsored or co-sponsored during the 98th General Assembly? 
  • What bill(s) concerning handguns were introduced in the most recent Missouri General Assembly's legislative session?

Federal Government

  • How many public laws were enacted during the 113th congress?  How many were enacted in the 112th congress?
  • Search the Climate Data Center for "Billion Dollar U.S. Weather/Climate Disasters for 2013.
    • What disastrous weather event occurred on August 2005?  How much were the estimated recovery costs for that event?
  • According to the 2010 Census, what is the median age of a Columbia, MO resident? 
    • What is Columbia's total population?

Suggested Activity:

What if a major organic grocery chain (e.g. Whole Foods) wants to know if Columbia, Missouri has the right customer base for one of their stores.  They need you to provide them with information about Columbia's:

  • Demographics (population breakdown by age, education, economics)
  • Political/regulatory climate
  • Possible economic incentives the city might offer
  • Breakdown of businesses in Columbia
  • Potential market opportunities and threats

You also need to know about the company:

  • Their customers
  • Their competitors
  • Their collaborators
  • Their strengths and weaknesses

In short, prepare a situation analysis.