Homework: LexisNexis That Story

For an investigative story that you’ve read, use LexisNexis to do 5 queries, to find 5 more stories of at least 500+ words, from 5 different years and publications that have insights/context not found in the investigative story you read.

Table of contents
Thursday, October 6 at 1:30 PM
5 Homework points
  • Use the document-story-sources spreadsheet from the other assignment, and add a new tab.

  • Do 5 queries on LexisNexis, and find 5 stories that relate to the investigative story you’ve read.

  • See the sample spreadsheet below to see the expected schema.

  • The 5 stories should be from publications different than the original story. Try to find stories from before the investigative story.

  • “For every query, log the search terms in your query, fromdate, todate, and number of results”

  • From each query, pick one relevant story of 500+ words and read it

  • Log its date, headline, publisher, wordcount

  • Jot a few notes of insights you got from the story

  • Meh just look at the sample spreadsheet below to see how things are ordered.

This is the second part to the assignment involving an investigative story to read and document. This time, you're looking at what this story came after. Or before.

The purpose of this exercise is twofold:

  1. Get some experience searching for things on LexisNexis. Here's a short tutorial I wrote for class.
  2. Understand that there is nothing completely new, but learn from other's work and past investigations.

As an example, I read this story from Reuters: The Deadly Epidemic America is Ignoring: The Uncounted. It might be helpful to read the story (it's good!) and see how I mapped it to my sloppy spreadsheet.

And here's the 5 stories on LexisNexis I found, on my Google Spreadsheet.

Here's a screenshot:


Note that the point of logging the query/search term is for your own informational purposes. You don't have to switch it up…but…why not?

In terms of what stories are relevant to your main investigative story…the nail salon story in the New York Times was a blockbluster, and something that most people hadn't really seen in terms of a blowout investigation. That doesn't mean that the health of nail salon workers wasn't ever written about. Doing a LexisNexis query for nail salons AND (safety or visa) brings up stories such as "For Asian nail salons, EPA's lesson translates; With a large Vietnamese presence in the trade, a seminar treats chemical safety in their own tongue" via the Philly Inquirer, and "Human trafficking case centers on York County nail salons" via the York Dispatch.