kdmc public records tutorials

KDMC produces a wealth of digital media tutorials to support our training sessions and classes. While the focus of some tutorials is on technology and journalism, most are general enough to be of use to anyone.

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Public Records Act Request Resources

This is a guide to resources on filing public records act requests to obtain documents from federal and state government agencies.

Financial Disclosure Statements

This tutorial covers statements of economic interest filed by politicians and other public officials that detail things like income, investments and property ownership of the office holders or public officials. The tutorial describes what information is available, where to access it and what's available online.

Business and Corporation Records

This tutorial describes the different kinds of public records and directories reporters can use to find out information on businesses and corporations.

Civil Court Lawsuits

This is a guide for reporters on what kinds of public documents are available in civil court lawsuits.

Criminal Court Records

This tutorial describes for reporters what records are available in criminal courts. It also provides a general overview of the criminal court procedures so reporters can better understand what records are available and when in the court process they become available.

Immigration and Passport Records

This is a guide for reporters on government agencies that keep immigration and naturalization/citizenship records and passport records.

Lexis Nexis

This is a tutorial for reporters on using the LexisNexis service to locate news stories and some public records that are in its databases.

Notary Publics

This is a guide for reporters on how to access information from a notary public.

Police Records

This tutorial describes what records are available to reporters from law enforcement agencies investigating criminal cases. It also generally outlines criminal case procedures, based primarily on the workings of the California criminal justice system.

Campaign Statements

This tutorial describes how to check campaign statements politicians file when running for office, which detail who contributed to their campaigns and how the money was spent.

Businesses - Regulatory Agencies

This is a guide for reporters on finding public documents on businesses that are licensed or regulated by federal and state agencies. In most cases the agencies keep an online database or a name index of businesses for which there are reports or enforcement actions.

Military Records

This is a guide for reporters on finding military service records.

Voter Registration Records

This is a guide for reporters to what voter information registration information is publicly available.

Professional Licenses

This is a guide for reporters to finding public records on licensed professionals.

Vehicle and Vessel Licenses and Registrations

This is a guide for reporters on finding records on driver's licenses and motor vehicle registrations, as well as registrations for boats and aircraft.

Vital Records

This is a guide for reporters on how to access vital records - birth and death certificates as well as marriage certificates and divorce filings.

Bankruptcy Court Records

This is a guide for reporters on how to acces U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.

Coroner's Office Reports

This is a guide for reporters on the documents that are publicly available as part of a coroner's office investigation into a person's death.

Nonprofits and Charities

This tutorial shows reporters how to find public records on nonprofit and charitable organizations such as foundations.

Jail and Prison Records

This is a guide for reporters on accessing information about jail and prison inmates.

Assessor's Office

This is a guide for reporters on how to research property records at a county assessor's office.

Recorder's Office

This is a guide for reporters on using a county recorder's office to research property records.

Building Inspection and Permit Records

This is a guide for reporters on using a city building inspection department to research records of construction permits and code violations on properties.

Property Tax Collector's Office

This is a guide for reporters on how to research property tax records at a county tax collector's office.

Lobbyists

This is a guide for reporters on finding information on lobbyists and companies that employ lobbyists.

Election Results

This is a guide for finding government websites that post election results on state and local elections.

Legislation

This is a guide to finding legislation on a federal, state and local level, including government websites with searchable databases of legislation.

Databases of Statistical Information

This is a directory of online databases of demographic and other statistical information that are publicly available on the web. The directory is organized topically, and includes database with national, state and local information, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Public Records Links and Resources

Additional reading, related software, training and more.