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Journalism: J 215 Profile Subject Checks

How to research for journalism projects.

Purpose of Research

  • To check profile subject’s PR press release before printing stories which could help an unethical venture get “earned media” (free publicity)
  • To check profile subject’s story (avoiding a “he said/she said” story structure)
  • To check profile subject’s character
  • To check profile subject’s history

Bankruptcy

United States Bankruptcy Court: District of Oregon

You can look up information about individuals who have declared bankruptcy. 

How do I obtain court or case information? FAQs

Oregon Circuit Courts and Tax Courts

OJD (Oregon Judicial Department ) Records and Calendar Search

Free online access to court calendars and basic case information for the Oregon circuit courts and the Oregon Tax Court.

Note: Due to federal or state law or policy, the Oregon Judicial Department does not provide court records or court calendar information for certain cases through this service. This applies to records including, but not limited to, adoption, juvenile, mental health, and cases that fall under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

About the Oregon Judicial Branch

Oregon Tax Court

What is a state tax lien?

Public Records

Oregon Department of Justice Public Records Information

Oregon’s open government laws promote democracy and transparency. Oregonians have a right to know how their government works and spends money. This page will help you understand and exercise your right to access government information. 

Searching the Web

Google Search Tips: 20 search tips

Find websites that link to a particular website: 

link:website URL

Business Information

Oregon DOJ Consumer Complaints 

Find information about public comapnies:

Oregon Secretary of State -- Find a business

Census Business Builder

The Census Business Builder (CBB) is a suite of services that provide selected demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau tailored to specific types of users in a simple to access and use format.

Census Business Builder: Regional Analyst Edition - 3.0

Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition - 3.0

Political Donations

Open Secrets

Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the Center for Responsive Politics is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. OUR VISION is for Americans to be empowered by access to clear and unbiased information about money’s role in politics and policy and to use that knowledge to strengthen our democracy. OUR MISSION is to produce and disseminate peerless data and analysis on money in politics to inform and engage Americans, champion transparency, and expose disproportionate or undue influence on public policy.

Federal Election Commission 

The FEC was created to promote confidence and participation in the democratic process. Read more about the FEC’s history, purpose and goals.

The FEC regularly publishes information about its objectives and performance. These documents include strategic plans, budgets and procurement reports. Additional documents are available in response to the Committee on House Administration's April 2019 questions to the Commission.

Oregon Secretary of State - Search for Campaign Finance Information

Professional Licenses

Some licensing agencies will provide public documents of individuals whom they have licensed. Contact these agencies directly (e.g., Oregon State Bar Association, Oregon Department of Health). 

Education

Contact the educational institution directly to request educational information about an individual. The institution will need to follow the FERPA

Personal Information

You can try other websites which provide information about individuals, but you need to remember that these websites usually have a disclaimer that the information cannot be used for background checks or for official purposes. Read their disclaimers and make sure you verify any information that you find on these websites. 

Truthfinder.com

Umpqua Community College Library, 1140 Umpqua College Rd., Roseburg, OR 97470, 541-440-4640
Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, content in these research guides is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.