The Salt Lake Tribune has join the media rush to launch databases of public records. Unlike those others, Utah’s Right To Know has collected statewide and local databases at a dedicated Web site, not a page buried in the online edition. Some of the data are available elsewhere – such as the sex offenders – but the site is also collecting government salaries in one database, which is being culled from local, county and state agencies. Search Public Employee Salaries by name or agency, or across all agencies. A drop down menu displays those currently available. The search mechanism for Utah Divorces and Utah District Court Charges allows a query by first or last name.
Read the Tribune’s story on the Utahsright.com project, which the paper claims has generated a lot of excitement among readers. You wouldn’t know it from the few posts at the topical discussion forums.
I guess a fresh, private industry has sprung up that’s developing and storing the public records databases for some newspapers. The Scoop recently explored the issue of outsourcing and got a miffed comment from the director of one of these companies.