For a top 10 list, ask Price, not Letterman pg. 59

By: Charles Bowen

Even before USA TODAY and its regular statistical snapshots of America, we journalists have always been hungry for lists. The favorite soft drinks in the nation. The hottest video rentals. The richest people. The busiest airports. The most dangerous cities. The best-selling books and albums, the highest-rated television shows, and the biggest box-office movies.
Since the print media constantly competes against television, radio, and now the Internet for readers' ever-briefer attention span, the economy of space afforded by a well-conceived Top 10 list makes more sense all the time for sidebars and graphic elements throughout the paper.
Leave it to a good librarian to know where to find virtually any list you ever wanted. Gary Price of the Gelman Library at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., operates Price's List of Lists, a phenomenal gateway to rankings of different people, organizations, and companies. The material comes from various sources, such as magazines like Forbes and Fortune, technical publications and journals, and original online resources. In addition, some of the lists have been designed to be interactive and/or searchable, providing greater utility than the printed versions.
To browse Price's extensive collection, visit the site ( ~gprice/listof.htm). The list is quite long, more than 45 single-spaced pages, were you to print it out, so don't do that. Instead, use the hyperlinks at the top of the introductory page to navigate to frequently used portions of the list. A highlighted box at the top provides links to more than 30 business topics, ranging from chemicals, the computer industry, contractors and credit cards to sports, telemarketing, and transportation.
Also at the top are other links to items such as:
? Recent Additions, useful for frequent visitors to zero in on the latest links.
? Bestseller Lists, focusing on book lists from The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and international sources.
? Business, for everything from advertising facts and agriculture production to executive salaries, indexes, housing starts, and real estates sales.
? Education, such as university rankings, best business schools, teachers' pay, and more.
? Living, including city rankings, entertainment, top athletes, and so on.
? Politics, such as political contributions, voting records, United Nations, and more.
? Science, covering endangered species, weather disasters, the rain forests, etc.
Besides these links, you can simply use the scroll bar at the right of the introductory screen to view the alphabetized list. However you get there, click on a highlighted hyperlinked list to reach the original resource, which is almost always outside of Price's list gateway.
For example, suppose you are writing a story on retail stores and need to get a rundown on the top 10 retailers in the nation. In the Business portion of the list, you find links to more than a dozen lists related to retailing, including ""The Top 100 Retailers"" as published by Stores, the Magazine for Retail Decision Makers. Clicking on the link takes you to Stores' own site, and a chart that provides data such as volume, earnings, units sold, and comments.
On the other hand, if you were researching charities, you might want to browse the latest information on the most generous Americans. You search again in the ""Business"" portion of the list and see the ""Foundations/Corporate Giving"" section, where among more than a half dozen links you find lists by Fortune and The American Benefactor as well as The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Other tips for using Price's List of Lists:
1A link at the top of the introductory screen takes you to the Direct Search page for links to more than 800 searchable/interactive list tools that cover material not always accessible by general search tools. A subsequent page offers links to archives and library catalogs, full-text books, government resources, humanities databases, bibliographies, science, ready references, and related topics.
2 Looking for transcripts of recent speeches? Price maintains a Speech and Transcript Center with links to material in business, government, international news, professional organizations, and historical speeches. Of particular interest to journalists is the link to ""Television and Radio Programs,"" which provides online reservoirs of transcripts from CNN, Nightline, 20/20, Fox News, the McLaughlin Group, Meet the Press, the National Press Club luncheons, NewsHour, and others.
3 Other Gary Price creations ? all linked from the introductory page ? include NewsCenter (for Web connections to major wire services, business news, international sites, entertainment news resources, etc.) Audio on the Web (linking to streaming audio presentations around the world) and Congressional Research Service Reports (for connections to assorted Web tools for researching congressional issues).
?(Editor & Publisher Web [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher May 1, 1999) [Caption]


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