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Xavier Hermosillo is the President of CrisisPros, a national Crisis Communications, Marketing, and Management firm he founded 20years ago and is based in his native San Pedro, CA. He is a former political chief of staff, an award-winning print reporter and photographer, and a former radio talk show host and TV commentator in Los Angeles. He is an elected member of the Board of Directors of CGI Holdings, Inc., a publicly-traded company that is headquartered in Chicago. He co-founded a NASDAQ company based in Chicago, serves as a Hearing Examiner for the L.A. Police Commission on police officer discipline cases, and holds Honors degrees in Administration of Justice, Marketing and Management. He can be reached at

April 18, 2005

Being a reporter or researcher is always a challenge, in addition to being fun, if you consider intellectual pursuits enjoyable.

Lord knows there are hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of sources on the Internet for getting answers to tough questions. There are the obvious generic sources like Google, Yahoo and MSN, as well as Ask Jeeves and other favorites. Yet, they are not the ultimate resource for reporters, editors, producers and others trying to get to the bottom of a story or project.

A great source of help, more highly organized than most, has now come to the rescue right here at The premiere of the remodeled website last week, a collaboration of Hal’s high energy and drive for perfection, and the technical brains of the site's webmaster and designer Jocelyne Rohrback, is pretty amazing.

It’s not easy for most of us computer users to expand our horizons to building web sites, and some of us are lucky to just find our way around the various sites. I have been writing a column here for almost eight months now, and it took the redesigned website to show me all the available resources for news media pros and others needing accurate information.

Take a little tour with me and discover what lies beneath the new colorful look of and see why as an information pimp, I'm excited about the new look.

I started with the Reporters Toolbox and found links leading to other links in the areas of legal issues in the media, media industry news, journalism organizations, broadcast history, jobs in the news business, and so many available awards and scholarships for aspiring news junkies.

Each link leads you to other links and all of a sudden, its like Internet dominoes as you race through the literal Information Superhighway. I never really though of the Internet as an Information Superhighway when it was first touted as such. I thought of it more like a junkyard or garage sale where, if you looked long enough and hard enough, and got lucky, you MIGHT find something worth taking home.

That has all changed with the ease of use of Hal’s and Jocelyne’s new hot site. Heck, in just looking at the “getting an agent, resume tips” under the “Jobs & Career” section of the Reporters Toolbox, you’ll find 75 links to media job search engines, employer sites, the whole ball of wax. What a time saver!

The News Directory on the left hand side of the main page, right below Reporters Toolbox, is even more spectacular with 14 major areas and hundreds – no, thousands - of subsets for news and information sites once you start clicking the links. There are a couple of dead or changed links here and there, but rest assured that Hal and Jocelyne will clear that up quickly.

The next button, the Archives, is another treasure trove of great info from the media experts who have been providing their expertise to since it began operations in 2001. You can’t buy great tips and ideas like these from people who are in the business and working it every day.

Site maps on many websites aren’t much help, but this one is easy to navigate and gives you another way of finding what you need. And if you’re wondering what kind of compulsive, obsessive personality takes the time to make sure this site is a solid resource for media pros as well as aspiring news geeks, take a look at “About” and see for yourself what drives this man.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Hal at Channel 13 years ago and following his career before and since. These days he spends five days a week in Santa Maria covering the Michael Jackson circus. These are long days, with court starting at 9 a.m. and his live reports wrapping up in the 10 and 11 p.m. news hours on KTTV (FOX Channel 11) and KCOP (Channel13) in L.A.

Yet, the taskmaster extraordinaire is on duty to make sure the website is coming together for the next week. I am a night-owl type, working until the wee hours of the morning, and it is NOT uncommon to get emails from Hal Eisner at 2 or 3 in the morning. That is dedication. Or lunacy!!

No matter what you call it, dedicate some of your precious time to exploring this website and making it easier to do your job and do it well with all the tools Hal and Jocelyne have provided us.

I am deliberately keeping this column shorter than usual so you can start your exploration. And by the way, you can’t beat the cost for so much value.