If you're in the world of investigative journalism I'd encourage you to take a look at a new class of semantic data generation tools.
New capabilities like Calais (www.opencalais.com) from Thomson Reuters allow you to ingest unstructured text (news articles, press releases, FOIA documents, whatever) and automatically extract semantic metadata like people, companies, management changes, natural disasters and hundreds of others.
You can take the output of these tools and load them directly into databases to query. You could take news stories and build a social network of family relationships then play news events against the network.
We're already seeing some initial uses in the area of investigative journalism and would love to see more. Jump in and give it a try.