Historical Newspaper and Magazine Sources:
You may not think of newspapers and magazines as being the natural sources of information for use in research. However, these sources can often provide valuable information to help situate our understanding of a subject and its impact within the broader context of events and human experience. As you begin to investigate news sources, keep the following in mind:
Consider why the publication was written. This will inform how you use it in your research. Was it written...
For scientific purposes? To purely report an observed phenomenon?
For sensationalism? For entertainment?
To capitalize on fear?
To educate? To teach something? (i.e. safety tips)
To reassure a panicked public?
To push an agenda?
Consider what the form and purpose of the writing tell you.
What does it say about public discourse surrounding your subject? How is it being talked about?
What does it show of public perceptions, or possibly misconceptions, surrounding your subject?
What impact does your subject have on daily life and individual behavior?
What views of the future do the authors offer? What are they forecasting the impact(s) of your issue will be?
How does the perception at the time of writing stand up against what we know now?