Skip to Main Content

BIOL343 - Wegman-Geedey

News Sources

Finding news sources by geography:

How to tell if you've found a news source:

1. Use the built-in database features to limit to news sources. The databases will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, so use the features available to save you a lot of time!

2. Always be sure to Google the name of the publication to make sure it is a newspaper or other resource that would have been written for, and consumed by, the general population. The name will often be one you recognize, and contain an indication of what city it is from, e.g., the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, etc. Beware of personal blogs or other media types that may masquerade as news sources.

3. Consider how the publication is written. News sources will generally be written at no higher than a 9th- or 10th-grade reading level. They will rarely contain any technical language or discipline-specific jargon, and can be understood even if the reader has no previous knowledge of the subject area. They will also be relatively short in length.

4. When in doubt, ask. You can always reach out to your professor our to your librarian to get clarification as to whether or not the source you have found is from a news source.

Use this site to check whether or not your news sources are known to be biased or report bad information:

As you begin to investigate news sources, keep the following in mind:   

Consider why the publication was written. Was it written...
For scientific purposes? To purely report an observed phenomenon?
For sensationalism? For entertainment?
To capitalize on fear?
To teach prevention strategies?
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 the topic? How is it being talked about?
What does it show of public perceptions, or possibly misconceptions, surrounding the issue?
What impact does the issue have on daily life and individual behavior?
What views of the future do the authors offer? What are they forecasting the impact(s) of the issue will be?
How does the perception at the time of writing stand up against what we know now?