Video sources can prove a valuable source of information, whether they be news videos, popular movies, documentaries, or even social media streams. Consider the wide variety of resources that provide online video content. Below are listed some of the resources available through the library, but consider also sources such as your local news station(s), international news stations, PBS, social media platforms and apps, etc.
You may not think of video sources as being the natural sources of information for use in research. However, videos 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 possible sources, keep the following in mind:
Consider why the video was created. This will inform how you use it in your research. Was it created...
For scientific purposes?
To report an observed phenomenon?
For sensationalism? For entertainment? For self expression? For art?
To educate? To teach something?
To push an agenda? To rally people to a cause?
As a means of evidence of a social issue or a crime?
How was the video made?
Real people having real experiences?
Is it raw footage, shot as an event unfolds? Or is it scripted? A reinactment?
Consider what the form and purpose of the production 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 has the subject had 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 creation stand up against what we know now?