WRTG: Journalism: Making Sense of the News

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Recommended Subject Searches

Journalism--Economic aspects--United States
Journalism--Objectivity
Journalism--Objectivity--United States
Journalism--Political aspects
Journalism--Political aspects--United States
Journalism--Social aspects--United States
Journalism--Technological innovations
Journalism--United States
Journalism--United States--History--20th century
Journalism--United States--History--21st century

Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press--United States
Freedom of the press--United States--History
Censorship--United States
Press law--United States
Journalists--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
Leaks (Disclosure of information)
WikiLeaks (Organization)
Assange, Julian

Investigative reporting
Investigative reporting--United States
Journalistic ethics
Journalistic ethics--United States
Journalistic ethics--United States--History--20th century
Attribution of news
Sensationalism in journalism
Sensationalism in journalism--United States
Prejudices in the press--United States

Government and the press--United States
Government and the press--United States--History
Government and the press--United States--History--20th century
Press and politics
Press and politics--United States
Press and politics--United States--History
Press and politics--United States--History--20th century
Press--Economic aspects--United States
Press monopolies--United States
Press--United States
Press--United States--History--20th century
Press--United States--Influence

"Press Coverage" may be added as a subheading to any topic. For example:

Presidents--Press coverage--United States
African Americans--Press coverage
United States--Race relations--Press coverage
Minorities--Press coverage--United States
Women--Press coverage
Terrorism--Press coverage
Terrorism--Press coverage--United States
Violence--Press coverage
Disasters--Press coverage
War--Press coverage
War--Press coverage--United States
Arab-Israeli conflict--Press coverage--United States
Persian Gulf War, 1991--Press coverage--United States
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001--Press coverage
Afghan War, 2001---Press coverage
Iraq War, 2003--Press coverage
Iraq War, 2003---Press coverage--United States
Global Financial Crisis, 2008-2009--Press coverage

News agencies
Newspapers
Newspapers--Objectivity
Newspaper publishing--Economic aspects--United States
Newspaper publishing--United States
Newspaper publishing--United States--History--20th century
American newspapers
American newspapers--History
American newspapers--Ownership
New York times
Washington post
Los Angeles Times (Firm)

Broadcast journalism
Broadcast journalism--Political aspects--United States
Television and politics
Television and politics--United States
Television in politics--United States
Public broadcasting--Political aspects--United States--History
Television broadcasting of news--Objectivity--United States
Television broadcasting of news--Political aspects--United States
Television broadcasting of news--Social aspects--United States
Television broadcasting of news--Economic aspects--United States
Television broadcasting--Ownership
Television broadcasting--Economic aspects--United States
Television broadcasting--Influence

ABC News
CBS News
CBS News--History
NBC News
Cable News Network  [CNN]
Fox News
BBC News
Al Jazeera (Television network)
Foreign news--United States

Mass media--Economic aspects
Mass media--Economic aspects--United States
Mass media--Influence
Mass media and public opinion--United States
Mass media--Objectivity
Mass media--Objectivity--United States
Mass media--Ownership
Mass media--Ownership--Political aspects--United States
Mass media--Ownership--United States
Mass media--Political aspects--United States

Radio in politics--United States
Radio broadcasting--Political aspects--United States
Radio talk shows--United States

Internet--Political aspects
Internet--Political aspects--United States
Social media--Political aspects
Online social networks--Political aspects
Digital media--Political aspects
Blogs--Political aspects

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Recommended Databases

     Communication SourceComprehensive subject coverage with considerable full text.  Note that there is a “Thesaurus” link just above the search boxes, allowing you to search the index of Subject Headings--often a good first stop for more efficient Subject searching whereby you are guaranteed that your topic is indeed a main subject of the articles retrieved.
     A good initial strategy in this database is to search a likely topic in the Subject Terms and when you find it “explode” the term by double clicking it--this brings up a list of related Subject terms.  You can check as many terms as you like before "adding" them to your search by AND-ing or OR-ing them together.
     User Advisory: For any retrieved set of articles, there will be a box displayed on the left that will limit the articles to “Scholarly” journals—just check the box and click the “Update Results” button below.
    Also from EBSCO, try the more discipline-specific databases--
 
    And from Sage Journals try-- 

     General OneFile : is the most user-friendly of our comprehensive databases, covering almost any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles and offering lots of full text.  Use the default Subject search to find the best subject heading for your topic (and when you find a good one be sure to look at the "Related Subjects" to see if there's something even better).
     When you settle on a subject heading, open the "Subdivisions" link below it.  Most General OneFile subject searchs produce very large retrievals and the "subdivisions" help you narrow your search to a particular aspect: "Ethical aspects," "Forecasts and Trends," "History," "Political aspects," "Psychological aspects,"  and "Social aspects,"  to name only a few.
      If the best available subdivision is still too broad, open it and add your own Keywords in the "Search within these results" slot at the upper left.
     User Advisory: When first viewing your retrievals in General OneFile, note that you are seeing only the "Magazines" (popular articles) and must click on the tabs for "Academic Journals" (scholarly articles) or "News" (newspaper articles) to see those results

     ProQuest Research Library  is another comprehensive database with substantial full text.  Use the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available.  
     Note that to the right of your search results you can limit your retrieval by "Source Type" (including Magazines, Newspapers, Scholarly Journals), "Document Type," (including Cover Story, Editorial, or Interview), and "Location."
     Above each set of articles you retrieve ProQuest will display related Subject searches to help either broaden or narrow your focus.

      JSTOR : covers a wide range of scholarly journals in most disciiplines, always beginning with the first issue of each one.  This provides 100% full text access to articles from not only the first half of the 20th century but even the second half of the 19th.  Be aware, however, that at the other end of the date range articles don't appear in JSTOR until at least 1-2 years after publication. 
     JSTOR offers only a Keyword search of its complete full text, so retrievals are large, but the relevancy ranking does a good job of putting the strongest matches on the first few pages.  This relevancy ranking does not weigh date, however, and will display a mix of articles written decades apart.  So if your topic is time sensitive, be alert to publication dates.
     User Advisory: The academic journals covered here feature numerous book reviews, so it's a good idea to tic the "Article" limit below the search slots so you won't be overwhelmed by book reviews on your topic.  

     Project Muse : provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the only last 10-15 years.  Muse uses a "black box" search approach--you enter your search terms in one slot with no designated field options.  This broad approach to searching tends to generate large retrievals--almost 500 for "conspiracy theories"--so it's best to be as specific as possible.  And note--once you have a retrieval set, you can add more search terms by clicking "Modify Search" at the top.

     LexisNexis Academic  News:  Offering a keyword search of 100% full text from a vast number of national and international newspapers, this is an easy database to use poorly and a bit tricky to use well. In order not to be overwhelmed with articles in which your search terms are mentioned anywhere—first or last paragraph—or any number of times—once or ten times—use commands to target articles in which your topic words are mentioned early or mentioned often.
     Use the hlead command (headline and lead paragraphs) to target articles in which your topic words occur in the prime news-story position of headline or first paragraphs. For example: hlead(fracking and pollution) will retrieve just the articles in which the words “fracking” and “pollution” are used in the headline or first paragraphs. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses after hlead, with no space between.
     Use the altleast command to target articles in which your topic words occur a set number of times. For example: atleast5(“gay marriage”) will retrieve only the articles where this phrase is used at least 5 times—indicating that it must be a main topic. You can plug in any number after atleast—atleast3 or atleast7. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses with no space between the number you choose and the first parenthesis.
     Use the date range offered under Advanced Options. Because this is a large database of 100% full text, one of the most effective ways to retrieve fewer than 1000 hits is to set up a time frame. Note: if you use the calendar icons to set beginning and end dates, you need to choose a year, a month, and a day for each. Without the day, the date won’t register.

      New York Times (1851-2009)  gives access to the full text of the New York Times 1851-2006. I recommend you begin by resetting the default search of "Anywhere" to "Abstract" (since this is a Keyword search of 100% full text, you are likely to generate too many passing mentions of your search terms if you search all the text; first try the more focused "Abstract" search and only broaden it to "Anywhere except full text" if you retrieve too few hits). 
     Use the "date range" limits to target the primary sources available here--contemporary/eyewitness reports. Without a date range limit you may retrieve hundreds of articles written decades after the events they discuss
     User Advisory: when searching for materials from earlier eras, be aware that language changes over time. For example, the term "Native Americans" was not used prior to the 1970s, so when searching for articles the term "Indians" will be needed to retrieve relevant newspaper stories.   

     America: History and Life : A large scholarly database, with much of the full text supplied by JSTOR, but the advantage to searching here is the availability of Subject searching and an "Historical Period" limit.  That said, the Subject Heading used is broad--Indians--so you will need to add more specific Keywords.  But whereas the date limit in most databases refers to the date articles were published, the "Historical Period" limit available here allows you to target the period of time discussed in the article.  And while the emphasis here is on "History," if you set the date range to 2005-2011, you will retrieve hundreds of articles with at least one foot in the present.  Note: setting the "Document Type" to "Article" will winnow out all the reviews and book citations.

Where's the Full Text for this Article??

     Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for this icon: 
                                                                  
     Clicking "GETIT" checks (almost all) the IC Library's other databases to see if any offers the full text of the article--or if the Library has a print subscription to the journal in which the article appeared. 
 
  • "GETIT" will usually find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the Library catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.
  • If full text is not available from any database or from a print subsciption, "GETIT" will provide a link to the IC Library's Interlibrary Loan.  Log in (same as your IC e-mail)--and set up your account if you've never used it before.  "GETIT" will have populated the article request form with all the necessary information and you simply submit the request elecrtonically.  Most articles are supplied as digital files and will be sent to you via e-mail when they arrive.

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Dr. Brian Saunders

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