Links for Journalists
The Websites listed below are resources IWPR journalists and editors have found useful, sometime even essential, when conducting their online research. The following sites are just a selection: this list is by no means exhaustive, and listing here does not imply official endorsement by IWPR.
Searching for recent news:
automated current events collector from thousands of sources around the Web -- a great first stop
billed as "a current events search engine" -- very good and very current
seems to go back only about a week
three options: last two hours, today's news and last two weeks
goes back five days
look at the top of the page, seems to go back about a week, mostly AP and Reuters material
seems to go back about a month, mostly AP and Reuters material
Newspapers and news sites with free searchable archives
free access to archive back to 1998
free registration to view site, free title search for articles from 1996, pay to view full articles older than 7 days
Free search. Free full-text back to 14 days. Pay for older material back to 1977.
free archive search, view archive print articles online for free up to two weeks old online articles available through the online search for longer at TimeEurope
very good, stretches back many years
Searching for general background information:
the classic. Remember, too, that the advanced search options can be a real help.
downloadable programme for meta-search
fully online meta-search that allows you to select the search engine types you want to use, ie you can categorise the search sources you search through: news sites search engines, for example, or government search engines.
Good meta-search of 11 search engines.
Other options for general background research
An excellent set of short background information on hundreds of topics, including people, companies, current ideas and trends, science/technology and individual countries. Short, quick and useful.
Excellent analytical reports on countries and regions in crisis.
Lots of valuable background material online for free. Pay for more.
Basic information about nearly everything, with thousands of categories, each maintained. Some About.com "experts" are better than others, but for basic info on a new topic, most are pretty good and also offer great links for further study.
Searching for information on governments:
Best starting points:
lists all the bodies of all governments worldwide online. A fantastic list, though a few links are now outdated.
an EU site, but covering all European countries, not just EU member states
Some government sites high-quality & packed with information on state services, decisions, archives
US government resources online
A Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 to Request Government Records
- United Nations
good starting point, links to sources of statistics around the Web
an oft-recommended site, generally for US statistics, includes a very handy guide to Statistics Every Writer Should Know
Searching for information about corporations:
Most corporate Websites are notoriously bad for journalists. They only have glitzy pages of company propaganda and no contact details or don't reply to emails from journalists. Here are some good starting points:
The SEC requires all public US companies (except US companies with less than USD 10 million in assets and 500 shareholders) to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. It's free to all.
Online public information about UK-registered companies, including their public filings and even a list of disqualified directors. Oddly, it's only available from Monday to Saturday 7:00am to 12 Midnight UK Time.
Basic data on thousands of public companies, including investment analysis. Stronger for G7 countries, but other countries also represented.(free registration)
great for basic information on companies and good links to other company searches, mostly for investors and premium, detailed information costs money
Information on US companies, primarily for investors, but some useful statistics and basic information for journalists, as well. Most importantly, it offers links to recent news stories regarding the company you've selected. Great for finding out the latest issues facing a company, its new products and the latest criticism about it.
Phone book listings for people and businesses in the US and links to other online phone books in other countries
Another good list of links to phone books around the world
Type in a name, and let this page find the person's email for you. Not too reliable for non-US names, it seems, but you may get lucky.
find people in US
For finding people in the UK. Register for free and then get 20 free searches per month, including searches of the UK Electoral Roll, especially useful for postal addresses. Strong limitations on free service now.
Sites for helping you find quotable experts:
IPA "seeks to broaden public discourse by gaining media access for those whose perspectives are commonly drowned out by corporate-backed think tanks and other influential institutions." Provide good contacts to interesting experts on current issues.
The online press centre for European science, medicine and technology. Free registration is an annoyingly long process, but it allows you to seek experts from a variety of science-related fields. With free email newsletters to keep you up-to-date on science matters.
Slightly complicated form but this free service looks like a great way to find experts on science and technology-related articles in the US.
Easy way to find experts on a wide range of subjects among UW faculty and staff, at a leading US research university. Especially good for science-related topics.
Finding places - maps:
for the USA
UK, especially good for London
maps of most every underground transport system around the world
great for country maps, historical maps and news-related maps from all over the world, really an excellent resource
Some excellent resource sites specifically for journalists:
A great list of links, well categorised. Links to people searches, expert searches, news sources, photo searches, statistics pages, and so on.
compiled by online journalism columnist J D Lasica
Large list of online resources for journalists, including special pages devoted to current issues in the news, listing institutes, organisations and experts able to provide comments on the subject. Also contains advice and helpful background information for journalists covering delicate or complex current events. A bit too US-focused, however. You need to register first (free), and then you get a unique FACSNET URL, which is your personal gateway to the site.
from the Poynter Institute: "a search engine for journalists"
from Online Journalism Review
features more than 11,500 Websites helpful to the media and anyone else doing research. Use the pulldown menu or search engine to locate information from a variety of beats and news industry-related topics.
Good lists of news sources on the web:
A great list of links, well categorised.
Links to online newspapers and magazines. Stronger for US publications; many non-US links are out-of-date
Some great specialist information sites:
Free registration gives you only some very basic information about defence systems, hardware and the world's armies. Free weekly e-mail services on various subjects related to defence. You can search for images of military hardware (small images for personal use are free). Web search helps you pinpoint defence-related Web pages rather well.
This is a very useful introduction to statistics, percentages and survey findings for journalists who would like a quick review of the mathematics behind their stories. A quick check can keep you from making easy but embarrassing mistakes.
A reviewed list of excellent Web sites covering a wide variety of science, medical, and technology resources.
Converts the value of any currency to any other currency and allows you to select the date as well. Very useful.
A good list of links for background material when covering environmental issues. Too US-focused, but still has some useful background material and links to related issues.
Legal issues for journalists:
This narrative explanation of English civil libel law is aimed at IWPR trainers and editors to help them understand the basics of the legal system in which we publish our material.
a good overview
Evaluating the reliability of websites:
an interactive tutorial on evaluating the quality of Internet resources (free registration)
criteria to be considered in determining the quality of information found on a Web page
another set of criteria with a useful checklist
A great page for debunking commonly believed modern myths, especially those that spread like wildfire via email. If you get an email that sounds just too perfectly oddball, go to this site. With and A-Z list and a "latest" list, you can quickly expose the hoaxes and chain letters from true stories.
There are many more virus hoaxes than real viruses out there. This lists the fake ones. The Symantic site is also good for warning you about real viruses.