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:

Google News

automated current events collector from thousands of sources around the Web -- a great first stop

Daypop

billed as "a current events search engine" -- very good and very current

Altavista news search

seems to go back only about a week

Northern Light news search

three options: last two hours, today's news and last two weeks

Rocket News

goes back five days

Lycos news search

look at the top of the page, seems to go back about a week, mostly AP and Reuters material

Yahoo! news search

seems to go back about a month, mostly AP and Reuters material

Newspapers and news sites with free searchable archives

The Guardian

free access to archive back to 1998

New York Times

free registration to view site, free title search for articles from 1996, pay to view full articles older than 7 days

Washington Post

Free search. Free full-text back to 14 days. Pay for older material back to 1977.

Time magazine

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

BBC News

very good, stretches back many years

 

Searching for general background information:

Google

the classic. Remember, too, that the advanced search options can be a real help.

Webferret

downloadable programme for meta-search

ProFusion

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.

Journalists Express Search

Good meta-search of 11 search engines.

Other options for general background research

Backgrounders (The Economist)

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.

International Crisis Group

Excellent analytical reports on countries and regions in crisis.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Lots of valuable background material online for free. Pay for more.

About.com

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:

Governments on the WWW

lists all the bodies of all governments worldwide online. A fantastic list, though a few links are now outdated.

European Governments on-line

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

 

Statistics:

statistics.com

good starting point, links to sources of statistics around the Web

RobertNiles.com

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 US Security and Exchange Commission's EDGAR

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.

Companies House (UK)

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.

corporateinformation.com

Basic data on thousands of public companies, including investment analysis. Stronger for G7 countries, but other countries also represented.(free registration)

Hoover's Online

great for basic information on companies and good links to other company searches, mostly for investors and premium, detailed information costs money

Yahoo! Finance Company and Fund Index

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.

 

Finding People:

Anywho

Phone book listings for people and businesses in the US and links to other online phone books in other countries

International Directories (AOL)

Another good list of links to phone books around the world

Email finder (AOL)

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.

WhoWhere

find people in US

192.com

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:

Institute for Public Accuracy 

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.

alphagalileo

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.

MediaResource

Slightly complicated form but this free service looks like a great way to find experts on science and technology-related articles in the US.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Experts Database 

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:

Mapquest

for the USA

Streetmap

UK, especially good for London

European Street Maps

Subway Navigator

maps of most every underground transport system around the world

University of Texas, Austin: Perry-Castaeda Library Map Collection

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:

Journalists Express

A great list of links, well categorised. Links to people searches, expert searches, news sources, photo searches, statistics pages, and so on.

Research & reference tools

compiled by online journalism columnist J D Lasica

FACSNET

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.

Nelsonsearch

from the Poynter Institute: "a search engine for journalists"

Guides to Journalistic Resources

from Online Journalism Review

The Journalist's Toolbox

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:

Google's list of news sources

Journalists Express

A great list of links, well categorised.

Newslink

Links to online newspapers and magazines. Stronger for US publications; many non-US links are out-of-date

 

Some great specialist information sites:

Jane's

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.

Statistics Every Writer Should Know

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.

MediaResource SciStacks

A reviewed list of excellent Web sites covering a wide variety of science, medical, and technology resources.

Oanda Currency Converter

Converts the value of any currency to any other currency and allows you to select the date as well. Very useful.

Society of Environmental Journalists: links page

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:

IWPR's libel guidelines

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.

newsdesk-uk.com's libel pages

a good overview

 

Evaluating the reliability of websites:

Internet Detective

an interactive tutorial on evaluating the quality of Internet resources (free registration)

Evaluating Web Sites (Lake Forest College)

criteria to be considered in determining the quality of information found on a Web page

Evaluating Website (University of Maryland)

another set of criteria with a useful checklist

 

Debunking hoaxes:

About.com Current Netlore

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.

Symantic hoax virus page

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.