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Public Administration: Evaluating Newspapers

How to get started on your research
Subjects: Social Sciences

Newspapers

Specific Sources: Newspaper articles

At first glance

By glancing at the article, you can easily find information to begin evaluating it. This information may include:

When was it written?

  • Keep in mind that depending on your topic the age of the material may be important.

 

Who wrote the article?

  • A byline indicates the journalist who wrote the article.
  • If the article does not have a byline it can still be a valid source for your research.

What newspaper published the article?

  • Depending on your topic, it might be important which newspaper published an article.
  • Some newspapers have an established reputation such as the New York Times or the Washington Post. These are good sources for national and international news.
  • Regional newspapers are excellent sources for local issues. The Arizona Republic is an example of a regional newspaper.

A closer look

By taking a closer look at the article, you can find additional information to help you evaluate it.

What type of article is it?

  • Editorials, opinion pieces, commentaries, and letters to the editor are written to express an opinion.
  • News articles report factual information about a current event.
  • Investigative reports tend to be longer and include more background information.

How detailed is the coverage of the subject?

  • How much background information is presented?
  • How long is the article?

Social Sciences Librarian

Deborah Abston's picture
Deborah Abston
Subjects:Social Work, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Public Affairs, Journalism & Mass Media, Community Resources & Development
Contact:
ASU Libraries Downtown Phoenix campus
UCENT Building
Lower Level
602-496-0307