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Mass Communication   Tags: journalism, masscomm, media  

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Evaluating Web Sites

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals: What’s the Difference?

Some assignments require you to use only scholarly journals, not popular magazines. There is no foolproof way to tell the difference. However, there are some features you can look for to help you decide if a periodical is scholarly. (Read more...)


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Links to web resources are provided for information purpose only. Your professor is the final authority on whether you are able to use web sites in a given course.

General Links

  • Investigative Reporters and Editors
    IRE provides educational services to reporters, editors and others interested in investigative journalism and works to maintain high professional standards. Links are maintained to NICAR National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting databases.
  • The People & The Press
    The People & The Press is an independent opinion research group, sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts, that studies public attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues.
    The Poynter Institute for Media Studies presents to help journalists do their jobs better and to serve their communities. Updated daily, it provides journalists with reliable information, useful tools, and provocative suggestions. The site advances the goals of The Poynter Institute by making accessible worldwide its teaching, expertise, and research.
    UNESCO's Communication and Information Sector (CI) was established in its present form in 1990. Its programmes are rooted in UNESCO’s Constitution, which requires the Organization to promote the “free flow of ideas by word and image.”
  • The Brookings Institution
    This Washington, D.C. think tank provides policy briefs on various issues, including tax cuts, social security, telecommunications, telephone deregulation, the Euro, military preparedness and many more. The Brookings Institution functions as an independent analyst and critic, committed to publishing its findings for the information of the public.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice's FOIA page
    A good starting point for learning more about the Freedom of Information Act. This link includes instructions on how to file an FOIA request and lists of federal agencies' FOIA offices.
  • ACRL list of resources
    The Association of College & Research Libraries maintains this wiki with links to scholarly resources.
    From the site: "The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism is dedicated to trying to understand the information revolution. We specialize in using empirical methods to evaluate and study the performance of the press, particularly content analysis. We are non partisan, non ideological and non political.
  • ProPublica
    "ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest." Their mission is to "expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing."
  • Freedom Forum
    The Freedom Forum, based in Washington, D.C., is a nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy. The site includes the First Amendment Center where users can find news articles, surveys, and other information about the First Amendment.
  • Knight Foundation
    The Knight Foundation funds transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. They believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.
  • The American Press Institute  Icon
    The American Press Institute conducts research, training, convenes thought leaders, and creates tools to help chart a path ahead for journalism in the 21st century.

    The Press Institute is an educational non-advocacy, nonprofit organization affiliated with the Newspaper Association of America. It aims to help the news media, especially local publishers and newspaper media, advance in the digital age.
  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists  Icon
    The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is a global network of more than 190 investigative journalists in more than 65 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories.

    Founded in 1997 by the respected American journalist Chuck Lewis, ICIJ was launched as a project of the Center for Public Integrity to extend the Center’s style of watchdog journalism, focusing on issues that do not stop at national frontiers: cross-border crime, corruption, and the accountability of power. Backed by the Center and its computer-assisted reporting specialists, public records experts, fact-checkers and lawyers, ICIJ reporters and editors provide real-time resources and state-of-the-art tools and techniques to journalists around the world.
  • Reporters Without Borders  Icon
    Based in Paris, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is an independent nongovernmental organization with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF). Its foreign sections, its bureaus in ten cities, including Brussels, Washington, Berlin, Tunis, Rio de Janeiro and Stockholm, and its network of correspondents in 130 countries give RSF the ability to mobilize support, challenge governments and wield influence both on the ground and in the ministries and precincts where media and Internet standards and legislation are drafted. The site includes articles about issues surrounding global information access.
  • Mashable  Icon
    Mashable is a global, multi-platform media and entertainment company. Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe.
  • MediaShift  Icon
    MediaShift provides insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology. The MediaShift network includes the sites MediaShift, Idea Lab and EducationShift, as well as workshops and weekend hackathons, email newsletters, a weekly podcast and a series of DigitalEd online trainings.

    MediaShift tells stories of how the shifting media landscape is changing the way we get our news and information. MediaShift correspondents explain how traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, music and movies are dealing with digital disruption and adapting their business models for a more mobile, networked world.
  • The Journalist’s Resource Project  Icon
    Based at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, the Journalist’s Resource project examines news topics through a research lens. The site provides scholarly materials that may be relevant to media practitioners, bloggers, educators, students and general readers.

    The weekly email and Twitter feed serve to highlight the latest studies from academia that can inform public discourse. The searchable database contains top academic and governmental research. The project strives to translate complex statistics into clear data points and reformulate the terminology of academic specialists into more accessible language, without sacrificing rigor or nuance.
  • Nieman Reports  Icon
    Nieman Reports is a website and quarterly print publication covering thought leadership in journalism. Its editorial mission mirrors that of the Foundation itself: “to promote and elevate the standards of journalism.” Nieman Reports is home to the Nieman Watchdog Project, which chronicles how journalists can hold those in power to account.

Radio and Television

    A website and newspaper about public broadcasting in the United States.
  • Federal Communications Commission
    Homepage of the policy maker for broadcasting and telecommunications. Includes press releases and updates on current policy issues.
  • Radio-Locator
    The most comprehensive radio station search engine on the internet, with links to over 10,000 radio station web pages and over 2500 audio streams from radio stations in the U.S. and around the world.
  • National Association of Broadcasters
    Features information about current issues in broadcasting, research briefs, legal and legislative developments, and an employment clearinghouse.

Advertising Web Sites

  • The Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History
    Part of Duke University's Special Collection Library, the Hartman Center promotes understanding of the social, cultural, and historical impact of advertising, marketing, and sales. Of special note are:
    An image database of over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.

    A free digital archive of thousands of vintage television commercials from the 1950s through the 1980s.
  • Advertising Age
    The industry's leading magazine.
  • The American Advertising Federation
    The Unifying Voice for Advertising. The AAF is a professional advertising association that binds the mutual interests of corporate advertisers, agencies, media companies, suppliers, and academia.

Online Journals

  • Columbia Journalism Review
    Provides the journal online, including the current issue, an archive of articles since 1991, and resources for covering important subjects.
  • Editor & Publisher
    The online version of Editor & Publisher magazine, featuring top media-related news stories, an archive of back issues, and classified job listings.
  • Online Journalism Review
    A publication of USC Annenberg School for Communication.

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • International Communication Association Online
    Brings together academicians and other professionals whose interest focuses on human communication. Abstracts are maintained for articles from ICA journals, Human Communication Research, Journal of Communication, and Communication Theory.
  • National Association of Black Journalists
    This site makes available press releases and position statements from the largest media association for people of color in the world.
  • National Communication Association
    The NCA is a professional association whose purpose is to promote the study, criticism, research, and teaching of the principles of communication. The web site includes links to news bulletins, recent NCA journal articles, and related organizations and resources.
  • National Press Club
    The club provides people who gather and disseminate news a center for the advancement of their professional standards and skills, the promotion of free expression, mutual support and social fellowship.
  • Public Relations Society of America
    The PRSA is the world's largest professional organization for public relations practitioners. The Society's almost 20,000 members represent business and industry, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations.
  • National Press Photographers Association
    The NPPA is an organization dedicated to the advancement of photographic journalism. Members include still and television photographers, editors, students and representatives of businesses that serve the photojournalism industry. Links are available to workshop and job information.
  • Society of Professional Journalists
    The SPJ is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. The site includes information on ethics and the Freedom of Information Act, video editing tools, and campaign finance money trackers.
  • Louisiana Press Association
    Louisiana Press Association is the official trade organization for Louisiana newspapers.
  • Newspaper Association of America
    NAA is a nonprofit organization representing the newspaper industry. The Association focuses on five priorities: marketing, public policy, diversity, industry development and newspaper operations.
  • The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma  
    "The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma is dedicated to informed, effective and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy.

    The Dart Center:

    Advocates ethical and thorough reporting of trauma; compassionate, professional treatment of victims and survivors by journalists; and greater awareness by media organizations of the impact of trauma coverage on both news professionals and news consumers.
  • Committee to Protect Journalists  Icon
    CPJ promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. CPJ ensures the free flow of news and commentary by taking action wherever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, killed, kidnapped, threatened, censored, or harassed. The site also provides resources for assistance and security for journalists.
  • Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press  Icon
    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and its staff attorneys provide free legal resources, support, and advocacy to protect the First Amendment and freedom of information rights of journalists working in areas where U.S. law applies, regardless of the medium in which their work appears. The Freedom of Information Act guide is especially helpful (and free!).
  • The International Reporting Project  Icon
    The International Reporting Project (IRP) provides opportunities for journalists to report internationally on critical issues that are under covered in the news media. The program seeks to fill the gap left by much of the mainstream media's reduction of international news. The IRP has provided opportunities to more than 500 journalists to report from more than 100 countries and produce award-winning stories.
  • The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education  Icon
    The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education promotes diversity in the news media through improved coverage, hiring, business practices, and training programs that equip journalists with leadership, multimedia skills, and subject expertise for news organizations across platforms. The primary mission is to ensure that all segments of our diverse society are fairly, accurately and credibly portrayed.
  • The National Association of Hispanic Journalists  Icon
    The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry.
  • The Online News Association  Icon
    The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. Resources include a "Build Your Own Ethics Code" and a career center.

Libraries, Museums, and Archives

  • The Newseum
    A national Museum of News located in Washington DC. The website features superb online exhibits about both the history of journalism and the profession today.
  • Television News Archive--Vanderbilt University
    Online index to evening TV news broadcasts from the 1960's to the present. This site does NOT include the full-text of the broadcasts, but provides abstracts for most items, which may be requested on loan.

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