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COMM 60: Journalism (Davis)

Where to Find Relevant Sources

Sometimes it is easy to know where to look for relevant sources on a topic, sometimes it can be quite challenging. Two key questions are: Which groups are interested in and what sources are available regarding the topic? One approach for starting research is to think broadly. You probably won't utilized every possible source, but at least this approach gives you the "lay of the land." Here are three sample scenarios:

Scenario 1: What are the positive and negative effects of fracking?


Interest Group Possible Sources
Oil / natural gas companies

Company websites
Industry organizations - e.g., American Petroleum Institute
Industry publications - e.g., Oil & Gas Journal

Workers organizations E.g., Oil & Gas Workers Association
Business groups national, state, or local business associations - e.g., Better Business Bureau
Environmental groups Organization websites - e.g., Sierra Club
Native American organizations If fracking will affect their lands and/or water supply
Federal government

Government agencies - e.g., Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior
Federal laws - e.g., Statutes at Large, U.S. Code - see GovInfo database
Federal regulations - e.g., Code of Federal Regulations

State government Government agencies - e.g., California Environmental Protection Agency
State Laws
State regulations
Local government County or city ordinances
Courts Federal & state cases - check Nexis Uni database


Scenario 2: What are current dating practices among college students?

  • Social media - e.g., Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook
  • Popular magazines - e.g., Vogue
  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Newspapers / news wires
  • Films / documentaries
  • National / regional student societies
  • Campus organizations such as LGBTQ+, groups built around a common ethnicity, international students, etc.
  • First hand accounts - Interview college students


Scenario 3: Why do some Latinx vote Democratic, some Republican, or some don't vote at all?

  • Books - check OSCAR
  • Scholarly journal articles - Library databases
  • Newspapers / newswires - e.g., Access World News database
  • Hispanic organizations - e.g., UnidosUS
    • Specific groups of Hispanics - e.g, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Guatemalan, etc.
    • Political advocacy organizations - e.g., Latino Victory
  • Major political parties - policies that affect Latinx generally or specifically
  • Demographic/Statistical sources - e.g., Census Bureau
  • Public opinion polls - e.g., Gallup
  • State voting laws - do they make it easy or difficult to vote
  • Podcasts / blogs
  • Documentaries / films
  • First hand accounts - Interview people