Website Feature: Journalists’s Resource

I thought I’d check out Journalist’s Resource, a project of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, since it was named (with 25 others)  “Best Free Reference Web Site 2013” by the American Library Association. I was not disappointed. While the site is for practitioners, it is rich in research, research journalists need on the topics they are reporting on. By extension, non-journalists interested in wading deeper into an issue are welcome as well:

We invite all those interested in policy and public affairs to use the site’s materials. No registration is required; the materials are free and are under a Creative Commons license. Our open-access project is designed to provide state-of-knowledge information on topics of public interest. In an era of information overload, we hope you’ll see us as a useful tool that condenses quality information from authoritative sources and presents it succinctly. – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/about#sthash.gMmiM669.dpuf

We invite all those interested in policy and public affairs to use the site’s materials. No registration is required; the materials are free and are under a Creative Commons license. Our open-access project is designed to provide state-of-knowledge information on topics of public interest. In an era of information overload, we hope you’ll see us as a useful tool that condenses quality information from authoritative sources and presents it succinctly. …Establishing and promoting the concept of “knowledge-based reporting” animates the project; the philosophy is articulated in the new book Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism, by Tom Patterson, our research director. Many of the nation’s top journalism educators and thinkers have been promoting the idea of bringing journalism closer to the research world — both to meet the profession’s social mission and to ensure its high value in an increasingly crowded marketplace — and our site strives to provide a structure for accomplishing this.

Establishing and promoting the concept of “knowledge-based reporting” animates the project; the philosophy is articulated in the new book Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism, by Tom Patterson, our research director. Many of the nation’s top journalism educators and thinkers have been promoting the idea of bringing journalism closer to the research world — both to meet the profession’s social mission and to ensure its high value in an increasingly crowded marketplace — and our site strives to provide a structure for accomplishing this. Our project has been partnering with the New York Times, for example, to help create more research-related resources for readers. We also actively foster the improvement of Wikipedia pages relating to policy topics. – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/about#sthash.UFIkxch7.dpuf

The meat of the website is the “Studies Database” which can be key-word searched or one can browse the list of topics in the following areas: economics (banks, jobs, real estate), environment (food, climate change, pollution) government (budget, infrastructure, Congress), international (human rights, globalization, China), politics (elections, digital democracy, campaign finance), and society (race, education, internet). Searches will produce research articles from academic journals, some of which are otherwise behind pay walls. A research roundup piece on Twitter, Politics and the Publicprovides articles from Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Social Science Computer Review, Duke Law & Technology Review, Information, Communication & Society, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Microsoft Research, Pew Internet and American Life Project, various society conference papers, and so on. 

The site also has the beginnings of a rich syllabus section, only nine so far, all addressing coverage skills (business reporting, political reporting, science reporting, etc.) but they may add critical journalism and media studies related syllabi in the future. 

I was wondering this very question posed in the FAQ: Can I suggest a study? “Definitely. If you know of scholarly material that meets our research criteria, send it to… Also, if you feel that material that we’ve included doesn’t meet these standards or if better research on a similar topic is available, feedback is always appreciated.”

As we are wont to bemoan the level of the discourse in our media culture this initiative offers some hope for raising the bar a little. It is also a much needed bridge for journalism scholars and practicing journalists to cross from both directions.

We invite all those interested in policy and public affairs to use the site’s materials. No registration is required; the materials are free and are under a Creative Commons license. Our open-access project is designed to provide state-of-knowledge information on topics of public interest. In an era of information overload, we hope you’ll see us as a useful tool that condenses quality information from authoritative sources and presents it succinctly. – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/about#sthash.gMmiM669.dpuf
We invite all those interested in policy and public affairs to use the site’s materials. No registration is required; the materials are free and are under a Creative Commons license. Our open-access project is designed to provide state-of-knowledge information on topics of public interest. In an era of information overload, we hope you’ll see us as a useful tool that condenses quality information from authoritative sources and presents it succinctly. – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/about#sthash.gMmiM669.dpuf
Based at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, the Journalist’s Resource project examines news topics through a research lens; we focus on surfacing scholarly materials that may be relevant to other media practitioners, bloggers, educators, students and general readers. The American Library Association named it a “Best Free Reference Web Site 2013.” – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/about#sthash.gMmiM669.dpuf
American Library Association named it a “Best Free Reference Web Site 2013.” – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/about#sthash.gMmiM669.dpuf
American Library Association named it a “Best Free Reference Web Site 2013.” – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/about#sthash.gMmiM669.dpuf
American Library Association named it a “Best Free Reference Web Site 2013.” – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/about#sthash.gMmiM669.dpuf
American Library Association named it a “Best Free Reference Web Site 2013.” – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/about#sthash.gMmiM669.dpuf
Shorenstein Center
Shorenstein Center
Shorenstein Center
Shorenstein Center

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