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Journalism & Public Relations: JOUR 311

AP Stylebook

Finding Academic Experts

Most colleges and universities have online databases of faculty experts. This Google search can help:


Finding advocates

Nonprofit organizations that advocate for an issue can be good sources of background and people to interview. But you still need to evaluate their credibility. Check the About section for their mission or their board of directors to see if they have prominent people serving.

Some search strategies: 

  • Google: Type in: expert YOUR TOPIC OR type in YOUR TOPIC advocacy group
  • Global Newsstream: Check news articles on the topic and look for people interviewed.
  • CQ Researcher: Long reports will include a Contacts section with organization names and websites and their perspective

Background for Stories: Check "the Clips"

Current news stories

Higher Education Stories

For higher education stories (think stories about issues on campus), you will want to check out these sources:

Nonprofit News Sources

Campus Publications

Historical News Databases

State & National Research Sources

Statistics and Polling Data

An effective approach to finding government statistics on a topic is to use the following search in Google:

Statistics YOUR TOPIC

For example: statistics crime

Other Data Sources:

Finding Diverse Sources and Tips for Reporting

The Society of Professional Journalists has put together a Toolbox on Diversity Issues to help journalists improve their reporting. Here are a few highlights from the Toolbox as well as from the Poynter Institute, the American Press Institute, and the Women's Media Center.

  • Witness.orgA video-based site dealing with human rights issues

Long Beach Background Resources

Math for Journalists

Former Los Angeles Times journalist Robert Niles offers simple explanations of the key types of math calculations and statistical descriptions that journalists are asked to make.