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History of Electronic Media: MSP 3297

Research help for the course, MSP 3297: History of Electronic Media.

Why Use News?

Newspapers on The Wall Street Journal Rack. Photo by Philip Strong on UnsplashNews sources (newspapers, magazines, news blogs, news broadcasts, news feeds, etc.) are written by reporters and journalists on topics of current interest.

When and Why You Should Use News Sources:

  • You need information on a recent event or topic of interest
  • You need eyewitness accounts of events
  • You need reports on activities of state and local government
  • You need insights into local culture, arts & entertainment
  • You need perspectives from underrepresented groups
  • You need sources that advocate a particular viewpoint or opinion

Remember: Not all news sources are created equal! Some have hidden (or obvious!) motives or political beliefs. Do some background research into who owns the news organization to learn more about it.

Find Newspaper & Magazine Articles in News Databases

Media History Digital Library

The Media History Digital Library is a great resource for finding historical magazines focused on film, broadcasting, and recorded sound. Many of the magazines included are from the 1900s-1960s.

Explore the Broadcasting Collection, the Hollywood Studio System Collection, the Fan Magazine Collection and more!

Newspaper & Magazine Look-up

Want to know if we have a specific newspaper or magazine (e.g. The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety)?  Use the search box to find full-text online or print newspapers and magazines:

Search Tips

  • magnifying glassPlace quotation marks around names and phrases. This will force the database to search for those exact words. (e.g. "Tina Fey")
  • Limit your search to a specific region/state/publication (e.g. Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Limit your search to a specific timeframe (e.g. past year, past month, 2012-2022)

What To Pay Attention To

When reviewing news articles about your individual or topic, consider some of the following:

  • What kind(s) of news stories does your individual or topic appear in? 
  • How do the media generally portray your individual or topic? Positively? Negatively?
  • What characteristics or qualities are used to describe your individual or topic? (e.g. entrepreneurial, innovative, strong-willed, decisive, risk-taker, charitable, game changer, monumental, etc.)
  • How does your individual use the media to advance their own causes?