Helpful Sources for Journalists

While writing a news story, it is sometimes difficult to find needed information. Pressure to find certain documents, or to even come up with ideas for writing mounts higher as deadline approaches. A journalist will waste time if they don’t know where they can look for valuable information. Different websites can offer valuable information. Here are a few:

The Society of Professional Journalist’s website offers many resources for journalists. One feature on this website is the “Journalist’s Toolbox.” The “Journalist’s Toolbox” offers information on how to cover different types of stories. It has links to other helpful websites. SPJ also offers online training for members. This is helpful with all the changes going on in the field.

courtesy of Society of Professional Journalist's website

• Another helpful website features the AP stylebook online. People must pay to see the book online, but accessing it online will be handy. The stylebook is also available as an app for the iPhone and iPod touch. This allows access to be available whenever needed.
• When documents and data on the government are needed, a helpful site is the U.S. Government Printing Office website. This site has records of bills passed by Congress, decisions made by the Supreme Court, laws, etc. A similar site is usa.gov This also provides official documents for both the federal and state governments.
• Many fact errors concern dates and ages of people. This website offers a date calculator that can be used to avoid simple fact errors like these. When a date of birth is entered, the calculator will give the current age of the person. It can also be used to calculate how long ago an event took place.
• A site that will provide good statistics is The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The center conducts monthly polls on politics and other issues. The results are available on this website.
• A great website that offers general tips on writing is Poynter Online. A nice feature on this site is “Best Practices.” This offers helpful writing tips for tough situations.

These are all great resources for finding information quick. Who has time to sift through different web pages, following link after link? A journalist on deadline sure doesn’t! Using these websites is a sure way to save time and find information quick.

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