This is the "Finding Websites" page of the "News Writing and Reporting 1" guide.
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News Writing and Reporting 1   Tags: communication, global journalism  

Last Updated: May 15, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Finding Websites Print Page

Why Websites?

There may be other websites with public records that you can use.  Or maybe you're interested in a different town, city, or state.  Many government offices now have their records online, the same way Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Maryland do.

Finding More Websites

You can use Google or other search engines to look for more websites.  Here are a few tips:


Before You Cite That Site ...

Even if your professor allows you to use websites as a source in your project, you should verify that you're using the best sites you can possibly find.  One way to quickly analyze whether a website is a good choice is to consider these four criteria:

Accuracy:  Is the information on the site correct?  Where did the author get his information and do his research?  Did he cite his work properly?  Is there a list of references or works cited at the end of the page?  Is it professionally written, without spelling or grammar mistakes?  Does the website look professional overall?
Authority:  Who wrote the information on the website?  Does the author have a degree and/or experience in her field?  Which organization, if any, pays for the website to be hosted on the internet?  Is there a way to contact the author?
Currency:  When was the website put online?  When was it last updated?  If it's an article or posting, when was it written?  What sources did the author consult, and when were those written?
Objectivity:  Why did the author and/or the organization put this website up?  What is their goal?  What do they want you to do after reading the website?  Are they asking for money, donations, or membership?  Do they have ads and links that encourage you to buy things?

If you can verify these four points and feel that the website is okay on all of them, it is probably a good choice for research.  If not, you may want to go back to Google and look for something more suitable.

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Chris Iweha
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