Media sources

Newspaper articles can provide a valuable research tool as a primary source of information on historical and current events. However, keep in mind that they are not considered scholarly resources as they include editorials and opinions and thus may be biased, inaccurate and unreliable, so you will need to verify the information you find by using a range of sources. 

Some quick search tips for finding news articles:

  • Use the names of people involved

  • Restrict the search to the approximated date of a particular incident

  • Try to think of your topic in media language - eg newspapers are not going to talk about the sex/gender distinction or 'social constructivism' but they may talk about stereotypes: not 'performing gender' but 'gay stereotypes'

  • Note that many traditional, mainstream media sources have a history of not reporting, under-reporting and/or misrepresenting gender, sexuality and diversity issues, so you will often need to look beyond them and compare with alternative news sources. We have provided some alternatives for you on this page

  • Warning: The resources in this guide may lead you to material that you may find distressing. For support, you can contact La Trobe Counseling serviceLifeline or QLife.

Using Informit Complete to find community news

There are lots of different publications in Informit and it is not always easy to distinguish between them at first glance.

There are peer reviewed journal articles and books which could be useful secondary sources to help you find research and contextual information, and there are Australian news and media archives, political publications, literary, arts, culture, industry and trade publications – which could all be useful primary sources about particular events or from a particular time and place as they go back quite far. Alternatively, they could be used as secondary sources if they are more recent and you need more contextual information than journal articles and books provide.

The types of publications include:

  • Political publications (e.g. Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alternatives)
  • Literary, arts and culture publications, including poetry (e.g. Overland, The Lifted Brow, Kill your darlings) 
  • Australian industry and trade publications
  • Peer reviewed journal articles (e.g. Oral History Australia Journal, Aboriginal History, Gay and Lesbian Law Journal, Lilith: A Feminist History Journal)
  • EBooks (e.g. including many published by Aboriginal Studies Press)
  • Australian news and media archives
  • Government and legal publications

You need to click on the title of an article to view the complete record, find out more about the publication (particularly whether or not it was peer reviewed), and access the full text.

You can also browse publications by alphabetical order, select one of them, and browse by year or search within it. 

Twitter Advanced Search

  • Twitter is a useful way to identify the language that people use in the media and in everyday life when talking about a particular topic, and can therefore be a good place to start if you're new to the topic and want find out what different people think about it.

  • It is also a good place to find perspectives on topics that are different from mainstream media (especially where topics are under-reported and/or misrepresented in mainstream media).

  • If you're looking for information on a particular event, identify key dates to look up and filter your search with them.

Follow relevant researchers

You may also like to follow relevant researchers in your field to keep up-to-date with their work and/or follow relevant organisations to get up-to-date news, reports and commentaries from them.

Manage Twitter information overload

If you find yourself following a lot of different researchers and institutions and starting to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you're getting, you can break it up into Lists and use Twitter like an RSS newsfeed.

#Hashtags as subject headings

Hashtags are like crowd sourced subject headings for social media: they gather together tweets and facilitate access to information on a particular topic, theme and/or event from perspectives that may not be found elsewhere. They also often help people find and build a sense of community online. 

The following hashtags may be useful for your studies:

 

Videos

We have a wide range of streamed Australian and international documentaries, movies and television programs. Streamed titles are made available via Library Search.

Blogs

Blogs can provide a useful alternative perspective to mainstream media and/or may provide you with links to or lists of scholarly resources on a topic to follow up on.

Podcasts

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