As part of the University’s Be Connected week, we ran a webinar focusing on newspapers and audio-visual resources, highlighting the benefits of using these fantastic resources and how to get the most out of our databases.
If you missed out on the webinar – fear not! We’ve put together a handy summary of key resources and take-aways for you to explore. Presentation slides from the webinar can also be found at the end of the blog.
Why are newspapers and audio-visual resources useful?
Well, these resources can be an invaluable source of information as they offer different perspectives on events or topics, by offering commentary and opinions and art (via adverts or cartoons) that reflect the social, political and cultural attitudes of a particular place and time.
They’re a fascinating alternative to the more authoritative voice of journal articles and books – and while they obviously come with a range of bias and inevitable fake news, this presents unique opportunities for analysis and discussion.
Can’t I just use Google to find out about the news?
The main benefits of using Library resources over Google is access – while some newspapers, such as the Guardian, allow you to read their articles for free, most do not or if they do, you’ll find the page covered in annoying adverts and pop-ups. With our resources it’s simple to access, download and save articles or images from a wide range of newspaper sources.
Our databases also have tailored advanced search and filter options that help you to narrow down your search and find exactly what you need. Google does have some basic date filters and you can use the advanced search to limit to a particular source and document type but it’s not as simple or intuitive.
However, accessing newspaper websites via Google does offer the option of browsing through the day’s news articles, and provides the associated pictures and photographs, which are lacking in some of our databases.
Where can I find the Library’s newspaper archives?
The Library provides access to a wide range of UK and international newspapers from the 17th century to the present day, mainly in online format. You can access and find information about all these resources on our Newspapers Guide.
As a starting point, we’d recommend trying Lexis for current news and Gale Primary Sources for historic news archives. Both of these resources allow you to search a wide range of sources at once and both have great search tools!
You can watch the video guides below to learn how to use these databases:
Are there any other useful resources related to news and the media?
For TV and radio news programmes, you might like to take a look at Box of Broadcasts, which provides access to broadcasts from over 65 channels dating from 2007.
If you’re more interested in media commentary and analysis, the Film and Television Index provides coverage on film and television theory, writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews, while Statista offers insights and data on the newspaper and television industries.
To find out more about this subject of news resources and getting the best out of them, check out the slides from this Be connected: using newspapers and audio-visual resources webinar.