2. News Articles as Sources

News articles have several unique features:

  • News articles are written for a popular audience, meaning anyone with a standard level of education should be able to read them. 
  • They are comparatively brief, so the writer can't give the audience too much background. 
  • They are meant to be current and up-to-date, so if you want a present perspective on your topic, a recent news article can be helpful. 
  • However, they can also provide historical perspective.  Reading a news article from 1992 will help give you a window into what was happening at that time (but might not give you accurate information about what people think about the topic today). 
  • There are different types of news articles.  In the image above, there is a picture of a typical news article written by a reporter that should provide a somewhat unbiased view.  There is a picture of a column, which mostly represents the columnist's view on an issue, and there is an editorial, which represents either an editor or a regular citizen's own personal opinion.  Each of these types of articles should be treated differently when you use them as a source.
  • Finally, news articles rarely provide citations for where the information came from.