Instruction

Columbia Missourian
Newspaper Library

 

Where Can I Find Information on My Topic?

Journalism Library/Database Instruction

Types of Sources

  • Local – Columbia/Boone County sources
  • State – State of Missouri sources
  • National Sources

Columbia/Boone County — Local Online Information Sources

Below is a brief listing of resources found on the library and newsroom web pages. Take some time to explore these sites!

 

  • Missourian Newspaper Library Online
    • http://library.missouri.edu/missourian
    • This web page contains beat information, a “sources” database, links to local government, and current issues of the KC Star and St. Louis Post Dispatch

 

  • Freedom of Information Center
    • http://www.missouri.edu/~foiwww/
    • Here you will find FoI’s online document, ACCESS, which contains complete information on local government for Boone County and Columbia. This includes contact people, addresses, phone numbers, etc. It also gives information on what records are retained by which agencies, and who has the right to see those records.

Local Information Sources not online, found at the Missourian Newspaper Library

  • City of Columbia Directory
  • City of Columbia Ordinances
  • City of Columbia Budget
  • Boone County Budget

MISSOURI - Where to Find State Iinformation

  • NewsBank
    • This database contains full-text articles from 3 Missouri newspapers:
        • Kansas City Star, The (1991-Current)
        • News-Leader (Springfield, MO) (1999-Current)
        • St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1988-Current)

    • Lexis/Nexis Academic Universe
    • Associated Press State & Local Wire, The- (August 4, 1998 through current)
    • Kansas City Daily Record (Kansas City, MO) – (March 8, 2002 through current)
    • Pitch Weekly (Kansas City KS & Kansas City MO) - (July 2001 through current)  
    • Riverfront Times (St. Louis, Missouri) - November 25, 1998 through current
    • St. Charles County Business Record (St. Charles, MO) - March 16, 2001 through current
    • St. Louis Daily Record/St. Louis Countian (St. Louis, MO) - January 1, 1989 through current
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch- January 1, 1989 through current    

     

    Missouri Government Sites

     

    UNITED STATES

    Where to find useful government and statistical information

    Databases available through the MU Libraries

    • MU students have access to a wide array of databases available through the MU Libraries.
    • Searching these databases and electronic journals is a good place to begin when back grounding your stories.
    • While you must be very careful of information taken from the World Wide Web, these databases are reliable sources of information.

    Ellis Library web page – http://library.missouri.edu/

    Journalism Library web page – http://library.missouri.edu/journalism/databases/ .

    • The Journalism Library web page separately lists the databases most often used by journalism students.

    Some databases that are particularly useful for journalism include:

    • Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost). If you select the “Choose database” tab at the top, you can then retrieve a list of the titles indexed in each. Good place for finding information on current events.
    • Alternative Press Index – indexes over 250 alternative, radical and left periodicals, newspapers and magazines. Coverage is international and interdisciplinary.
    • Factiva provides access to current issues and an archive of over 8,000 publications from around the globe. It includes the Wall Street Journal, web news, news transcripts and photos.
    • Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. Choose the Guided Search” tab on top and then choose General News for Major Papers, or U.S. News for region-specific newspapers.  Other categories you may search in Lexis-Nexis are: Business, Legal news and cases, Medical and Reference. In Lexis-Nexis you may use the w/n connector, which allows you to find words within a certain number of words of each other, which allows you to refine your search.
    • NewsBank – Indexes the Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as news articles about regional and state events and issues, including full-text coverage of the Star from 1991 and the Post-Dispatch from 1989 to date.
    • Newspaper Source provides selected full-text for nearly 30 national and international newspapers.Also contains full-text television and radio news transcripts, and selected full-text for more than 200 regional (U.S.) newspapers.
    • PressDisplay. Over 200 newspapers from more than 50 countries in original format, layout and pagination.Only available in the J-School buildings.

    For historical background information:

     

    Tips on Searching Online Resources

    Boolean Connectors. All databases and search engines use Boolean Logic.

     

    •The OR connector tells the computer to retrieve items with either term

    image002

    (internet or web) – use parenthesis when using the OR connector

    •The AND connector tells the computer to retrieve items with both terms

    image004

    media and censorship

     

    Truncation is used in all databases to search singular and plural versions of a word as well as a word stem. Common truncation symbols are: 

    *  ? $
    • Check each database for the truncation symbol used.
    • For Example: If you were searching for articles on censorship in the media you could type

       

      Censor* retrieves articles on censorship, censoring, censors, censored.

    • Don’t truncate fewer than 3 letters or you will get a lot of unnecessary and irrelevent articles.
    • For example using ad* will retrieve articles containing the words advertise, adjunct, addict, adhoc, etc.
    • To search for articles on ads in the media or advertising in the media you would need to type in (ad or ads or advertis*) and media.

    NOTE: Please be aware that just because you don’t find something doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t there!! We often hear the statement: “It’s not in ….(insert database name).” Maybe you are using search terms that are not mentioned in the article. Think of different terms that might be used, and try synonyms. Try more generic search words. If you’re searching using someone’s name, try removing the first name or use a different variation, i.e. Fred or Frederick or Fredrick. And please don’t hesitate to ask a librarian for help! That’s why we are here.

     

    Databases Useful for Finding Information on Current Events, Statistics, Government

    • EBSCO ( Academic Search Premier ) - Current news and general interest articles
    • Lexis/Nexis Congressional – U.S. Congress bills, documents, votes, etc.
    • Lexis/Nexis Statistical – U.S.Statistics.

    Web Pages to remember – Selected good, reliable sources.

    Tips on How to Evaluate Information Found on the Web

     

    Use this web site to find out how to be a better search engine user. Learn search engine math, or use search engine tutorials to learn how search engines work, etc.

    Other Ways to Evaluate Web Sites:

    • Currency – When was the website last updated?
    • Authority – Who is the author or creator of the information?
    • Affiliation – who produced the site? – A Government agency, educational institution or commercial entity?
    • Validity/Accuracy – Is the information on the website accurate, reliable?
    • Audience – What is the purpose of the website?