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Spanning topics in every subject, news resources are essential for all students and scholars.
A post in the What Researchers Need series
While traditional peer-reviewed journal content remains a staple resource for researchers, a recent ProQuest survey indicates that research and teaching is informed by a diverse mix of content types.
Newspapers and news content, the data revealed, form a vital part of content needs, used by 72% of the 410 researchers who responded to our survey. An even higher percentage (88%) of researchers who also teach recommend newspapers to their students, indicating the value of newspapers for undergraduate research.
Why do so many researchers use newspapers?
Because coverage is so diverse, newspapers are invaluable to all researchers. They contain a breadth of content that is relevant to just about every subject matter, across the curriculum. Spanning topics in history, politics, the arts, business, science and so much more, newspapers are an essential primary source for student and scholars – from beginning to advanced – seeking information on current issues and historical events.
News content also provides critical context to broaden researchers’ scope for insight and learning. Issues and events can be examined within the framework of concurrent issues and events as they unfolded, empowering researchers with a multidimensional sense of the era they are exploring. Newspapers also provide unique first-hand accounts of issues from regional, national and international perspectives for multiple points of view, resulting in more rounded and comprehensive understanding of events over the course of time.
Additionally, news content keeps researchers connected to current affairs. This puts them in touch with new developments and opportunities in topical subject areas, and develops an awareness for the wider impact of their work within their field, as well in the world at large.
News in action
Here are some inspiring examples of how news resources empowered researchers to make extraordinary discoveries that might have otherwise been impossible:
- - Doctoral candidate Zack Turpin uncovered a series of 19th-century men’s fitness articles under the title “Manly Health” by Mose Velsor – the pseudonym of American poet Walt Whitman. A fan of ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Turpin searched on “Mose Velsor,” and his findings proved illuminating in understanding a critical period in Whitman’s career.
- - By highlighting the everyday details of the African American experience, Professor Matt Delmont created an acclaimed digital project, “Black Quotidian,” populated with archival articles from newspapers digitized in the ProQuest Historical Black Newspapers program. “Reading Black newspapers is a way into a richer history, where struggle was a part of everyday life, but not always dominant in peoples’ minds,” he said.
- - As head librarian at The Boston Globe, Lisa Tuite’s research helped unmask a major cover-up involving sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The investigation earned the newspaper the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and the story informed the 2015 Oscar-winning crime drama, Spotlight, starring Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton.
- - A local history reference librarian at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County used the Cincinnati Enquirer database from ProQuest Historical Newspapers to trace the significance of a date engraved on an antique copper pot.
The world’s most comprehensive collection of news content
ProQuest Historical Newspapers is the definitive newspaper digital archive, encompassing 50 premier historical titles. Researchers are empowered to digitally travel back through centuries to become eyewitnesses to history.
Every issue of each title includes the complete paper, cover-to-cover, with full-page and article images in easily downloadable PDF format. Researchers can study the progression of issues over time through these historical newspaper pages, including articles, photos, advertisements, classified ads, obituaries, editorial cartoons, and so much more. The full collection of ProQuest Historical Newspapers™ contains nearly 45 million digitized pages.
Global Newsstream enables users to search the most recent global news content – with archives that stretch back into the 1980s – from over 2,500 news sources including newspapers, wires, digital-first news content, broadcast transcripts, and websites in full-text format. Global Newsstream provides one of the largest collections of news from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Australia. There are no paywalls, and most content loads same day — usually by 8 AM U.S. Eastern time.
This is the place for the latest news from sources like the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Guardian, and ProPublica on such breaking topics as fallout from white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, the North Korean Missile Crisis, the U.S. Russia investigation, and rising post-election tensions in Kenya.
Find out more about the changing information needs of researchers.