This is the "Home" page of the "ENG251" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content


American Journalism
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Home Print Page

Resource Handouts

In the boxes below you will find the resource lists for the reference items and websites discussed in class.


Library Databases

Academic Universe
(LexisNexis Academic)
News; company, legal, medical, and reference information. (LEXIS-NEXIS)

Chronicle of Higher Education
Complete campus-wide access to the Chronicle of Higher Education

Gale Biography in Context
Biographical directories, with newspaper and periodicals.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Full-text, electronic access to approximately 100 quality reference e-books.


Web Resources and Links


This list offers some of the best of the best of web sites and tools available to journalists. This is by no means a comprehensive list; ask a Reference Librarian for further assistance.

Web Sites for Journalists

Gateways & Collections of Links:
New York Times Navigator:
Journalist Toolbox:
Assignment Editor:

Freedom of Information Act:
SPJ-FOIA: (sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists)

Media News & Professional Organizations:
American Society of Newspaper Editors:
Broadcasting & Cable:
National Press Club:
Newspaper Association of America:
Poynter Institute:

Finding Experts

From JournalismNet:

Government information

THOMAS: Legislative Information on the Internet:

Access Indiana:
State of Kentucky:

State Government Links from the Library of Congress:
From the University of Michigan:

Statistics & The Census

University of Michigan Document Center: Statistics:
United Nations Statistics Division:

The Gallup Organization & Gallup Polls:

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research:

Bureau of the Census:
Bureau of Economic Analysis:
Bureau of Justice Statistics:
Bureau of Labor Statistics:
National Center for Education Statistics:
National Center for Health Statistics:

Kentucky Virtual Library Statistics Center:


The National Atlas of the United States of America Project:
From the CIA World Factbook:
From the Census Bureau:
From the U.S. Geological Survey:
From the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
Historical, from the Library of Congress Memory site:
Driving Maps:;

Credibility of Sources

For print and web resources, refer to the Duggan Library's "Evaluative Criteria for Sources" site at:

For persons:
    check resumes and references
    contact experts' previous clients
    verify degrees and employment
    read relevant publications the expert has written


Print Reference Resources


This list offers some of the most commonly used ready reference sources useful to journalists. It is not comprehensive. Check with a librarian for additional resources if needed.

Consult PantherCAT  for call number and location information

General Almanacs, Fact Books, and Yearbooks

Almanacs are useful compendiums of up-to-date information on a wide range of topics.  They are good sources for quick verification of facts--dates, statistics, names, and so on. 

Time Almanac (formerly Information Please Almanac).  Annual. 
World Almanac.  Annual.
Europa World Year Book.  2 vols.  Annual. 

Statesman's Yearbook.  Annual. 
The above sources contain political, economic, and social data on every country in the world.  They list such things as officials, form of government, area and population, trade and industry, and religion.  The Europa World Year Book is more extensive and includes information on the press, radio, and television.  The Statesmen's Who's Who has a section of biographies.  All have sections on the United Nations and other international organizations.

Statistical Abstract of the United States.  Annual. 
Our government gathers a tremendous amount of statistical data in all areas.  The Statistical Abstract of the United States summarizes this information and leads you to other sources. 

Guinness Book of World Records.  Annual.
Famous First Facts. 
Famous First Facts contains off-beat topics such as the invention of ice cream and the first person to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.  This book was first published in 1981.  "Firsts" occurring since 1997 are not recorded.

Columbia Gazetteer of the World. 3 vols.
An encyclopedia of geographical places and features.  Includes poltical, physical and special places, such as monuments, historic sites, theme parks, shopping malls, stadia, and nuclear plants.

Biographical Sources

The ability to find information about people is a necessary skill for all journalists.  While biographies of the historically important are usually easy to locate, it is often difficult to uncover information on living persons who have not achieved fame or notoriety.  There are hundreds of reference sources that provide varying amounts of biographical data.  Almost every country, social group, and profession has some kind of "who's who," and biographical information can also be found in newspaper and magazine articles.  A few of the major biographical tools are given below.  If you cannot locate information about a particular person in one of these sources, consult a reference librarian; you may need a more specialized source of information. 

Gale Biography Resource Center (Online)
A database of biographical information on more than 220,000 people from throughout history, around the world, and across all disciplines and subject areas. It contain approximately 300,000 biographies from both print and electronic sources.  Included are full-text articles from nearly 250 periodicals.  Search for people based on one or more personal facts such as birth and death years and places, nationality, ethnicity, occupations, gender, or combine criteria to create a highly-targted custom search. 

Dictionary of American Biography.  22 vols. 
A famous and reliable reference work, the Dictionary of American Biography (often referred to as the DAB) is the best source for information on the lives of prominent deceased Americans of all periods.  The long articles are written by experts and include bibliographies.  A similar work for Great Britain is the Dictionary of National Biography.
International Who's Who.  Annual. 
International Who's Who is a good source for foreign notables and government officials, especially those from smaller countries not covered by a national who's who publication. 
Who's Who.  Annual. 

Who's Who in America.  Biannual (every two years). 
Who's Who in America is the standard source for brief sketches of prominent living Americans.  Only bare, minimal facts are given--place and date of birth, family, education, positions held, address, etc., and the information is usually supplied by the subject him/herself.  There are also regional editions, such as Who's Who in the Midwest.

Who's Who is the British version of Who's Who in America.

Who Was Who in America. 
Entries are taken from Who's Who in America after the death of the individual.  Supplemental volumes extend coverage back to 1607.  The British version is called Who Was Who.


Journalists frequently need directory-type information to find correct names, addresses, or telephone numbers for people and organizations.  Specialized directories will provide information about business firms, institutions, political groups, and other organizations.

Broadcasting & Cable  Yearbook.  Annual. 
This comprehensive directory of the broadcasting media lists all radio and TV stations and cable systems in the U.S. by state and city.  It also includes sections on the major networks, awards, formats, and much related information. 

Directory of American Scholars.

Encyclopedia of Associations.  Annual.
The major source for brief information on business, government, scientific, cultural, social or even hobby-related organizations.  It contains all the well-known organizations, such as the National Geographic Society, as well as the more obscure, such as the National Women Bowling Writers Association.

Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media.  Annual. 
A listing of newspapers and magazines published in the U.S. and Canada, arranged by state and city.  Includes such information as name and address of publisher, circulation figures, and advertising rates.  Also lists daily newspapers, college publications, religious publications, women's publications, and other specialized categories of publications.

Ulrich's Periodical Directory. 
Ulrich's is a bibliographic database providing detailed information on serials (including magazines and journals) published throughout the world.


Let Us Know!

Was this information helpful?

How useful is this page?
(1 = Not Useful, 5 = Very Useful!)

Additional comments:

Your Email:


Loading  Loading...