Credible news sources can be valuable to student researchers because:
Journalists and editors follow strict editorial practices to ensure that accurate and up-to-date information is reported and that errors are retracted.
Reading news articles requires little or no previous expertise in a subject as journalists write for the general public and usually avoid--or explain--subject-specific jargon in their writing.
Articles may provide helpful keywords that can be used in more advanced web and database searching. Articles may also include names of qualified experts or important studies which can be tracked down for further research.
EXAMPLE: A reputable news source covers a story about a new scientific study on the health benefits of caffeine; the story may include interviews with the researchers, interviews with experts who disagree, and the name of the study so you can track it down yourself. A suspicious "news" source may direct you to an advertisement for caffeine supplements.
Good journalism is costly. Many reputable news sources (such as The Washington Post or The Seattle Times) require a paid subscription for access. But you can access a number of quality newspapers for free through through our library databases--including National Newspaper Core, U.S. Major Dailies--in a single search! Watch this video on how to use this database.