What sources do I use for searching news?
I’m frequently asked about what I use for news searching, so I thought I’d share my sources and why they’re so important to my investigations. Note that these include free and fee-based sources, because – with online information – you definitely get what you pay for. You can’t do a thorough job with just free.
Also, I never use just one source, because there’s no one, best source for any type of online research. With investigations, what you miss can be critical.
So, here are my favorite sources for news and why I use them:
LexisNexis – With a huge database and professional search features, this is my first stop. I like the different options for downloading and printing, and their customer service can’t be beat. They’ll help with creating my search and will run the search to make sure it works. Yes, I’ve had my gripes about some of their recent “upgrades,” but I couldn’t do what I do without this professional tool.
Dow Jones Factiva – After LexisNexis, I’ll head to Factiva for the Dow Jones-specific content (The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s) and anything else that may not show up in LexisNexis. Yes, you can now find Dow Jones content in LexisNexis, but I prefer to go to the source, in case some articles don’t make it over to LexisNexis. Again, the advanced search and filters make it easy to drill down to what I need.
ProQuest Dialog – Dialog has long been the professional power tool for online research, although in recent years they’ve drastically cut their business content. But, every so often, I find something here that I don’t find elsewhere, especially older articles. Again, I need to be thorough.
Google – After the fee-based sources, I head to good old Google. Not Google News, which is sorely lacking lately, but Google’s web index. Here, I sometimes find an article that’s not included in LexisNexis, Factiva, or Dialog. I have no idea why, but it’s been a lifesaver for this investigator.
Bing – With limited advanced search options, Bing isn’t as powerful as the others. It’s worth a quick look, though, because you never know what the others could miss. Mostly I find social media that I didn’t find elsewhere, not news, but I like to make sure.
ABYZ News Links – Sometimes you need to skip the aggregators and go direct to the source. For example, if I want to search for something that the national news might not have covered in much detail, I’ll check the local news outlets. Organized by geography, this directory offers links to online news sources from around the world.
What sources do you use for searching news and why?
Additional notes in response to questions I’ve received:
- I’ve been asked which LexisNexis product I use: Lexis Advance.
- Yes, these fee-based products aren’t cheap. What helps is that, through my AIIP membership, I receive some nice discounts on Factiva and Dialog (among other info products). Still not exactly cheap, but much better than without these benefits – and definitely worth the investment.