Even before Donald Trump’s election victory took newsrooms nationwide by surprise, audiences criticized journalists as being disconnected from the communities they cover, especially poor and working-class communities.
Trying to follow the national conversation about “fake news” and the spread of bad information online can be confusing because not everybody is using the same vocabulary.
Journalists rely on three types of research papers most often in their work: White papers, working papers and peer-reviewed journal articles.
How are they different? And which is best?
Below, we explain each, pointing out its strengths and weaknesses. As always, we urge journalists to use care in selecting any research to ground their coverage and fact-check claims.
Two studies published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in January 2018 probed the same question: Which factors are the main contributors to disparities in cancer survival?
Academic research is one of journalists’ best tools for covering public policy issues. It’s also a tool that takes skill to use.
Experienced journalists use research to ground their work and fact-check claims made by politicians, policymakers and others. Many journalists, however, are not trained in research methods and statistical analysis. Some have difficulty differentiating between a quality study and a questionable one.
Seasoned investigative journalists gathered to share strategies for successful probes at Northeastern University on November 17, 2017. We highlight some of their tips:
On FOIA requests:
Reporting on academic research can push journalists out of the comfortable realm of words and into the less-familiar territory of numbers. Like it or not, though, statistics often comprise a key element of scientific studies, so it’s helpful to have some familiarity with the basics.