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Student's Guide


You are preparing for a profession that will challenge your resourcefulness in many different ways. Understanding how to navigate and leverage the world of research and academic studies can give you a real advantage in a competitive environment where so much information is superficial, repurposed or mere opinion.

Journalist’s Resource has the tools to help you develop your analytical skills, learn to cut through jargon, and zero in on striking facts and bigger stories. Establishing and promoting the concept of “knowledge-based reporting” animates our project. We strongly recommend that you begin by reading our short primer: “Introduction to Studies and Academic Research: How It Works and Why Journalists Should Care.” You should also become familiar with the basic vocabulary of quantitative research by reviewing this brief document: “Statistical Terms Used in Research Studies; a Primer for Journalists.”

There are two main categories of material relevant to journalists in training:

  • The Studies section provide links to reliable, timely research in the categories of environment, economics, society, government, politics and international. Each study is accompanied by a brief overview summarizing its findings, teaching notes and links to other relevant material. Studies are selected by the Shorenstein Center research team, with tips and suggestions from a network of scholars and media members. To be included, research should be empirically based, peer-reviewed, published and the product of a major university, government body or nonpartisan research organization. See more on criteria for inclusion.
  • The Skills section offers information on core journalism skills, including interviewing, style, ethics and more, as well as links to online tutorials. We also feature our own “research chat” interviews with leading journalists and scholars.

When making attributions to material on our website, we encourage you to cite the academic/government/research institution from which the information originally comes and/or the scholarly journal named. All other material should be credited to Journalist’s Resource. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please contact us.