Based at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Journalist’s Resource examines news topics through a research lens. We curate and summarize scholarship relevant to media practitioners, bloggers, educators, students and general readers. Our philosophy is that peer-reviewed research studies can, at the very least, help anchor journalists as they navigate difficult terrain and competing claims. In 2013 the American Library Association named us one of the best free reference Web sites.
Given the deluge of research output every day, we aim to be a useful curator. Our searchable database contains top academic and governmental research that we have selected and synthesized. We strive to translate complex statistics into clear data points and reformulate the terminology of academic specialists into more accessible language, without sacrificing rigor or nuance. While we can’t provide access to the full text of every study, we try to provide at least a point of entry and highlight key points — and we encourage media members to contact the authors of the research directly.
The site is run by faculty, staff and graduate students at Harvard Kennedy School as part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition to providing access to scholarly reports and papers on a wide range of topics, we author syllabi for educators and skills-based reference material.
Our database is always a work in progress, and we welcome suggestions. To meet the standards of the project, research must generally be:
- The product of authoritative institutions such as major U.S. and international universities, research organizations or governmental bodies.
- Based on rigorous research, without bias or ideological motivation.
- Published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The three primary sections of the site are as follows:
- Our studies provide links to reliable, timely research in the categories of environment, economics, society, government, politics and international.
- Tip sheets offer information on core journalism skills, including interviewing, style, ethics and more.
- The syllabi section furnishes sample curricula on topics ranging from politics and health care to law and business. We include a mix of scholarship and journalistic readings in these units, and we encourage educators to review them and appropriate them as they see fit.
All content is free and open to the public for republishing under a Creative Commons license. To cite studies, we encourage you to cite the publishing institution. All other material such as reference articles and syllabi should be credited to Journalist’s Resource and the author.
We receive feedback nearly every day about Journalist’s Resource; here are just a few of the responses:
- “This is a terrific resource. Kudos for developing it. You have some great material.”
Walter V. Robinson, Northeastern University
- “I love your site. I organize my course around students’ finding their own study and research topic, and that’s where they look at what you have posted on your site. They then write an inverted pyramid news story about the study’s findings. From there they expand their topic and write a short feature and an in-depth feature.”
Janet Mizrahi, UC Santa Barbara
- “Your syllabus has proved quite helpful — I’m a happy user. I’ve synthesized it liberally with other sources, including a syllabus from a Baruch colleague, and my own concepts from a 45-year career at The New York Times.”
Ralph Blumenthal, City University of New York
- “I’ve found Journalist’s Resource to be a great tool, both as a reporter and now teaching at Stonehill. And the help I’ve gotten from the folks when I’ve been hunting for information has been terrific.”
Maureen Boyle, Stonehill College