Cleland Thom: Sites to help journalists find information


Most journalists are good at web searches. But it’s easy to overlook some excellent sites when you’re looking for quotes, experts, information and story ideas.

Here’s a few to look at:

  1. Twitter – has an effective search tool. You can search by subjects, people, lists etc.
  2. Facebook pages – different from users’ walls and are sometimes missed.
  3. LinkedIn – useful when you need to find an expert, or a relevant group.
  4. Ecademy – great for information and quotes from academics.
  5. http://www.healthgrades.com/find-a-doctor – useful for medical information and quotes
  6. http://www.religionsource.org/Contents/JournalistHome.aspx – great when you’re writing about religion.
  7. http://www.helpareporter.com/ – rated by some as the best site for journalists!
  8. http://www.cfah.org/hbns/journalist/ – superb for medical and scientific information.
  9. http://www.whorepresents.com/ – find spokespeople for celebrities in entertainment, media and sport.

Meanwhile, those unfortunate enough to attend my media law training sessions this autumn will receive a nice treat.

Delegates can enjoy a musical intro while they take their seats and work out how they’re going to stay awake for the next few hours.

The music will be The Carpenters singing: ‘We’ve only just begun’. And there is, of course, a solid legal reason for my choice of song.

I chose it because journalists have only just begun … being dragged out of bed by police at 6am … arrested and questioned for interviewing public officials … having their confidential sources compromised by police raids and the PCC Code … finding that some stories cannot be investigated because of new legal and ethical controls … I could go on.

Maybe the song could become our industry’s anthem?

Cleland Thom is director of training organisation CTJT

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