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News Databases for Media / Content Analysis: FAQs about News Resources

There are so many databases! Which one should I use?

Unfortunately, there is not one ideal database. Things to think about when selecting a database(s):

  • Which sources do you want to include in your sample? Each database has a slightly different publications. Review the content/title/source lists before starting your research.
  • How do you want to interact with the database? Searching, downloading articles, and saving searches varies by database. None of the databases allow you to download hundreds of articles with a few clicks. Test out databases for usability. 
  • Which databases are used in your discipline? Research similar studies in your discipline to see if your field has a preferred database. 

Why did the news aggregator databases not include sources I've found elsewhere?

While news aggregators search thousands of sources, they do not include all sources.

  • Review the database's title list which is often found in the database or using a search engine. 
  • To find which databases have a specific publication, use the A-Z Journals and Newspaper database:

Can I download the metadata associated with each article?

Nexis Uni offers limited metadata. When you run a search, click on one of the delivery icons, you will see one of your options is to export Metadata to an Excel spreadsheet. You are able to export the headline, publication, summary, and date.  One may not add or delete a category.  You may deliver up to 1000 results simultaneously.

The other databases do not appear to offer downloading the metadata. Databases see their metadata is proprietary and usually do not want to share it.

Where can I find a list of the current "top" media outlets?

Where can I find a list of the historical "top" media outlets?

Finding historical circulation and web traffic data is much harder. Some have luck using a search engine, like [2006 and newspaper circulation]. The following resources may be useful:

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Stacy Gilbert
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