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News & Newspapers

This research guide provides an overview of conducting news research, both current and historical. Includes links to news content, such as newspapers, news magazines, transcripts, video, and wire services available through LSU Libraries.

Overview

This research guide provides researchers with a starting point when conducting news or newspapers research. 

News Websites vs. Library News Databases

Many of us get our daily news from news websites. This works great if you want to read today's news and have access to the news site...that is until you hit a paywall. Or perhaps you have a link to a news story from five years ago and discover that it no longer works.  

When conducting news research, there are several reasons it's better to search a library news database than an online news site:

  • Many news websites are subscription-based (or behind a pay wall). Unless you subscribe, you will not be able to read their articles. An exception to this is the NYTimes.com and WSJ.com. LSU students, faculty, and staff can register for free subscriptions. See the Free Online News Subscriptions page for more information. 
  • Most news websites don't keep a full archive of their past articles. In fact, many sites will regularly purge older articles to make room for new content. In contrast, library news databases can provide access to articles from the past 20-30 years, while historical news databases date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • The advanced search functions of most news websites are limited, nonexistent, or difficult to use. In contrast, newspaper databases have advanced search features such as Boolean term connectors (AND, OR, NOT), the ability to search specific fields field (date, byline, title, etc.), and proximity connectors (retrieve articles with keywords that are in the same sentence, paragraph, etc.). News databases have both pre-search and post-search filters so that you can refine your search to exactly what you need.

If you have any questions about conducting news or newspaper research, email Rebecca Kelley, mass communication librarian, at rkell25@lsu.edu or contact your subject specialist librarian.

How To Videos: Search for a Specific Newspaper at LSU Libraries

Searching E-Journals for Full Text Access to Specific Newspaper Title

Searching the Library Catalog for a Newspaper on Microfilm

FAQs

How do I search multiple newspapers at once? Which database should I use?

You'll want to search a news aggregator database, such as Nexis Uni or Access World News, which allows the user to search multiple newspapers with one search. Each database offers slightly different title lists and has different interfaces for searching, viewing, and downloading articles. The database(s) you use will depend on your list of newspapers, date range, and database interface preferences. See the News Aggregators/Multiple News Sources page for more information.

I need to search for a specific newspaper within a specific date range. How do I determine whether LSU Libraries has full-text access to this newspaper?

Search E-Journals to see if LSU Libraries has the newspaper you need in full-text. The results page will also reflect the dates that full-text is available. 

The newspaper I need is not available electronically at LSU Libraries. What other options do I have to locate this newspaper?

It's possible LSU Libraries may have this newspaper on microfilm. This format consists of a reel of film that contains reduced photographs of the original newspaper pages. Microfilm reels are readable with the use of a microfilm reader in the library.

Search the Library Catalog to see if this newspaper title is available on microfilm. The catalog record(s) will help you determine whether the Libraries has the the year(s) that you need.

If LSU Libraries does not have the newspaper you need (or we don't have the dates you need), submit an Interlibrary Loan request and we can borrow the microfilm from another library.

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