Collection Spotlight: News and Newspaper Database Collections
Friends of the Earth climate activists forecast alternative future newspaper headlines. Scottish National Party Conference, October 8, 2018. "Friends of The Earth 31" by Friends of the Earth Scotland is licensed under CC BY 2.0. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/?ref=openverse .
by Michael Pasqualoni, Librarian for the Newhouse School of Public Communications
For the widest view of all licensed news databases the Libraries make available, visit this list of SU Libraries News & Newspaper databases.
Vanderbilt’s Television News Archive and Newsbank’s Access World News are valuable databases worth the attention of many Syracuse University students and faculty investigating source material in journalism. Each invites user friendly options beyond cursory encounters with news common to briefer visits to random or unconnected individual news websites or beyond a lack of primary context, and at times intentional disinformation, which may occur when news reporting is exchanged on social media platforms. These two databases are also excellent examples that analysis of news is as much an act of viewing (i.e., the primacy of observed images or meaningful symbols or the heard phrases associated with oral traditions) as it is a literal reading of the printed word (i.e., headlines themselves being longstanding manipulation of an image – even when the image happens to be printed text).
Locate in the Television News Archive database coverage of hotly contested U.S. Presidential elections or lopsided landslide victories. Explore tragic images from national TV news of the Syracuse University campus mourning the loss of students in days immediately following the December 21, 1988, Pan Am 103 terrorist attack in the skies over Lockerbie, Scotland. Jump over into Access World News database to see how that Pan Am 103 story was covered in local print newspapers here in the city of Syracuse.
Use a resource like Newsbank’s Access World News to analyze over thirty years of discussion in Syracuse newspapers about conflicting views on the origin, history and fate of U.S. Interstate Highway 81 bisecting the central core of the city, or that highway’s problematic relationship with African American neighborhoods. Dive into full-color page coverage from the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reflecting on economic impacts of Brexit, public health policy responses to COVID-19 or details about the climate change activism of Greta Thunberg.
Analyze collections of multiple news articles where that text mentions an anti-African American hate crime (i.e., murders of Trayvon Martin or George Floyd), perhaps contrasting sources based within one U.S. state to another or comparing how transcripts from television news reveal similarity and differences in how Fox News TV network covers a topic in comparison to how transcripts reflect that topic when reported on CNN.
For the widest view of all licensed news databases the Libraries make available, visit this list of SU Libraries News & Newspaper databases. If seeking the identity and access point for a database containing a specific individual newspaper title, enter that title into the library’s journals A-Z list.
Here are further highlights summarizing two important database resources in journalism:
Vanderbilt University Television News Archive
- Syracuse University Libraries is a charter subscriber to this groundbreaking effort founded in the summer of 1968 for preserving access to U.S. broadcast television news (and inspiration for the more recent non-profit news media search tool known as the Internet Archive TV News Search )
- View as streaming video: NBC Evening News covering 1968 to the present
- View as streaming video: CNN news reports covering 1995 to the present
- Access advertisements that ran adjacent to the NBC Evening News reports (for keyword searches, enter the word “commercial” plus a brand name – e.g., “Cadillac” or “Pepperidge Farm”)
- Browse content for an airdate (e.g., reports by evening news programs on Sept 11, 2001)
- See run downs of reports described in text only that outline what each program covered, as available for the many broadcast networks indexed in this collection (CBS, NBC, Fox and others)
- Researchers interested in viewing non-NBC and non-CNN content can work with Vanderbilt to obtain fee-based video clips for research purposes, subsequently to be returned to Vanderbilt
- For those interested in knowing still more about Vanderbilt’s unprecedented resource, to which all in the Syracuse University community have access, here’s a recent historical look back at the Vanderbilt Television News Archive’s origin and why researchers value it [YouTube: 6 minutes].
Access World News (Newsbank)
- Among the strongest of the library’s news databases covering regional U.S. newspaper titles (e.g., Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, Albany Times Union, Kansas City Star, etc.) as well as many non-U.S. newspaper titles (Canberra Times, The Guardian, Kyiv Post, Tehran Times, etc.) [note: go to ProQuest News & Newspapers database if seeking national U.S. newspaper titles like New York Times, Wall Street Journal or Washington Post]
- Supports creation of personal folders for users of this database
- Offers expanding collections of U.S. and non-U.S. newspapers with full-page imaged captures of photojournalism, advertising images or other graphics
- Superb collection of 1980s to current Syracuse news sources (e.g., Syracuse Post Standard newspaper, including full scans of pages for recent year Post Standard print editions, together with born digital article text drawn from Syracuse.com)
- Includes harvesting of video from (primarily U.S.) TV news websites and impressive collections of transcripts from national U.S. public affairs and other news-oriented television programs
- Makes available university journalism (e.g., article text from numerous student newspapers beyond Syracuse University)
- Sort coverage in chronological order when reviewing the background of a person, university, brand name, law, court decision, medical term, company or social or political movement
- A suggested topics feature contains prepopulated search queries spanning topical areas of interest ranging from Education, Criminal Justice or Religion to Performing and Fine Arts, STEM and Diversity Equity Inclusion
- Search filters support limiting results to specific newspaper titles, all source titles from a desired U.S. or non-U.S. geographic location or search terms limited by their appearance in a publication’s headline, byline or lead paragraph
- Other specialized content modules available within Newsbank’s Access World News include:
- Black Life in America (experience and impact of African Americans as recorded by the news media and spanning the 18th Century to present)
- Ethnic Sources (newspaper articles from the ethnic and minority press)
- Acceda Noticias (Spanish language news from the U.S. and abroad)
- Access Business News (business news and information)
- Access Military, Government and Defense (armed services news)
- For the complete range of available titles see this Access World News A-Z Source List