Newspapers as a research tool: Alternative Press

An introduction to using newspapers for research

Alternative Press databases

Related Research Guides

Alternative Press

Why use alternative press papers?

  • Reporting on topics missed by the mainstream media
  • Alternative perspective on issues
  • Insights into local culture, arts & entertainment
  • Reporting that advocates a particular viewpoint
  • Reporting from specific ethnic groups

How can I find alternative press papers in the Marriott Library?

 

The Marriott Library has microfilm collections of some historic Utah and national alternative papers.  Some examples:

  • Japanese Camp Papers (from WWII-era Japanese Internment Camps)
  • Herstory (Women's liberation, feminism)
  • Iranian Underground Newspapers

However, "alternative press" sources aren't always labeled "alternative".  A good strategy is to search for the word "periodicals" and the name of an organization or a keyword that describes an issue. 

How can I find alternative press articles from Utah?

Try this research guide:

Doesn't "alternative" just mean reporting that has a liberal bias?

 

Sometimes the the word "alternative" does just mean "liberal" but there is also a conservative-biased alternative press that promotes right-wing political positions. and in either case, the information is most useful when you know what the bias is.   "Alternative" reporting is usually not, strictly speaking, objective reporting.  That doesn't mean the facts are wrong,  but the facts may be presented ispecifically n order to spromote a particular agenda or worldview. 

Issues become politicaized when people line up on different sides. For example, you may find editorials in the National Review (a conservative magazine) and The Nation (a liberal magazine) that say exactly opposite things.  A good research strategy is to locate articles that represent differing opinions in order to compare and evaluate the arguments.

When you cite information from alternative press sources it will help your readers if you identify what community, organization or worldview the source promotes.  For example if you cite an article from QSalt Lake, you should tell your readers that it is a Utah gay & lesbian news and entertainment magazine.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library