Newspapers as a research tool

An introduction to using newspapers for research

Utah Alternative Press online

A selection of Utah alternative and regional publications.

Utah Alternative Press

The Marriott Library has news racks for local alternative press publications at both entrances.

Look for alternative press publications at libraries, coffee shops, local businesses, and bookstores.

Use advocacy groups to find alternative reporting

What other strategies can I use to find alternative reporting on local issues?


Advocacy groups and think tanks are a good way to find information about local issues.  These organizations publish information that supports their views, and this information can be especially useful to construct a pro/con argument because it can help clarify the reasons for opposing views.

Newspaper reports often feature statements from advocacy groups in order to identify the stakeholders and their positions on an issue.

A good research strategy is:

  • Use mainstream media to find reporting on the issue. 
  • Who are the stakeholders identified in the article? Look for the names of organizations
  • Look up the website of the organization in order to find more information about their position on the issue.
  • Does the organization have research reports or a newsletter for its members?  If so, look for articles in the online or print issue of the publication.

Example:  A Salt Lake Tribune article on the Legacy Parkway highway project says:

"Construction started in 2001 with a $451 million budget, but a lawsuit in November 2001 by the Sierra Club, Utahns for Better Transportation and then-Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson led to an injunction that halted progress on the roadway until 2006....

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