Connecting Journalists with Academic Research

June 17, 2013
By Doug Gavel, Harvard Kennedy School Communications

The Internet has spawned a global information revolution, but it also presents new and difficult challenges for journalists and communicators of all kinds seeking credible information on issues of public policy. Along comes Journalist's Resource— an online repository of scholarly materials relevant to reporters, bloggers, educators, students and general readers.
Launched in 2011 at Harvard Kennedy School's (HKS) Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Policy Policy, Journalist's Resource features more than a thousand articles that synthesize the latest policy research — on topics ranging from healthcare and immigration to energy and transportation. The website is operated by faculty, staff and graduate students as part of the Carnigie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.

"Journalists need one more tool," says Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press and Journalist's Resource research director. "With the increasing complexity of public policy problems and issues there is a lot of information out there that can inform reporting on these particular matters."

The site was named a “Best Free Reference Web Site 2013” by the American Library Association. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York are continuing to support the project.
Establishing and promoting the concept of “knowledge-based reporting” animates the project’s efforts. Many of the nation’s top journalism educators and thinkers have been promoting the idea of bringing journalism closer to the research world — both to meet the profession’s social mission and to ensure its high value in an increasingly crowded marketplace — and the Journalist's Resource website strives to provide a structure for accomplishing this. The site also features educational materials, such as its new model “Digital Media and Society” syllabus and reading list.
The Shorenstein staff working on the project are eager for more partners to help surface and promote material, and to help with the effort generally. Email John_Wihbey@hks.harvard.edu if interested.

Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press

Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press and Journalist's Resource research director

"With the increasing complexity of public policy problems and issues there is a lot of information out there that can inform reporting on these particular matters," said Patterson.

 


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