All of your best stories as a journalist will come through building human relationships. The internet is a useful tool, but even more important is the ability to earn the trust of people who are willing to share information with you.
That said, the proper use of electronic resources will allow you to create better pieces. These resources—many of which are available to you as a CUNY student as part of your tuition—will help you ask better questions of sources, find precise information, and craft nuanced and more informed articles.
On the page below, I’ve included links to resources to help you get started in Craft II. This page will grow as the semester progresses; check back often.
This page is an invaluable launching point to you as you begin to work on pieces. It provides links to Nexis, historical newspapers (including The New York Times), medical journals, eBooks, and other resources that I’ll seek to familiarize you with throughout the semester.
This is a great launching pad for a number of resources. There are pages here that let you quickly navigate to pages that help you find experts, navigate NYC.gov, and locate legal information. There are also subject guides for each concentration with resources for arts and culture, business and economics, health and medicine, international reporting, and urban reporting. The site is well-organized and can be a great benefit to you.
The site provides searchable, up-to-the-minute wire stories from the A.P. so that you can track developing stories. It also provides a useful New York City daybook that allows you to plan stories for the day ahead. We have the password, so feel free to ask any of your Craft professors if you need anything outside of your assigned Daybook stories.
Nexis is a wide-ranging index of print publications that will make your life easier as a journalist. It is worth taking the time to learn to use it well; it is going to be your best resource to see what has been written in the past about a topic you’re covering. I will ask you to submit some Nexis searches early in this semester in order to see that you are able to effectively navigate the site.
Some quick thoughts on Wikipedia
Wikipedia’s founder has said that the site is a great place to start your research, but it’s a very bad place to end it. Here is a quick tutorial as to why.
Occasionally I turn to Wikipedia when I am trying to first familiarize myself with a topic; at the same time, I recognize that much of what I could be reading is untrue. I often find the “Notes” at the bottom of each entry very helpful—this section sometimes provides links to reliable sources that can be trusted. So while Wikipedia itself is untrustworthy, it can be a useful launching point.
Jack Styczynski, a fellow research professor at the school of journalism, has a well-organized blog with a series of lessons and handouts that I’ve found very useful. I think you might too.