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CMTH 221: History of Broadcasting: Using Internet Resources

This guide is intended to help students with research assignments about the history of broadcasting.

Learn how to evaluate sources for credibility to make sure they are appropriate to use for academic research, see tips for searching Google more efficiently, and explore suggested websites related to the history of broadcasting. 

Finding Primary Sources

Internet searches and the websites of archives, museums, and historical associations can be great to look to help you find primary sources for this assignment.

Primary sources are original materials, artifacts, pieces of artwork, or first-hand accounts. For broadcasting topics, they might include things like audio or video clips, interviews, scripts, letters, diaries, journals, social media posts, autobiographies, memoirs, photos, advertisements, or obituaries.

Some topics might naturally lead to primary sources since they can be used as evidence or examples to support certain points you are making or a position you might be taking on the topic. Including them can also help gain your reader or listener's interest.

YouTube is a great place to search for interviews or audio and video clips, but many of the suggested websites listed on further down this page also feature video or audio recordings. 

Evaluating Sources for Credibility

How do you determine what you are reading is accurate, reliable, and trustworthy? How do you decide that a source is appropriate for academic research?

When working with a potential source, ask yourself if you know the source, it's reputation, and the reputation of the information itself. If you don't, you will need to look further into it with some additional searching. This might mean looking for the author and publisher's expertise, reputation, background, or their agenda. Or it might mean confirming the individual pieces of information in other sources and considering what the consensus is. 

If the source credits their sources, trace any claims or questionable information back to its original context. It's usually better to use the original source of the information, not the secondary source. This may lead you to more information and other sources you can use as well.

Also, remember your purpose. Does the source really meet your needs and answer your questions about your topic? Does it give you the information you need? The source should be the best source for your needs, not just any source or the first source you found. 

Additional resources for evaluating information:

Suggested Websites