On this page, learn how to evaluate sources (especially information from websites) for credibility to make sure they are appropriate to use for academic research and your media history project. You'll also find suggestions of websites related to the history of broadcasting listed here.
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.
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, its 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 agenda. Or it might mean confirming the individual pieces of information in other sources and considering what the consensus is.
If the source credits its 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:
The Internet Archive is an additional library collection that might be helpful for your media history research. Among other resources, it includes over 20,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts. Anyone is able to borrow and use these digitized eBooks - you just need to create a free archive.org account first.