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Journalism & Design

Google Search Tip

Use Google to find government or nonprofit websites

Follow this pattern:

Keyword site:domain extension

Examples:

Harlem environment site:org
This search will exclusively return results from non-profit organizations websites
 

green streets site:nyc.gov

This search will exclusively return results from NYC government websites

upper west side expansion site:edu
This search will exclusively return results from educational/academic websites

 

Domain extensions:
gov - government
org - nonprofit organizations
edu - educational institutions
com- commercial
net- community networks
mil - military
int - international organizations

 

Evaluating Internet Information

Evaluate Information you find on the Internet:

Who is the Author or publisher? (Go to About link on websites)
•What is the mission of the website? Who is is intended Audience?(About or Home page, or "What we Do" etc.):
•Is there Bias or Opinion?
•How Updated is the Information?
•Check the domain: .edu and .org domains are non-commercial (see Google Search Tip box)

•Remember that much information on the internet is produced by businesses, agencies, organizations or individuals with a certain bias or agenda

 

Websites as Primary Sources

•When a website is not reliable as an objective academic source that considers various viewpoints (a secondary source), it may be valuable to you as a primary source ("raw material") that you can then analyze.

 

•This is where the internet really shines! You can get primary sources such as corporate reports and activists' manifestos from around the world that would have been hard or impossible to obtain only 20 years ago.

 

Example: the BP website on the Gulf oil spill is not a reliable unbiased source on the oil spill, but you can use it to discuss BP's own response and how BP presents the spill from its point of view. You would then use journal articles about the spill to assess BP's claims.