Skip to Main Content

JOUR 138B: The Contemporary World in Print

Recommended resources for the Election Reporting assignment in JOUR 138B: The Contemporary World in Print

National & Local News Coverage

Current News Sources

Reading Today's Paper

We use library databases to access newspapers instead of going directly to the newspaper's website. These databases allow you to search multiple news sources simultaneously,  provide better search engines, stable links, and access to newspaper archives.

Information on the Candidates

  • - A "one-stop-shop" for election related information. Provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information on all aspects of the election process. Produced by the League of Women Voters Education Fund.
  • Local Elections Offices - Most state election offices will provide a sample ballot to let you know who the candidates are in each race.  Some states will also provide basic information on each candidate.  Find your state's election office by googling "[State Name] Election Office".  You can also go to our Brandeis Votes guide, and click on your state--this will take you directly to the page on how to register to vote in that state, but that information is usually found on the election office's website, and you can poke around from there to find the candidate info. 
  • Candidates' Websites - Every candidate running for office is going to have a website, and hopefully they outline where they stand on various issues.  Obviously, this is going to be biased information, but sometimes that's all there is.
  • News Coverage [See Above] - Local news coverage is often the best place to go for unbiased information about the candidates, but the amount and type of information available will vary wildly.  If you're lucky, a news outlet will have put together a side-by-side comparison of the candidates. 

Public Opinon Polls

Additional Resources

It can be difficult to separate fact from hype so here are some resources that can help you navigate the tricky landscape of political rhetoric. - nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.

Fact Checker from the Washington Post -  The mission is to assess the statements of political figures regarding issues of great importance, be they national, international or local. With the approaching election, many of statements made in the heat of the presidential contest will be scrutinized as will other difficult issues.

Project Vote Smart - Vote Smart's mission is to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to ALL Americans.

PolitiFact - PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and its partners to help you find the truth in politics.  Every day, reporters and researchers from PolitiFact and its partner news organization examine statements by members of Congress, state legislators, governors, mayors, the president, cabinet secretaries, lobbyists, people who testify before Congress and anyone else who speaks up in American politics. PolitiFact also ranks consistency of message.

Congressional Report Card - Since 1995, our non-partisan Report Cards have provided information on the most important, and often under-reported, part of each United States Congress member's job: making "good" laws. Report Cards popular now.