Skip to Main Content

Access to HE and Foundation Pathways Programme

News sources

News sources can be a useful and valuable information resource for your assignments.  The most common are print and online newspapers (e.g. The Guardian), news websites (e.g. The BBC) and tv news networks (e.g. Al Jazeera, Sky News). They are usually aimed at the general public or particular groups of the general public. 

Other news sources include:

  • News reels
  • News feeds
  • News radio stations
  • News wires   
  • News archives

News sources provide coverage of recent and historical local, national and international news stories, political reports, press releases, interviews and entertainment features as well as opinion pieces (from writers, editors or members of the public i.e. Letters to the Editor) and obituaries. 



Although news sources are not always considered to be an academic and reliable source that doesn't mean you shouldn't use them. They can provide valuable insights and perspectives to the topic you are researching. In Humanities, for example, historical newspapers are an important primary source. So whether news sources are good for your assignment depends on what your assignment question is.

News sources can be useful for:

  • Current topics
    Up to date, recent accounts of events as they happen and develop.
  • Historical research
    Understand what life was like in a particular time and track changing political, economic and social trends.
  • Content analysis
    Examine how reporting of key events varies across different newspaper publications.
  • Communication Tool
    Research news sources as a form of communication e.g. history of journalism.

Newspapers generally fall into two different categories: broadsheets and tabloids. There are key differences between the two groups and knowing them will help you decide which to use.


  • Articles tend to be longer and feature in depth reporting with additional background detail, analysis and opinion.
  • Focus on national and international news
  • Celebrity coverage is minimal
  • Uses more complex and formal language in articles. 
  • Examples include: The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent and The Times


  • Articles tend to be shorter, less in depth and use emotive, slang and sensationalist language
  • Significant coverage of celebrity gossip and scandal.
  • Often factually inaccurate 
  • Include lots of photographs and adverts
  • Examples include: The Daily Mail, The Express, The Mirror and The Sun

However it is important to remember that newspapers are written for profit and even the more 'quality' broadsheets will have a political affiliation and this may bias their interpretation of events.  Tabloids and broadsheets are also are aimed at the general public and are not considered to be an academic source like journal articles.. 

Therefore always verify information you read in a newspaper article in a more reputable and academic source.  

Fake news, although not a new phenomenon, has become more prevalent due to the increase of social media platforms. Although you might be aware of the term, it can be difficult to know what to look for and how to tell if the news source you are reading is reliable. The following infographic can be used to help you spot fake news.

IFLA (2021) How to spot fake news. Available at: (Accessed: 02 August 2022)

Subscription Resources

The library subscribes to a number of current and historical newspaper databases that you can use to find research for your assignments.

Please note: some resources require you you log in with your UDo username and password.

Online news sites

There are also many online news sites, including UK newspapers, that you can use.