11 Producing Information

The process of information creation follows a timeline. As soon as an event occurs, social media and online news sources are the first to provide coverage. Magazines and newspapers will follow shortly after, and journal articles and books take even longer to get published.

Knowing this will be important in your research: if you choose a very recent event to write about, you will likely not find information about it in a book or scholarly article. You may, however, need to expand your topic to look for a similar or related event, or broader treatment of the subject, to find sources that you can still use to support your writing.

ACTIVITY: Watch, think and learn

The short video below illustrates how understanding this timeline can help you better know what kinds of sources will be available for your topic and whether they will be suitable for your assignment.


ACTIVITY: Explore the timeline

The following timeline details how the media covered an important news event in 2012. (Maximize the screen for best viewing and use Esc button when finished.)




Video:  “The Information Timeline” by Joyner Library East Carolina University is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Image: “Police at Sandy Hook” by Voice of America, is in the Public Domain.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Doing Research Copyright © 2020 by Celia Brinkerhoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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