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Media Activism: General Databases

Start here!

On this page are general academic and news-related databases to start with first.  For scholarly, peer reviewed research on your topic you want to consult academic databases in the areas of communication, and even more broadly, the social sciences and humanites. If you also want to track a certain issue as it is covered in the news you will want to use the news databases. Keep in mind these are the general, mainstream news sources.  Alternative press can be found under the Media Reform tab. You can do a lot in these databases but for more targeted resources on specific activism topics such as the criminal justice system, gay marriage, or net neutrality click on the topic tags at the top. 

Ready to begin?

Select a database, keeping in mind that if you select an EBSCO or ProQuest database, you can search on many other databases as well.  Just find the "choose database" link to add more before you start your query. Once you are ready to search keep these few tips in mind:

When searching for two or more concepts combine them with the AND operator. You can disregard case. 

Example #1:


internet AND censorship AND asia


Use quotation marks around phrases:

Example #2


"cell phone" AND protest AND "middle east"


When you want to search for concepts that are related/synoymous combine them with OR:

Example #3


activism AND (youtube OR facebook OR twitter)


Last tip: Another powerful search tool is truncation.  When you put a truncation symbol (usually an asterisk) at the end of a word, it tells the search engine that you want all forms of that word (from where you've placed the symbol).


Example #4


Now your results will include not only blog, but blogger, bloggers, blogging, and blogs.


Most of the databases on this list are on either EBSCO or Proquest platforms--which means they can be searched together as opposed to individually.  Be sure to select databases before you start searching if you are in either platform.

Major News Files

Look for other news files targeted to specific populations or subjects in the various topic areas.

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