Whether your investigation requires you to have knowledge of public records access in Ohio, statistical validation on current financial trends in Southeast Asia, or proof of what “she said” over what “he said” in the media, these three websites should be in every investigator’s toolkit:
Jstor offers over 12 million scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and other primary sources in 75 disciplines. This go-to non-profit resource and research hub has United States published content dating back to 1920 and as far back as 1870 for content published in other parts of the world. In a recent search for “public records,” 662,866 entries appeared. You can narrow and refine your focus, based on your investigative needs, and is full-text searchable. It offers search term highlighting, including images, and is interlinked by multiple citations and references. While much of the content is freely searchable, you need to subscribe and take special care to cite the source if you include it in your report. A monthly JPass subscription costs $19 and includes unlimited online reading access to articles and 10 downloadable PDFs; an annual JPass is discounted at $179, with unlimited online reading access to articles and 120 downloadable PDFs.
Statistics are a good way for investigators to validate their information. Statista detects trends in industries, brands, media, society, and more from over 22,500 sources. Statista employs statisticians, analysts, experts, and editors to provide a tool for researching quantitative data and statistics and their related information. The site provides quantitative data on such subjects and markets as media, business, finance, and politics. Statista offers a Chart of the Day which focuses on Media and Technology. The information highlights the latest updated statistics from the media, Internet, telecommunications, and consumer electronics industries. Statista also focuses on the Economy and Society, which includes current data—both U.S. and global—relating to economic and political issues, as well as sports and entertainment. You can register for free and gain access to basic statistics; a monthly membership fee of $49/month opens the door to all Statista’s statistics, including 1,000,000 market and consumer data sets.
TV News Archive
This is a handy site to use when vetting what a person said and where and when he/she said it. While searches can be done in closed captions from U.S. television news shows from 2009 to the present, the archive holds news footage from as far back as late 2000. The site holds over 3 million videos, including 1 million television news videos. Researchers can find special sections including Quotes, Trending Yesterday, and Special Collections. Searches can also be filtered by networks. Searches can be run, for example, on political ads and candidate quotes from June 4, 2009 to present. Results are sorted by Relevance, Date-Most Recent, and Date-Oldest. In searching for the words made by a 2016 presidential candidate—“Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is”— results were located on Comedy Central, Weekends with Alex Witt, and Meet the Press, with dates ranging from September 20, 2015 to September 23, 2015.
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