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Music and Arts: News and newspapers

A collection of information resources and guidance for Music & Arts students

Featured source - tutorial

BoB (Box of Broadcasts)

A screenshot of the BoB homepage

BoB - On Demand TV and Radio (Box of Broadcasts) is an archive of UK television and radio from the last several years, provided to UK Higher Education institutions.

You can watch or listen to entire programmes as well as create short clips from them (great for presentation work!). It covers many different channels and is a great source for documentaries.

To access, go to the BoB homepage and select Sign in. You will then need to search for the name of your university to proceed any further.

News websites (not newspapers)

Subject specialist news sources

  • Music Pages: A database of contacts in the music and performing arts industries.

Introduction - using news sources

the word newsNews sources can be really useful for academic study, particularly if you want your study to reflect current interests and concerns. Remember, your tutors will often want you to use up-to-date sources in your essays and assignments.

Your university provides a range of resources for accessing the news, and there arnumerous high-quality news sites as well. 

It's also really easy to reference various types of news sources using Cite-Them-Right, of which we have many copies in the library.

Access to current national newspapers through your university

  • The Financial Times: All three Universities at Medway provide access to FT.com, including the contents of the newspaper and additional online resources. This is not only useful for business students, as it provides a wealth of information about companies and organisations in all spheres of life. You will need to create an account to use this resource, using your university email address.

  • Nexis and LexisLibrary: All three Universities at Medway have access to this, which provides access to a wide range of current UK national and local newspapers (broadsheet and tabloid), including the full text of the articles. These services generally do not include adverts, images, layout etc.

  • UK Press Online (available via University of Kent): Provides the full content of various historical and current newspapers, exactly as they appeared in print. This includes the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star. University of Kent UK Press Online link.

Access to historical newspapers through your university

All 3 Universities at Medway have access to historical collections of newspapers through Gale NewsVault. See below a list of the sources included:

Select the individual collections e.g. 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers,19th Century British Library Newspapers19th Century UK Periodicals) from the Online databases and academic journals page on the Portal. 

Select Gale Newsvault from the A-Z list of e-resources, or find more details on the library's newspaper collections here.

Select Gale Newsvault from the 'Find Databases A-Z' page on LibrarySearch.

Jargon buster

You can think of primary sources as the foundational documents upon which your own research is built.

According to Brandt (2009), they "are original materials that have not been interpreted or evaluated in any way.  They belong to the time period that is under investigation.  Examples include diaries, correspondence such as letters and emails, interviews, documents such as birth certificates, photographs, survey data and reports" (185).

Journal articles that present original research findings are also primary sources, but books are nearly always secondary sources.

Reference: Brandt, C. (2009) Read, research and write: academic skills for ESL students in higher education. London: SAGE.

Check out the social history sites on the Media & Humanities on the web tab for some great examples of primary source materials!

Any essays and assignments that you write will nearly always be secondary sources themselves. 

Secondary source materials are "interpretations or evaluations of primary sources...[they] filter the evidence provided by a primary source" (Brandt 2009, 185).

Books are often secondary sources because they highlight, analyse or re-configure information contained in primary sources.

For instance, the author of a book about life in 19th century England (this is the secondary source!) might use the novels of Austen, Dickens, Hardy and Eliot (these are primary sources!) to provide evidence for their argument or interpretation of the research question.

Tertiary sources collect together relevant, related primary and/or secondary sources without really providing any additional interpretation of them. For instance, some of the boxes on this page (e.g. News websites) could be considered as tertiary sources of information.

How can I tell if something is a tertiary source?

  • Usually described as an encyclopedia, chronology, anthology, handbook, dictionary of... xyz
  • Usually credited to an editor and list of contributors rather than individual authors
  • Often marked as 'for reference' in the library
  • Primary sources might be an authentic reflection of the time in which they were written, but they are not necessarily factually correct or unbiased!
  •  
  • Documents can be primary, secondary and tertiary sources in different contexts - they are never fixed into one category. For example: this LibGuide will be a secondary or tertiary source to most students needing help with the library, but it could be a primary source for someone doing research on LibGuide design, or teaching methods, or library support!