Lesson II-2: Finding experts

February 2nd, 2009 by Jack Styczynski

Points of emphasis for critical thinking:

  1. Experts should be one of your first thoughts as a source of information on any subject.  They can lend authority, accuracy, balance and credibility to your stories.  They may also refer you to other sources.
  2. One good way to find experts is to do a Nexis or Factiva search on your subject and see who has spoken on the topic in the past.
  3. Another way is to seek out local or national organizations related to the topic.  One of my favorite tools is the Encyclopedia of Associations, an “old-fashioned” print resource available in our Research Center.  Online, you can use the school’s Associations Unlimited account or the universally accessible Gateway to Associations.
  4. Government experts can also be useful.  Any New York City reporter should have the latest copy of the Green Book.
  5. Many colleges and universities provide access to faculty and staff experts via their web sites, including CUNY and other local schools.   There are also web sites specifically devoted to connecting journalists with experts, such as ProfNet and the Yearbook of Experts.

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