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The Information Cycle

What Is the Information Cycle?

The information cycle is the progression of media coverage of a newsworthy event. Understanding the information cycle can help you determine what kind of information you are likely to find about your topic.

The infographic below illustrates the Information Cycle. You can also view the text version of the Information Cycle below.

Information Cycle Infographic

The Information Cycle (Video)

View a video illustrating the information cycle.

The Day of an Event

Television, Social Media, and the Web

The Day After an Event


The Week or Weeks After an Event

Weekly Popular Magazines and New Magazines

Six Months to a Year or More After an Event

Academic, Scholarly Journals

A Year to Years After an Event


Government Reports
  • Reports from federal, state, and local governments
  • Authors include governmental panels, organizations, and committees
  • Often focused on public policy, legislation, and statistical analysis