Locate Information About Current Events

Considerations for Researching Current Events

  1. Newspapers, magazines, and other news sources are most likely to have up-to-date information on a current event.
    Scholarly sources take longer than news sources to research, write, and publish. However, you may find information about similar past events that will be useful to your research in scholarly sources. This page on the Information Cycle explains when you can expect information related to a current event to be published. 
  2. Scholarly sources provide context, historical perspective, and/or evidence-based research.
    You are most likely to find scholarly research or sources on events that have been going on for at least several months or older events than can be placed in historical perspective.

Researching Current Events: Newspapers and News Sites

News sources tend to be brief and typically offer little or no analysis. They are good resources for when you need very recent information, lived experiences, facts and descriptions, or a primary source on a topic.

Recommended Resources: Newspapers

Access through newspaper websites:

  • Collegiate Readership Program: This program, for full-time University of Illinois undergraduate and graduate students, lets you access the full text of New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today articles through their websites. On the Collegiate Readership Program page, click “Access Subscriptions.”

Access through the library:

Recommended Resources: News Sites

  • NPR: Publishes articles on news and culture and is funded by state and local governments.
  • BBC News: news service based in the United Kingdom, reporting on world affairs.
  • Al Jazeera: state-owned radio and news service from Qatar, providing perspectives on both Middle Eastern and world events
  • The Conversation: Includes articles about current topics written by academic experts.
  • CQ Researcher: Reports on “Hot Topics” and is owned by SAGE Publications, a large academic publishing company.

Researching Current Events: Magazines

Magazines often provide information about current events, and can include interviews, opinions, narratives, investigative reporting, and analysis.  They are usually intended for a general audience. When you are searching for or using magazine articles in your research, keep in mind that the authors may not be experts, the work has not been peer reviewed, and the magazine may only be providing a single perspective.

Recommended Resources: Magazines

Access through magazine websites: (Note: Many magazine websites will only allow access to a small number of articles before requiring payment. If you run out of free articles, do not pay. Look below for options on accessing magazines through the library website, or use the Ask-A-Librarian chat box.)

  • The Advocate: Publishes articles related to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The Atlantic Monthly: Publishes articles daily on a variety of topics related to politics, economics, and culture.
  • The Economist: Publishes articles on world economic and political affairs; articles are published anonymously.
  • The New Yorker: Publishes articles on current events as well as satire and short stories.
  • Time: Publishes articles on entertainment, culture, and local and world issues.

Access through the library (click on the links, then follow the instructions to get access):

  • The Advocate: Click on any of the “EBSCOhost” Online Full Text options. Select an issue to browse from the dates in the right-hand column, or click “Search within this publication.”
  • The Atlantic Monthly: Click on “EBSCOhost Academic Search Ultimate.” Browse by specific issue or search within the publication.
  • The Economist: Click on “ProQuest One Business.” Choose an issue to view or search within the entire publication.
  • The New Yorker: Click on “EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete” or either “Gale” full text link.
  • Time: Click on “EBSCOhost Academic Search Ultimate.” Browse by specific issue or search within the publication.

For more resources related to magazines, look at the Find Current Magazine Articles page.