It’s difficult to report, research, write, fact-check, and publish without wading into the territory of commercial databases.  Products like Dow Jones FACTIVA, Access World News and search engines for TV and radio a la TVEyes are valuable reporting tools that many journalists avail themselves of as they strive to produce credible, well-reported and useful stories and news reports that inform a widespread and diverse readership.

Our focus during this research session will be to make more familiar, the contents of each of these research tools, and to make search of these products a more efficient exercise, yielding timely and useful results.

In preparation for this session, you were asked to spend time with each resource, getting a feel for the landscape of each, and trying a search for stories on Muslims in New York City since Trump’s inauguration in each system.

As we review each product, let us have some shared discussion about your respective search strategies, the sources you used, and the results you produced.  And, let us take the opportunity to run searches on topics from story ideas for which you are preparing pitches.

Dow Jones Factiva 

Factiva is an international database of current news and events with a strong focus on business and economic issues.

Sources include domestic (including regional) and international newspapers, magazines and journals, company reports, television and radio podcasts, business information websites, and more.

This is an excellent reporting tool for reporters seeking research on background, current business and industry news, analyses of corporate strategy and financial information (including stock prices).

One unique feature of the Factiva database is its access to the Wall Street Journal and the full complement of its online products, as well as other Dow Jones resources; these sources are not available in the Lexis Nexis Academic database. 

Factiva opens in the search tab and in the free text search form, but before we review your search assignment, or create news searches, let’s have a look at what else Factiva offers.

Business reporters can take full advantage of the company/markets tab to search for company information – quick company snapshots, stock prices, industry and market competition.

Let’s use the Company tab to find and review a quick snapshot of Whole Foods Market. Use the left navigation bar to ferret key news or developments, current litigation issues, management moves, the percentage of institutional and individual ownership, and more.

Click on the Quotes tab to find current and two years’ worth of historical stock prices, and currency exchange rates; and on the tab for Market Data Charts to find comparative performance on peer stocks and market indexes data .

In-Class Drill:   Find the daily high, low and close for Apple Inc. for the past month

In-Class Drill:  Compare the stock performance of Time Warner (TWX) and the Walt Disney Company (DIS)

Factiva’s News Pages tab offers a glimpse of the latest news drawn from about 10 top news publications.  Great way to get up to speed on the latest news foreign and domestic.

Now, back to Factiva’s search page.

Factiva’s Search tab defaults to a free text search form with a three-month window of news from all sources.

Not unlike LexisNexis Academic, the search window gives the user full control to create targeted searches using the essential Boolean search connectors AND, OR and NOT, and other precision search tools. 

For articles containing                                                                  Enter

both Apple and market performance              Apple and “market performance”

future or forecast                                                      future or forecast

debt but not government                                        debt not government


For more advanced searching, here are eight key commands that provide greater precision when performing searches:

For articles containing                                                                  Enter

Terms in the headline and lead paragraph                        hlp=interest rates

Words in proximity to each other                            housing near15 foreclosures

Words appearing in the same paragraph                         consumer same debt

Search for an author (byline)                                            by=errol louis

Length of an article                                                          wc>1,000

Articles with many mentions of a term                               atleast5 deficit

Articles appearing in the same publication                          sn=wall street journal

Words with multiple endings                                             educat* will return results                                                                            with multiple endings –                                                                                            education, educator, educate


Selecting Dates and Source(s)

The date default is three months; you have the option to make changes as needed.

Just below the All Sources header, there is a window; if you are after a specific publication, then type the title in that window.  The type ahead feature is also helpful in quickly finding your source.

For the purposes of the subject matter of our in-class drill, in the Select Source Category, I recommend starting with All Sources and filtering by Region.  (The + at left lets you drill down to specific geographies and within those categories, specific titles; the at the right of each title describes its content, the extent of its archive and its frequency.)

Additional search options – by author, company, industry… appear in the left navigation bar.

If your search is of a business and economics nature, then you may want to consider selecting from the Top Sources option, Major News and Business Sources, United States Sources; then add a regional filter, e.g., Northeast – New York State.

Let’s now review your search for stories on Muslims in New York City since President Donald Trump’s inauguration


In-Class Drills: 

  • Looking for a Matt Flamm piece which appeared in Crain’s NY Business recently; it was about how e-commerce and rising rents are negatively impacting retail stores like Macy’s.
  • Looking for profiles of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. 


Access World News

The name of this database speaks for itself; it’s a vast repository of news and events local, regional, national and global, with coverage going as far back as 1978.

Sources are in full text, and include print and online-only newspapers, blogs, newswires, journals, broadcast transcripts and videos. A rich representation of New York sources makes this product particularly valuable; and if you are researching news from the New York region, there is a shortcut to those sources in prominent display in the left navigation bar on the main page.

A review of the search portion of the main page reveals a familiar menu-driven system of options for streamlining a search using Boolean operators, and for creating more precision searches using the author/byline, word count, headline, source and other options.

Remember, your knowledge of and ability to use Boolean Operators and other precision search tools will save you both time and effort as they cut down on the number of articles in the results list that may not be relevant to your research objective.

Once you’ve written and executed your search, you have the option to limit your results – by the type of source (newspapers, magazines, transcripts, blogs, video…), name of publication(s), or by geography.

When viewing each result, be mindful of the cite option in the menu bar; it allows you to select the citation format you wish to use.


Let’s have a look at your search for stories on  Muslims in New York City since Trump’s inauguration


In-Class Drills: 

  • Clips on Mayor De Blasio’s performance/approval rating during 2016
  • Queen Elizabeth’s succession

Keep in mind the Shortcuts option on the left side of the main page.  If your research leads you on a hunt for sources in the New York region, you may want to quickly click on the USA-New York link.  And if you’re after broadcast transcripts, or news magazines from the U.S., or sources covering defense and military matters, these shortcuts might prove useful and efficient.




TV Eyes searches television and radio for broadcast clips from U.S. TV markets and markets in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.

In New York City, access to the international broadcast media provides a boon to the reporting and research capabilities of journalists who cover international news, and ethnic communities.

Coverage is very broad and timely (within moments of broadcast).  U.S coverage includes all major network affiliates and national cable stations. 

The Power Search option lets you input keywords, dates and news market information all at once.

Use the keywords and the Boolean connectors AND OR and NOT for more effective search. 

Date and time parameters and specific networks or markets selections are not required but are particularly useful when attempting to limit the volume of clips in the results list and further hone in on targeted results.

To save the clip you have selected, click directly on the words “Clip Editor” beneath the play button.

A new screen will appear with the option to set a start and endpoint of the clip.

Once the start and end points are set then click “Save It To Media Center”.

A message will appear that will let you know that the clip is being prepared and an email will be sent on how to find it.

Return to the main page and click on “Media Center” and the saved clip will be there with instructions on how to download.

A message pops up at the bottom of the screen to let you know when the clip has been saved successfully.

The Snapshot search returns the latest live stream clips (with transcript) available from major US news networks as well as local affiliates and international news outlets.

Let’s take a stab at your search for broadcast clips of stories covering Muslims in New York City since President Donald Trump’s inauguration