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Research With Non-Scholarly Internet Resources: Aggregators: Google News, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Cracked, Etc.

Aggregators: Google News, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Cracked, Etc.

Content or news aggregators collect and repost articles from elsewhere (everywhere from big names like The New York Times or the Atlantic, to lesser known or more casual sources like the Orlando Sentinel or TMZ). The aggregators provide a large number of articles, lists, videos, news clips, etc., and update many times a day.


Some, such as Huff Post, employ journalists, bloggers and news teams that produce content.


Even the most respectable of these, the ones that reproduce only vetted news articles and attempt to be politically neutral (think Google News), are not “academic sources” and seldom if ever have articles from scholarly journals. If your professor requires academic, scholarly, or peer-reviewed journals, you needn’t bother with anything from these types of sites. However, if you’re looking for news articles, much of what they post or produce is topical, relevant, and useful.


1.  You’re citing the article first. If the article you’re looking at is re-published (if it came from somewhere else) and you can find it in its original source, that’s better.


2.  These sites are almost always biased - they lean to the left or right in what they chose to republish or produce. Using biased sites is extremely problematic, and you’re treading in dangerous territory. If you’re using an article the aggregator re-published, evaluate the original site. Use your judgement based on the formality of the class and professor, the syllabus, assignment rubric, and the nature of the assignment. If there’s any doubt about the legitimacy of your sources, you’re best finding new ones.


3.  You can also qualify in your assignment why you chose that source or article. Something along the lines of, “While BuzzFeed is not the most scholarly of news sites, this article is relevant because . . .”