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Research Guides

News: 1985-present

This guide recommends resources for finding information in the news - past and present. The UW Libraries has many newspapers on microfilm in addition to those listed here. For help finding more, email

Newspapers as Primary Sources

Seattle Post-Intelligencer goes web-only 

Social, economic, technological, and political changes began to dramatically change journalism in the 1990s.  Several events stand out during this time period including the debut of the Fox News Channel (1996); licensing of satellite radio (2001); availabity of the World Wide Web (mid 1990s). Patricia Dooley explains that "The late 1990s saw tremendous growth in online journalism.  The National Newspaper Association noted that during 1996, the number of online newspapers nearly doubled; by July 1999, only 2 of the 100 largest dailies did not have online editions."  New media technologies allowed anyone to publish and disseminate news, leading to citizen journalism that is expoding around the world today. 

The rise of online news has caused a dramatic decline in print newspapers - readership and availability.  Philip Meyer writes that "Weekday circulation of newspapers in the USA fell in 2007 to 50.7 million, its lowest point since 1945....And the number of daily newspapers continued to fall at a steady rate: an average net loss of twelve mastheads per year since 1971."  Newspapers have tried a variety of cost-saving strategies including stopping home delivery, decreasing the number of days published, publishing only online editions (such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer), and others have ceased. 

Help: Analyzing Newspapers

*Dooley, P. (2009). History of journalism: 1995 to present. In C. H. Sterling (Ed.), Encyclopedia of journalism (Vol. 2, pp. 713-717).

Meyer, P. (2009). The vanishing newspaper: saving journalism in the information age."

Best Bets: News Databases

Search for articles about your topic published in newspapers around the world using these databases:


Washington State News

United States News & Magazines

World News & Magazines