Using Information from Different Types of Sources

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will examine various types of media sources, discuss examples of each type of source, and explore how they may be used to find information.

Types of Media Sources

How do you find out what is happening in the world around you? We are inundated daily with various types of media. Media includes all types of information sources that provide mass communication. Sometimes, the information varies based on the source. Some sources are more reliable than others. Let's find out more about how information from different types of sources can be used to find correct information.

Print Media

Before radio, television, and the internet ever came into being, print media was the primary source of mass communication. Print media includes newspapers, magazines, journals, and other publications that are widely distributed. Let's take a closer look at various types of print media sources.

  • Newspapers are printed locally, regionally, and nationally. Some are published weekly, while others are printed on a daily basis. Local newspapers may give information about high school sports, local businesses, city government, and other information that is important to the people who live in a particular area. Regional newspapers may cover some of the same information for an entire county or multiple counties as opposed to a single city. Regional newspapers frequently balance local news with national or worldwide news stories. National newspapers, such as The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, cover news stories from around the world, placing an emphasis on government.
  • Magazines are generally published monthly or quarterly depending on the focus. Some magazines, such as Time and National Geographic, provide important information on current topics, but there are magazines for every topic and age group. For example, People, Sports Illustrated, and Ranger Rick are geared towards specific target audiences. Magazines are typically intended for leisurely reading and are not as thoroughly researched as journals.
  • Journals are an assemblage of academic pieces that are at a minimum peer reviewed. They are written by and for professionals in a particular field. Journals are a recommended source of research-based information.
  • Other printed materials, such as books, encyclopedias, newsletters, and other resource materials are also available. When using any resource, consider the purpose of the material. For example, a newsletter from a political organization is intended to persuade potential voters rather than provide objective information.

Broadcast Media

Broadcast media is mass communication in which information is transmitted via audio or video. Television and radio programming are examples of broadcast media.

  • Radio programming comes in the form of both news or talk radio. Like newspapers, radio programming may be local, regional, or national. The content may focus on current events, politics, sports, or any other interest of the listeners.
  • Television programming may also consist of news or talk shows. Content may vary based on the purpose and audience.


The internet has grown to be a primary source for many people across the world. Below are various types of resources for information from the internet.

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