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How to Do Intelligent Research for Your Next Story

December 15, 2022 (3 min read)

You’ve got your assignment. Or you’ve pitched your story. 

Either way, it’s time to start gathering background information, identifying interview subjects, and making connections that create a compelling story for your audience—all with a deadline looming. That means you need to do research. As Writing Commons notes, “In writing, especially in journalism, the information you use is the heart of your writing.”

That is to say, your writing is only as good as your research. And that's where Nexis for Media Professionals can help you efficiently get from concept to complete in no time. Here's how. 

1.    Keep your eyes peeled for potential stories

As a journalist or media professional, it’s in your DNA to be on the look-out for story inspiration. Maybe there’s a topic that’s already caught your interest or perhaps you’re looking for information for an ongoing story relating to a certain person.

In these instances and more, Nexis for Media Professionals lets you create alerts to stay on top of new information as it comes. These alerts can be used to track topics, industries, companies, people of interest. Just set them up and specify how often you need to get these alerts, whether you want them as soon as they come up or every Thursday at noon. After that, Nexis does the heavy lifting of detecting the information you need and notifying you in your inbox when there’s something new to see.

2.    Focus on source credibility

These days, reader trust is low, making it even more important to ensure that your story is based on correct information. Whatever your source is, checking out its reliability is critical.

You can do your part in combatting fake news by using the deep Nexis news archives to cross-check historic details in multiple sources. When corrections are made to archived news stories, Nexis captures those updates. Beyond the news archive, Nexis brings together a wide variety of non-news content as well, so you can vet potential sources, find company and executive information, and use multi-source validation to ensure your story has the details right. The important thing is to put out stories that your readers can trust, and LexisNexis will help you to do just that.


3.    Take advantage of pre- and post-search filtering

There’s a lot of information out there. Accessing it is important, but so is finding the pieces of information that are useful for you. With an open web search, you can get millions of results, most of which are just noise.

As mentioned above, Nexis brings together high-quality sources—and, unlike the open web, Nexis search results aren’t prioritized based on paid ads and keyword stuffing. Of course, a 40+ year archive of data means a Nexis search can still bring back large result sets. That’s where LexisNexis® SmartIndexing Technology™ comes in, enabling powerful filtering to help you uncover the most relevant results, quickly. On top of that, SmartIndexing identifies terms closely related to your search query, even if they don’t match the terms precisely, to give you more valuable information with each search.

4.    Align content development to media literacy best practices

When it’s time to put your research on the record, consider media literacy best practices. Media literacy is useful in combatting fake news. It helps readers understand how different people can read the same article and come away with very different views. But it also benefits the authors of content, by increasing awareness into the many ways a story may be interpreted. It can help root out unintentional bias or vague statements that can be misinterpreted.

The Center for Media Literacy suggests content producers answer these five key questions when developing a story:

  •       What am I authoring?
  •       Does my message reflect understanding in format, creativity, and technology? 
  •       Is my message engaging and compelling for my target audience?
  •       Have I clearly and consistently framed values, lifestyles, and points of view in my content? 
  •       Have I communicated my purpose effectively?

Taking these questions into account will help your readers connect with and engage in your stories.

See why some of the largest media producers around depend on Nexis for Media Professionals. Connect with us for more information and to arrange a demo.