Written by Harold Henkel, Associate Librarian
When momentous events occur in the world, where do you turn for information and background? The New York Times? BBC News? While leading western news providers may be a good start for understanding events in foreign countries, to get a full, “global” perspective it is also imperative to monitor the foreign press. To research a particular subject, a good place to start is Access World News, which provides the world’s largest full-text collection of international newspapers in a fully searchable database.
For daily monitoring (as opposed to subject searching), it may be easier to go directly to a given newspaper’s website, since most are entirely free. The Internet Public Library and Newspaperindex.com provide links to hundreds of foreign and English-language newspapers all over the world.
One thing to be mindful of when reading any unfamiliar periodical is the owner of the publication. Usually, an “about us” webpage will provide this information. For example, Yemen Times and Tehran Times both clearly and proudly make clear their papers’ (very different) perspectives. Sometimes, however, publication responsibility is suspiciously vague, as with The Tripoli Post. It goes without saying that information from providers that do not identify themselves should be treated with extreme caution.