News to Documents

Often a news item will mention a document, sometimes a decision, agreement or other type of document that you need to access. Today’s tip is a reminder to go to the source.

For example, a recent radio broadcast mentioned a memorandum of agreement between the City of Edmonton and Harbin, China to help design a waste managment system. This document does not appear on the City’s website. To get a copy, I need to find a source. Some choices follow that you can apply to your research scenario:

  • Find the contact information for the radio newsroom and phone to ask for the background document, or their contact
  • Find print news sources and call the author for a copy of the document, or their contact for it
  • Call the originators office, or communications branch (there is usually a contact phone number on a news release
  • Use a public body’s website to try and identify the most likely branch that will have the information you are seeking and call a general phone number

All of these tips sound a little like my previous Phone a Friend tip, but in this case you have to start by finding and making a friend.

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