How journalists get information

Journalists use different sources to get information. The most important journalistic sources include the statements of informants or eyewitnesses, interviews, documents, and official reports. The researching journalist discovers this information himself. In addition, journalists have access to information that has only been prepared for the purpose of being disseminated in the media. This includes reports from correspondents, reports from news agencies, press releases, and other PR material. Since active research is time-consuming and costly, the prefabricated information sources are becoming increasingly important in media reporting.

Sources of information


The reports of the correspondents traditionally play a major role in media coverage. Correspondents work outside an editorial office and report from distant cities, countries, and regions. Only large, national newspapers and magazines as well as large radio and television companies can afford to permanently employ their own correspondents abroad.

News agencies

For most of the media, which cannot afford their own correspondents, the services of the news agencies represent an important source of information. As “news wholesalers”, news agencies sell their reports to newspapers, magazines, radio and radio stations, but are also used by politics, companies, and associations for their services. Just like, they use different sources to market their products.

News agencies play a key role in the process of news creation. As so-called gatekeepers, the journalists in the news agencies decide which events they consider to be so important that they spread reports about them. News agencies don’t just rely on first-hand information either. They often work with other agencies, evaluate other media reports, and distribute press releases from government organizations, associations, and companies.

Press offices

Press offices are departments in companies, authorities, parties, or associations whose main purpose is to provide information for journalists. Many employees in the press offices have journalistic training and professional journalistic experience. You write press releases, hold press conferences, and arrange interviews with contacts from your organization. In addition, the media coverage of the organization is evaluated in press offices and press reviews are created. The management of the press office is usually the responsibility of the press officer, who represents the organization externally.