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Blake McCoy on How to Research Like a Journalist

Blake McCoy, a journalist in Chicago, shares his tips for research.

By Blake McCoyPublished about a year ago 3 min read

The process of gathering information is referred to as research, and most projects require some digging. Most people do this online, so it’s easy to “Google it” whenever they need quick answers. But, to be considered a journalist, one must have a broader strategy and use multiple sources to ensure their information is accurate and balanced.

The complexity of the topic, as well as the proposed scope and length of the article, your budget, publication deadlines, and more, will dictate the amount of research you need to do. In addition to this, investigative pieces require a more thorough approach. Nevertheless, here’s how to research like a journalist.

Gather Research Tools

Before you start working on a project, make sure that you have access to Wi-Fi and a laptop. You should also get a manila folder to store documents, create a folder for online resources, and always have a pen and paper.

Online Research

Getting a good idea of the coverage a topic has received can help you determine which angles to pursue and how you can tackle the story. You can also keep track of the websites you’ve visited to provide readers with additional resources.

Unfortunately, getting distracted by the endless amount of information that’s available online can make it hard to keep focused on the story. Instead, try to avoid falling down rabbit holes.

Visit the Library

Don’t limit yourself to only checking out online articles regarding your research. Libraries are great places to gather information, as they have unlimited online and in-person resources. Archives and public libraries can also provide you with newspaper copies, which you can use for your research.

Data Resources

Journalists can now gain access to data through the internet, which is excellent as it allows them to enhance their pieces. One of the most valuable skills a journalist can learn is data analysis, which can help them create compelling and engaging content.

Try to Interview

Before conducting an interview, thoroughly research the topic and individual you’re interviewing. Doing so will allow you to identify which questions to ask and which sources to expand your knowledge. One of the best ways to gather information is by conducting phone conversations. This allows you to connect with experts and academicians willing to share their knowledge.


Blake McCoy is a dynamic, engaging broadcast journalist with a depth of experience. As a network news correspondent, Blake has traveled the country sharing stories of human triumph and tragedy, struggle and perseverance. As a local anchor, Blake has connected with audiences by leading top-rated newscasts with authenticity, accuracy and care.

Blake McCoy’s news journey began in Boise, Idaho where he spent nearly two years establishing the foundation for his career as a reporter and morning anchor at KBOI-TV.

Next stop was Las Vegas, NV where Blake McCoy worked as reporter and weekend anchor at KTNV, ABC Action News. Vegas had gone from boom to bust overnight, rattled by the 2008 financial crisis. Reporting on tourism from the fast-paced Las Vegas Strip, Blake found new urgency in the constant push for reinvention. Just beyond the neon, reporting juxtaposed with deeply personal stories of job loss, home foreclosure and desperation.

After three years in Las Vegas, Blake McCoy’s next career opportunity came from the highly respected, award-winning team at KARE 11, NBC in Minneapolis, MN. Blake would keep is schedule anchoring weekend evenings and reporting on important issues in the community. At KARE 11, Blake’s authenticity and smart reporting was quickly embraced by viewers of their #1 rated newscasts.

Prior to embarking on a career in broadcasting, Blake McCoy graduated with honors from The George Washington University, earning a double-major Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political Science. He spent a semester abroad in England, studying European politics at the University of Manchester.


About the Creator

Blake McCoy

Blake McCoy is a dynamic, engaging broadcast journalist with a depth of experience. As a network news correspondent, Blake has traveled the country sharing stories of human triumph and tragedy, struggle and perseverance.

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