Finding reputable news sources can be a challenge in the current media environment. VCU Libraries offers several databases, research guides, and other materials to help you and your students find solid information about current events. Here are two reputable sources for you to explore:

HeinOnline is a collection of databases on relevant resources pertaining to political and governmental topics including the election and other presidential processes. Three of these databases, Executive Privilege, COVID-19 in America: Issues and Law and Civil Rights and Social Justice speak to issues in the headlines that could possibly influence voters and the outcome of the upcoming election.

Executive Privilege includes resources on the purpose and focus of executive privilege as utilized by a president. It can be viewed as an implied power that is based on the separation of powers as outlined in the Constitution and is frequently invoked in the name of national security. However, there is no set standard or issues in which executive privilege can be invoked; it’s the prerogative of the president on when to assert it. Every president evokes executive privilege, but in an election year these actions are held to a higher account and scrutiny. 

COVID-19 in America: Issues, and Law  compiles a wealth of the latest information about COVID-19 from a variety of topics including economic, societal, health and global perspectives. Launched in July 2020 in the midst of the pandemic,  it addresses current issues and responses and their impact on our lives. With the presidential election just around the corner, the impact of COVID-19 may  play a pivotal role in the decision-making of American voters.

Civil Rights and Social Justice is one of the newest resources in HeinOnline and highlights the historical aspects of the civil rights movement including Supreme Court Briefs and Legislative Histories as well as a diverse collection of publications regarding the increased scope and reach of civil rights in protecting more and more Ameircans. A list of curated external resources provides additional information on current issues impacting our lives.

Access World News allows readers to access major national and international newspapers, local and regional titles, newswires, blogs, and more from both print and online sources. A wide range of Virginia papers are covered, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch archive from 1903 to present.

Access World News has curated collections titled Special Reports. Click the button on the right side of the search screen to access featured reports on Coronavirus, the U.S. Presidential Campaign, and other topics of interest to scholars and voters.

Another feature of Access World News is the Hot Topics section, accessed from the right side of the search page. Hot Topics are pre-populated searches. For example, an October 2020 Hot Topic is: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: U.S. Presidential Race Debate

TOPIC: President Trump and ex-Vice-President Joe Biden have had their first debate, noted for the often tumultuous tone and open exchanges. What were the topics debated? What are the differences in policy and strategy of each candidate and how did the opponents attempt to convey their point of view?  How did each of the candidates handle the “open discussion” portion of the debate?

SEARCH TERMS: Biden AND Trump AND debate AND Cleveland

Categories civil rights, Political Science