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Information Cycle

The information cycle is the way events are processed through the media and how it changes over time.

Understanding how the information cycle works will help you know what kinds of information will be available on your topic.

  • The day of the event: Internet, television,radio - information provides up-to-the-minute, rapid updates.  Information is not detailed and explains the who, what, when, where of an event
  • The day after the event - Newspaper and other news media - deeper and more factual information to provide deeper investigation and context of an event.
  • The week(s) after an event - weekly or monthly popular magazines - articles and other long-form stories and interviews to begin to explain the impact of an event.
  • Six months to a year after an event - academic or scholarly journals - a comprehensive analysis, research reports, or theoretical analysis of an event's impact.  These articles are intended for other scholars and researchers in the field.  Not the general public
  • A year or more after an event - books, government reports - an in-depth coverage of an event expanding on themes, research, and analysis previously published in scholarly journals.  Books can be written for both a broad general audience or scholars depending on the book.

Information Cycle

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