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FYSP 152: So You Want to Be an Intellectual: News & Newspapers

Current News Databases

New York Times Pass

Institutional access to the is provided to all current Oberlin College students, faculty, and staff.  

If you are new to campus or have not previously registered for Oberlin's institutional NYTimes access

  • While on campus and connected to the Oberlin’s network or while using the VPN, visit
  • Create an account (claim a Pass) using your email address.
  • You have successfully claimed a Pass when you see the Start Your Access screen.

Once registered you’ll be able to access by logging into your account from any computer/tablet/device you use.

Students: when registering you will be asked for your date of graduation from Oberlin; your status will stay active through that date, with no need to reactivate/re-authenticate.

Faculty/staff: you will have to re-authenticate annually, 364 days from when you last registered/authenticated for your Pass. You may not reactivate your Pass until your previous access has expired.

To reactivate your Pass:

  • While on-site and connected to the Oberlin’s network (or while using the VPN from off campus) visit
  • Make sure you are logged into the account with which you activated your last Pass.
  • You will be granted a new Pass and see the Start Your Access screen.
  • The new Pass will be good for 364 days.

Please contact the research help desk with any questions -

Evaluating Popular Non-fiction and News

How can you tell if the facts or analysis presented in a non-fiction source are accurate? The best practice is always to stop and think critically about the source - how and why it was produced, what evidence it is providing to support its claims, and how other sources present similar information. 

The Source Evaluation Techniques Guide presents several step-by-step methods you can follow to evaluate individual sources. 

In addition to those techniques, the more you know about publication processes and sociological context for different types of news sources, the better instincts you will have for how much critical investigation particular claims made in different sources require. The goal is to come to understand two things: 

For more information and tips, go to our Evaluating Non-fiction and News Guide.