The point of the exercise was to prove that the more facts are recited, the more they change. But you’re a content creator—you know that, and I know that. Today, the key is identifying writer resources that aren’t producing false or dishonest content. Here are 10 online sources that are known for quality among several major subjects in brand journalism:
How about that domain name? From birth control to rheumatoid arthritis, Health.com dissects every physiological concern you might have, cradle to nursing home. Owned by Time Inc., the publication prides itself on translating medical information into original content for individuals who need to know “why it matters”; to this end, the website continually interviews doctors. The source keeps up with industry developments via its partnership with HealthDay, a Pulitzer Prize–winning distributor of the latest news in health care.
Content marketing is alive and well on Capitol Hill, particularly as it applies to health. Because the government oversees so many critical functions of the US, its regulations must be presented as thoroughly as possible online. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborates with numerous schools and institutes, including the USDA and the FDA, to create a mix of firsthand nutritional advice for adults and kids. When diagnosing the nation’s standards of health, this is as close to the horse’s mouth as you can get.
Silicon Valley’s seasoned tech outlet frequently analyzes the same news it reports on, and with a certain kind of poise: Reviews in its “Gadget Lab” contain a high attention to detail in covering products that writers often have in front of them, while remaining plugged into industry happenings. Its parent company, Condé Nast, publishes nearly two dozen award-winning magazines in total; WIRED alone won four Webbys for online journalism just this year.
For a look into the writing of numerous experts, including more than 140 Nobel laureates, look no further than Scientific American. At 170 years old, it is the oldest regularly published magazine in the US and continuously redefines today’s most critical sciences, from the psychology behind driving and texting to the latest updates on the African Ebola outbreak. Since its contributors included rock stars like Albert Einstein, SA has upheld the vision of its founders to cherish news provided by the people behind it. This, according to the company, is a “unique distinction among consumer magazines that still applies.”
This was Time‘s first offshoot, and it has become pivotal to big-business news. So much so that the outlet created an annual ranking system for America’s highest-grossing corporations, well known as the Fortune 500. Fortune‘s highly anticipated evaluation is a testament to the staff’s fluency in the economy, which in and of itself is one of the most important writer resources for a professional.
Bloomberg isn’t the oldest business hub on the Internet, but its roots run deeper into finance than most publications like it. The firm began as Bloomberg Professional, a private analytics platform for the world’s most invested financial buffs. Today, Businessweek—spearheaded by CEO Daniel Doctoroff, former mayor of economic development of New York City—turns real-time data into real-time news via thousands of independent specialists in nearly 200 locations worldwide. Over time, that news and insight has grown to become invaluable to such networks as CNN and MSNBC.
ESPN’s TV network is a platform for several pros-turned-reporters to deliver news on their favorite topics, but that expertise makes for terrific Web content, as well. In fact, the back pages of ESPN.com celebrate coverage in the pools of Olympic swim meets, the fields of T20 cricket championships, and the slopes of six action sports through a media partnership with the X Games. When the International Business Times ranked the top 50 sports writers you should follow on Twitter, most of them were from ESPN.
Wenner Media’s ageless music mag covers politics and TV almost as much as it does the latest musicians. But unlike other pop-culture journals, Rolling Stone delivers an intimacy the average gossip columnist can’t. Movies like Almost Famous may have dramatized this awesome style, but its ability to access facts that “strike a chord” with its readers is a very real reason it is the go-to writer resource for arts and current events. In 2011, the company won the Polk Award for magazine journalism after a groundbreaking story on the war in Afghanistan.
Nat Geo goes well beyond breathtaking landscapes and wildlife footage. Its online “Travel” section has indexed virtually all the world’s hot spots in a series of guides that cater to the same touristic readers for whom you might find yourself reporting. With Destinations A-Z, the source details not just a locale’s history, but tips for the ideal trip only someone who’s been there could provide.
For the purposes of your content, Consumer Reports may be the most comprehensive source out there for prospective buyers. Whether you’re researching convertible cars or trends in diabetes treatment, its national surveys and brand reviews are now accompanied by listicle pieces for those who are looking for advice in these fields. Its history, however, is not the most interesting thing about it—Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit. It has no agenda, other than that of the consumer.
The biggest brands may have authority in their respective markets, but they still need to back up their cred with the right research—that doesn’t mean you have to play telephone with a hundred search results. Your 10 pre-vetted writer resources are above. Put them to good use now and join Skyword’s pool of contributing writers.