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Echo Online - a unique teaching / learning tool in two parts

Part One provides context and background to issues presented in the news media. Information and arguments pro and con are extracted and defined from authoritive online and traditional news sources, with hyperlinks to the items containing the information. These items can be straight text or interactive, audio, or video.  

Part Two provides a searchable database of main news and items relevant to important issues of the moment. The items are drawn from authoritative news sources in print and online or a combination of both. The database draws mainly from cost-free sources, avoiding paywalls whenever possible. Also whenever possible, a news item will be grouped with analysis, comment and background to that item.

How Echo Online's two unique sections work to help in researching media issues

The media issue outlines / analyses
The Introduction section
This section sets out the bare bones of the controversy and also contains two opposing quotes taken from published articles, comments, news items etc. Usually, a video clip of a news item is also present.

The Background section
This section comprises general background information which may help in understanding the controversy.

The Cases For and Against sections
The arguments for and against the proposition do not originate with Echo Online. Rather, the propositions are put forward by commentators and others as quoted in news media and news sources. Our writers / analysts maintain the ''neutral voice''.
The articles, news items etc from which the arguments are drawn are available as linked items in the Web links and documents section, as well as in the arguments sections themselves.

The web links and documents section
In this section, information sources - text and multimedia - used in the writing and presentation of the issue analysis are compiled into one convenient place. Each item linked to is described and explained, to give the researcher an idea of what lies beyond the hyperlink. This could save time and could allow the researcher to home in on items which might be more relevant than others.

The Information Updates section
This section consists of two pre-set Google searches (general research and news) which will allow the researcher to look at up-to-the-minute information on the media issue. Also present is a pre-set search from the specialist Echo Online database of video and text news, comment and analysis.

The searchable news and information database
This section comprises a carefully-selected collection of information on the main news and events of a 12-month period. While newspapers, print and online, are a source of many of the items, many other sources are used for comment, background and analysis on a particular event, or set of events, or controversies that occured during the year.

The items are chosen, so far as is possible, from those sources which are cost-free. In other words, those sources without "paywalls". These sources include some well-known and respected newspaper mastheads, such as The Guardian, along with the British BBC, the American Public Broadcasting Service and Australia's own ABC.

As well, the Echo Online database, while presenting some news items on a particular happening or controversy, will not (like the more traditional "news indexes") feature all such items which, in the main, say much the same thing. Echo Online's database aims at providing a quick-reference and fairly detailed look at the who, why, where, when and how of an issue in the news.

PLEASE NOTE that the news-and-main-events database began to move to non-traditional sources in 2017. Subsequent yearly compilations have utilised more of the non-paywalled, online news and information sources.