Research resources

Notes to accompany the Exeter Observer community journalism training course.

Offline resources

The importance of contacts and sources as research resources (cf. sources & interviews).

Online resources

The importance of keeping your eyes peeled e.g. Your Housing Group Liveability Index.

The distinction between primary and secondary sources:

cf. local government transparency & information access rights.




Data cleaning/presentation

Fact checking

Source checking

Image/video verification


Topic-specific e.g. cycling

Policy documents

As part of our commitment to public interest transparency Exeter Observer hosts a collection of public domain policy documents that are relevant to the Exeter context.

Many of these documents are available on their organisational websites, but can be hard to find or are moved from one location to another over time without redirects being put in place that would prevent links from elsewhere breaking.

We endeavour to add new documents as they are published. Please get in touch to suggest additional materials with details and where we they can be found.

In order to make document titles more intelligible we have sought to avoid the use of acronyms and initialisms. Exceptions are as follows:

Arts & Culture

Democracy & Governance

Economy & Enterprise

Education & Skills

Planning & Place

Transport & Mobility

More course notes

Recent stories
Exeter City Council accounts delayed by auditors Grant Thornton

Feature  /  Democracy & governance

Exeter & East Devon council accounts delayed by Grant Thornton's "lack of staff resources"

Annual accounts for local government, including Exeter City Council, have been delayed by private sector firms failing to complete their work on time after cost-cutting government auditing reforms.

Read more ...

2019 parliamentary elections - Devon Conservative vote share change bar chart

Analysis  /  Democracy & governance

Conservative vote share varies across Devon but still blocks an Independent MP in East Devon

Labour loses vote share in every constituency, but retains Exeter and Plymouth Sutton & Devonport to leave the county position unchanged from 2017.

Read more ...

Exeter election polling station

News  /  Democracy & governance

Conservatives hold Topsham in Exeter city council by-election

A by-election held on general election day produced an unusually high turnout but a lower Conservative vote share than at the May local elections.

Read more ...

East Devon Independent Claire Wright 2019 general election candidate

Feature  /  Democracy & governance

East Devon Independent Claire Wright set to unite Remain voters in close historic two-way contest

Claire Wright is poised to make history by beating the Tories in East Devon next week. If she does it will be without thanks to the LibDems and Greens, who insisted on standing candidates against her despite the preferences of local party members and the Unite to Remain campaign.

Read more ...

Striking University of Exeter history lecturers Dr Jennifer Farrell and Dr Gemma Clark

News  /  Education & skills

University of Exeter staff strike over pay, pensions and working conditions

The Exeter branch of the University & College Union (UCU) is taking part in a national eight day strike for fair pay and pensions, including equal pay for female and BAME staff, and against casualisation and increasing workloads.

Read more ...