Lookup Database


This list originally by Newhouse masters student Phillip Radke.

Better Business Bureau


This is a good place to find info on local businesses to see if they have been involved in fraudulent activities. Simply go to the site and type in a zip code to find the local branch. This is a good way to find out the activities of any region you are covering, not simply Upstate New York. This would be good if you were studying trends in a certain type of business and wanted to see if the rest of the country was experiencing similar problems.

Consumer Action Center


A federal government website which looks out for consumers and their interests. It offers an online Consumer Action Handbook to let people know how they can solve their own consumer problems. This can be useful if a reporter wants to let people know where they can solve an issue.

Consumer Federation of America


This is an advocacy and education organization with membership from 300 nonprofits. It tells government officials and citizens about current issues and problems are going on. The issues here can be background for stories or provide story ideas.

Consumer Reports


This is the online companion to the well-known magazine that reviews products. It can be a good place to see which products have been recalled and what new models have earned positive ratings. Note that you have to pay about two dollars per month to have full access to all the ratings, but if you find an article here you want to read, go to the Bird Library databases to pull up the full text from the magazine.

Federal Trade Commission


This federal agency, aimed at protecting the American consumer, regularly posts about happenings in the consumer world. It also gives out a lot of information regarding credit issues and other problems that one may face in the consumer market.