No matter what the city, the topic or the question, there are strategies likely to help researchers find alternative sources and points of view.
|1) Ask the critics.
||Take the time to figure out who might not agree with the party line, the conventional wisdom and the way things are "spozed to be."
While the critics may not be prominently listed on major Internet listings, they can often be found my combining a major search term such as "Hong Kong" with critical verbs or nouns such as "dispute, controversy, failings, problems, issues, etc."
Look for Web sites, listservs, publications and other sources where critics may vent their feelings.
|2) Ask the helpers.
||When it comes to the darker side of life, helping agencies are often inclined to paint life in vivid terms, in part because this strategy often leads to bigger donations and more commitment to the cause at hand.
Just how bad is the homeless problem? Ask the Salvation Army.
|3) Contact real people real time.
||E-mail makes it possible to ask questions directly to private citizens, experts, government officials, school children and senior citizens.
© 2002, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved.
Photographs also © 2002, Jamie McKenzie.