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Wednesday, 11th March 2009

New from Harvard: Berkman Center Launches Media Cloud Research Tools

Word of the release of an exciting new project from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Thomson Reuters.

From the Berkman Center Site:

Researching the nature of news, and media information flows, has always faced a difficult challenge: there is so much produced by so many outlets that it is hard to monitor it all. Researchers have used painstaking manual content analysis to understand mass media. On the web, the explosion of citizen media makes such an approach far more difficult and less comprehensive. By automatically downloading, processing, and querying the full text of thousands of outlets, Media Cloud will allow unprecedented quantitative analysis of media trends.

Today's launch allows a first view into some of what is possible on the Media Cloud platform. At http://www.mediacloud.org you can generate simple charts of media coverage across sources and countries. The actual capabilities of the system are much greater, and the Media Cloud team is actively looking for other researchers who will bring their own questions as the tools are further developed. Ultimately, Media Cloud will provide open APIs that can support a variety of lines of inquiry.

From the Complete Complete News Release

Thomson Reuters has contributed its Calais Web Service to the effort.

Media Cloud offers a way to quantitatively examine complex questions about the shape and flow of news coverage in the Internet era, such as:

* What types of stories are covered by which media sources?

* Where do particular news stories begin?

* What areas of the world garner attention, and which do not?

* How does the blogosphere's coverage of an issue compare to the mainstream media?

* What role do comments and other participatory channels on the Web play in setting the news or political agenda?

See Also: Video Tour Of Media Cloud By Ethan Zuckerman

Direct to Media Cloud

Source: Berkman Center for Internet & Society


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