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May 28, 2010, 10 a.m.

Hal Roberts and Ethan Zuckerman: Media Cloud and quantitative tools and approaches to analyzing news

Every week, our friends at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society invite academics and other thinkers to discuss their work over lunch. Thankfully for us, they record the sessions. Throughout this week, we’ve been passing along some of the talks that are most relevant to the future of news.

Today’s video: Hal Roberts and Ethan Zuckerman. They lay out Berkman’s Media Cloud platform — and discuss how it can be used by researchers to analyze patterns of influence in the news media. We first wrote about Media Cloud last March and summed it up thusly:

Media Cloud is a massive data set of news — compiled from newspapers, other established news organizations, and blogs — and a set of tools for analyzing those data. Some of the kinds of questions Media Cloud could eventually help answer:

— How do specific stories evolve over time? What path do they take when they travel among blogs, newspapers, cable TV, or other sources?
— What specific story topics won’t you hear about in [News Source X], at least compared to its competitors?
— When [News Source Y] writes about Sarah Palin [or Pakistan, or school vouchers], what’s the context of their discussion? What are the words and phrases they surround that topic with?

POSTED     May 28, 2010, 10 a.m.
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The election could be contested and last for weeks after Nov. 3. Here’s what experts think journalists should know.
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