We are getting close to the launch of the NewsFrames project. This week we are signing the contract with Google’s Digital News Initiative, and announcing the first project-related job of project director.
To recap, this project will create a digital toolset and editorial process for rapid analysis of online media frames and trends in the world’s media markets, conducting research on global conversations, news and citizen media. We aim to digests of popular, important and under-reported stories by country and topic/theme and stories based on the data and on real-world issues that result from the research.
We hope that this project, if successful, can continue as an integral part of Global Voices work. We envision the toolset and associated staff as a resource for the Global Voices community.
We have announced a call for the project director; applications are due by June 20, 2016.
To build this toolset and editorial process we are collaborating with Media Cloud, an open data research tool that explores complex quantitative and qualitative questions about online media by tracking some 260,000 mass and social media sources. Media Cloud is a joint project of MIT Media Lab and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
In the past month we’ve held two brainstorming sessions with Sands Fish, one of the researchers working on Media Cloud at the MIT Media Lab, together with Ethan Zuckerman. In our initial steps we hypothesized ideal users, and conceived as the toolset as a working environment for Global Voices contributors to create and manage research queries against the Media Cloud database.
For instance, imagine that Advox director Ellery Biddle wants to track conversations and news around Ethiopia and detention of activists. We would want the tool to allow her set search terms, measures of popularity and frequency over time, and perform analyses of how these stories are being framed. Is the topic always discussed in the context of terrorism? Are the human rights of activists also mentioned? What is missing from different narrative frames?
We also discussed ideas around usability. Are separate query topics stored as indices and cards? Can we allow multiple users to share a search? Can we aggregate the data of all searches? Do we need specialized skills or training sessions in order to use the tool, or will it be intuitive and open to everyone? Many questions to sort, and a great challenge for us!