Journalists! Bloggers! experiment with the Media Cloud Dashboard !

Article published on May 9, 2011
community published
Article published on May 9, 2011
Print newspapers are declaring bankruptcy nationwide... High-profile blogs are proliferating. Media companies are exploring new production techniques and business models in a landscape that is increasingly dominated by the Internet. In the midst of this upheaval, it is difficult to know what is actually happening to the shape of our news.
Beyond one-off anecdotes or painstaking manual content analysis, there are few ways to examine the emerging news ecosystem.

Do bloggers introduce storylines into mainstream media or the other way around? What parts of the world are being covered or ignored by different media sources? Where do stories begin? How are competing terms for the same event used in different publications? Can we characterize the overall mix of coverage for a given source? How do patterns differ between local and national news coverage? Can we track news cycles for specific issues? Do online comments shape the news?

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University announced that the Media Cloud Dashboard is open for public use so as to experiment with the tool at

Media Cloud offers a way to quantitatively examine all of these challenging questions by collecting and analyzing the news stream of tens of thousands of online sources.

Media Cloud is an open source, open data platform that allows researchers to answer quantitative questions about the content of online media. Using Media Cloud, researchers, journalism critics and interested citizens can examine what media sources cover which stories, what language different media outlets use in conjunction with different stories, and how stories spread from one media outlet to another.