Three innovations that are reshaping journalism
Artificial intelligence, data technology and mobile devices have huge potential in advancing the way journalists use and disseminate information. However, bringing innovation into newsrooms requires streamlined applications that journalists can easily use. With a wide network of partnerships and many big ideas, DW’s innovation team is working on an array of research projects to develop tools that will be changing how we produce and consume journalism. These projects were on display at the “Innovation Lounge” during the 2016 Global Media Forum, where guests could experience new tools and technologies hands on.
After looking at the research and development being done at DW Innovation, it becomes clear that journalists need solutions for using and interpreting large amounts of data and information coming from many sources, languages and formats. There is more information available than ever before and the key is turning information into interesting stories.
Natural Language Generation (NLG) technology, being pioneered by start-ups such as Narrative Science, turns data into readable reports. Applying this to journalism, DW’s innovation team is currently working on a new project called PollyVote, which for the first time is developing tools to transform polling data into automated news reports for the 2016 US presidential election. Research done by DW Innovation indicates audiences tend to respond positively to these automatic reports, citing a study that ranked them as informative, trustworthy and accurate.
Besides having raw data as useable information, journalists also have a huge variety of news sources at their disposal. At the intersection of big data, automation and multimedia production is News Stream, a joint project being developed by Fraunhofer IAIS, Neofonie GmbH, dpa and DW.
News Stream combines multimedia sources on one platform so journalists can quickly find exactly the information they need to create the best possible content. From pinpointing audio clips to digging quotes out of manuscripts, journalists can access all possible content on a news item in one place.
For example, News Stream uses voice recognition technology that can identify the subjects voice in a recorded press conference and send an automatic e-mail to the journalist with the desired quote. It also allows for automated research covering social media, agency sources and other news outlets. Journalists can even monitor in real time how the competition is reporting on a news item in real time.
According to the team at DW Innovation, at the moment News Stream has the potential to help journalists create better content more efficiently, but the most important step still is integrating these tools into newsrooms.
Adding to the journalists’ innovation toolbox along with raw data aggregation and source integration are methods for working with social media and eyewitness media as a news source. Both present problems of verification, but are becoming indispensible for fast-breaking news stories.
Reveal is a EU-supported project focused on dealing with social media verification. Multiple partners, including DW Innovation, work on tools, methods and technologies that will support journalists with the verification of online news items.
As part of the project, DW Innovation has developed a verification checklist for DW and media partners like ARD and EBU that outlines the fundamentals of how to use eyewitness material in news reports. This helps journalists everywhere make better decisions about breaking news content and produce trustworthy reports. There is furthermore a growing niche verification industry with examples like First Draft News, which brings together a variety of verification resources, or Storyful, which curates viral content and provides verification of UGC and social content for news outlets.
In order to continue its work in this field, DW Innovation has secured funding from Google’s Digital News Initiative (DNI) to build a collaborative social media verification platform and to launch another EU co-funded project called inVid,which specifically develops tools and workflows for video verification.
As the public comes to expect better data journalism and different ways to experience news, these types of innovations that are pioneered at DW will be growing in relevance and presence across our media landscape.
Date2016-06-24 | 8:23
TagsAP, Big Data, dpa, DW Innovation, Global Media Forum, Narrative Science, Neofonie GmbH, News Stream, NLG, PollyVote, Reveal, Storyful, Wordsmith