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Media Cloud

Posted by Marcus Zillman

Media Cloud

Media Cloud is a project that seeks to track news content comprehensively – providing open, free, and flexible tools for quantitative analysis of media trends. 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. The idea for Media Cloud emerged through a series of discussions between faculty and friends of the Berkman Center. The conversations would follow a predictable pattern: one person would ask a provocative question about what was happening in the media landscape, someone else would suggest interesting follow-on inquiries, and everyone would realize that a good answer would require heavy number crunching. Nobody had the time to develop a huge infrastructure and download all the news just to answer a single question. However, there were eventually enough of these questions that they decided to build a tool for everyone. This has been added to the tools section of Research Resources Subject Tracer™ Information Blog. This will be added to Journalism Resources Subject Tracer™.

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