The NSF project titled “A System for Mapping the (Local) Journalism Life Cycle to Rebuild the Nation’s News Trust” will warn journalists when content may be “triggering” of unfavorable discourse.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided a $750,000 grant to Temple University researchers for developing a product that tracks local journalism cycles, which is part of their new “Trust & Authenticity in Communication Systems” initiative.
The “America’s Fourth Estate at Risk: A System for Mapping the (Local) Journalism Life Cycle to Rebuild the Nation’s News Trust” project aims to create a data-based tool that informs journalists when publishing content might result in “negative unintended outcomes” like “the triggering of uncivil, polarizing discourse, audience misinterpretation, the production of misinformation, and the perpetuation of false narratives.”
The researchers hope to help journalists measure the long-term communication impact of stories, extending beyond existing metrics such as initial reactions, likes, and shares.
In an interview with Campus Reform, grant principal investigator and Temple University professor Eduard Dragut said the team will “use natural language processing algorithms along with social networking tools to mine the communities where [misinformation] may happen.”
“You can imagine that each news article is usually, or actually almost all the time, accompanied by user comments and reactions on Twitter. One goal of the project is to retrieve those and then use natural language processing tools or algorithms to mine and recommend to some users [that] this space of talking, this set of tweets, which may lead to a set of people, like a sub-community, where this article is used for wrong reasons,” he said.