2020 was a defining year for modern history, and journalists worked tirelessly to document the story of a world in a pandemic. 2021 is shaping up to be a more hopeful year—vaccines have been widely distributed in the United States and the U.K., the death rate from COVID-19 has dropped and some countries have begun to return to a new sense of normalcy.
Outside of the pandemic, U.S. President Joe Biden’s agenda is taking shape and has the potential to significantly impact political and economic dynamics across the globe. The U.K. continues to grapple with the consequences of exiting the European Union. China’s Communist Party marked its 100-year anniversary. Germans will elect Angela Merkel’s successor in September and Tokyo will host the Olympic Games this summer. And those are just the headlines.
But what about the events we don’t yet know about?
For the past 8 years, Dataminr for News has helped journalists find breaking news events faster. Today, we’re trusted by journalists working in more than 650 leading news organizations worldwide.
Our platform processes billions of units of public information every day, from more than 100,000 sources and more than 100 languages, to find breaking news as it happens.
“Minutes are really important to us. Really, really important,” said Adam Parker, Sky News’ Digital News Editor, in a recently published Dataminr case study. Dataminr for News was the first platform to alert Sky News to the 2019 fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, based on photos that people were posting live on social media.
“We didn’t see it first on the AFP news wire, we saw it first on Dataminr,” Parker said. “And we didn’t just see it first [on Dataminr], we saw it with some incredible imagery.”
Dataminr continues to provide value to journalists long after that initial breaking news alert.
Consider our work around COVID-19. In December 2019, Dataminr for News was the first major breaking news platform to alert on a new illness developing in Wuhan, China. Our platform followed the story, documenting the first deaths, lockdowns, and the international spread of the virus. Now, more than a year later, we’ve issued thousands of COVID-related breaking news alerts, which help journalists stay on top of what remains a very fluid story.
The top-performing newsrooms globally use Dataminr’s speed to more quickly and comprehensively report on unexpected news events. Speed is also key to driving audience engagement, a crucial metric as newsrooms continue to compete with digital outlets to publish the story first, with greater accuracy and context.
Does your newsroom have the tools it needs to cover breaking news events?
Kirsten Dewar is the Global Director of News at Dataminr. Prior to Dataminr, she had a decade of experience in journalism working primarily for Al Jazeera and CNN in Europe and the Middle East. She has a degree in History from London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where she specialized in the history of the Middle East and learned Arabic.