For today’s journalists, it can be an arduous task to track a multitude of developing stories on social media and other data sources. Sorting through a seemingly endless stream of information from multiple datasets – can be one of the hardest aspects of reporting. Journalists must continually monitor 500 million daily Tweets, blogs, information sensors and many more sources. And the typical newsgathering cycle can be time-consuming and prone to missing key leads that contribute to good reporting.
So how can journalists be first to a story when they simply don’t have the bandwidth to cover so much ground across so many datasets? And just as important, how do they distinguish between what’s a relevant and potentially compelling story, and what may just be noise?
That’s where AI-powered technology is changing life in the newsroom. Real-time alerting automatically surfaces breaking events that are relevant to each journalist’s purview and preference, removing the labor-intensive task of sorting through multiple online sources and cultivating information to develop a story. Then once a story does break, journalists can continually track developments in real time, ensuring they don’t miss key story updates, even when they don’t have their eyes glued to their Twitter feed.
Real-time alerting technology is also a vital tool for working on TweetDeck, which many reporters use every day to uncover stories. Massive amounts of Tweets pass through daily, and it can be easy (even with TweetDeck keeping tabs on relevant stories) for a journalist to become distracted by noise, or simply become overwhelmed with the volume of data coming in from so many distinct sources. AI technology can detect and distill every Tweet and related developments across other datasets to find digital patterns of emerging events. AI algorithms automatically flesh out the important details, sources, locations, and topics, including eyewitness accounts on the ground in places that might not have even been on a journalist’s radar.
Journalists are leveraging a wide range of public platforms to surface and track breaking events. Information sensors are a great way to track weather, traffic and other events. And even the dark web offers a glimpse of potentially important stories and information that might otherwise be hard to surface.
Today’s journalists can’t do it all alone. Modern newsroom technologies are designed to do the heavy lifting and alleviate the burden of information overload. Tech tools like these give the gift of time back to a busy journalist, giving them more time to dedicate to investigating story details, staying on top of important breaking developments, and putting a winning, contextual touch on their storytelling. It’s a great way to stay at the forefront of the competitive reporting race.