It’s hard being a journalist. The volume of content and data available on the web has increased exponentially. To research a story you need to make sense of many viewpoints, check available data, and review high volumes of articles and social posts. You also have to fact check thoroughly and find ways to do this very quickly.
Last week I attended News:Rewired, a conference for journalists in London. The conference outlined some of the key challenges facing journalists for example, finding and tracking emerging stories, verifying stories, and synthesising multiple opinions on a story.
At the event I reflected on how content curation has become a key skill for journalists. It is essential to gather together information, stories, data and opinions quickly and efficiently. Below are my thoughts on tools and approaches that journalists can use for their content curation.
Today’s Trending Content
BuzzSumo’s trending dashboard allows you to track specific stories that are gaining resonance today in terms of social shares. Here are today’s trending news stories.
More importantly you can set up a specific trending dashboard using keywords and hashtags and BuzzSumo will alert you if content starts to trend on your topic. Here is an example trending dashboard on Brexit that shows today’s trending content on Brexit.
If you want to check or research data there are many useful tools that curate data. One example is Google’s Public Data Directory.
There are also many niche curations of data. For example, for any statistics on the internet or technology you can start with Statista.
Pew Research is a personal favourite of mine. This offers raw data primarily on America which you can take and analyse.
Forbes helpfully put together a useful list of over 30 public data sites.
Curation of all Articles Published Recently On a Topic
Our free version of Anders Pink will provide you with all the articles published recently about any topic. You can choose the time period for example, 3 days, 1 week, 1 month or 3 months. For example, here is a briefing on recent articles published about populism in the last week. The default will pull from all sources but you can specify a set of sources. For example here is a Brexit Briefing which curates all articles about Brexit from 12 major publications in the last month.
Verifying and fact checking content is a major challenge for journalists in a time pressured environment. CrossCheck is a useful fact checking tool.
Tineye is a useful tool for checking images by doing a reverse image search to see if an image has been previously used.
Amnesty International’s YouTube Data Viewer can also help verify videos by providing frames from a video that you can use to carry out a reverse image search.
SunCalc may also be useful for tracking sunlight on images to check accuracy. The site will calculate the angle of the sun for any location and time.
With so many bots around these days Foller is a useful tool for analysing a Twitter account and assessing their profile and if the account is a bot.
Monitoring and Curating Influencer and Expert Groups
Another common challenge is to track what a group of experts are saying or sharing. You can use Twitter lists to track tweets from set groups of people. In Anders Pink you can also track content they are sharing by creating a group of influencers or thoughtful leaders using their Twitter handles. The app will then provide you each day with the content articles shared by that group. For example, here are the latest articles shared by UK political journalists.
Tracking and Curating New Website or Blog Content
You can also create a briefing in Anders Pink that tracks new content published by specific domains. Thus if you want to track new articles from niche sites or blogs simply enter the domains and Anders Pink will list the new articles published by these domains to save you time having to visit each website. Here is an example briefing which pulls the recent articles from the Brighton Cafe Political Science Blog. You can also further filter and refine the results to just articles on a specific topic.
Resources for journalists
Finally First Draft News is a great general resource for journalists.
If you’re a journalist and want to talk to us about help with curating content, just get in touch. One of our number was a journalist, so we can empathise with the challenges…