Reporters' Lab demo at NICAR12

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At the 2012 Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference in St. Louis, the Reporters' Lab team presented a demonstration of their current tools for investigative and public affairs reporters.

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Reporters' Lab demo at NICAR12

  1. 1. WHO WE ARE •  Directed by Sarah Cohen, Knight Chair •  in Computational Journalism •  Based at Duke University’s Center for Media •  and Democracy at the Sanford School of Public Policy •  in Durham, N.C. •  Four components of the lab: •  Adapt existing technology for public affairs reporting •  Produce news and reviews about tools for reporting •  Contribute to interdisciplinary research to aid reporting •  Make obtaining public records easier by working with journalists and the government
  2. 2. REPORTERS’ LAB REVIEWS
  3. 3. HOW WE REVIEW The Reporters’ Lab aims to produce reviews that are consistent, independent, fair and, above all, useful for a reporter with little time or patience for technical details. We use full versions of products against a curated set of documents and tests so you can compare apples to apples and figure out what’s worth the money, how hard it will be to learn, and how long it might take. Whenever we can, we contact companies to address specific product critiques and include their responses when they’re useful to users. We don’t let companies read the reviews in full or approve or reject content.
  4. 4. HOW WE REVIEW Components of Reporters’ Lab Reviews Document Sets Tests Products Test Results Reviews Tutorials
  5. 5. REPORTERS’ LAB REVIEWS reviews.reporterslab.org
  6. 6. TIMEFLOW (ALPHA)
  7. 7. TIMEFLOW •  TimeFlow is a visual tool for reporters looking to organize and analyze historical data on long-term stories •  Developed for the lab by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg at Flowing Media •  Open source and free (code is on GitHub) •  This is an alpha release, so there are some bugs
  8. 8. TIMEFLOW reporterslab.org/timeflow/
  9. 9. THE VIDEO NOTEBOOK (PRE-ALPHA)
  10. 10. THE PROBLEM: RECORDED MEETINGS •  You’re assigned to live tweet a recorded government •  The video is two hours long, but the pieces relevant to your story take up about five minutes •  You rewatch the video, get what you need, publish the story and move on •  But what if later you want something else from that video?
  11. 11. THE SOLUTION: VIDEO NOTEBOOK 1)  Get the video file of the meeting 2)  Upload your file 3)  Add the video to the Video Notebook 4)  Import your tweets, Storify or live blog 5)  Sync them with video 6)  Watch video with notes, jump to certain spots in the video, search or add new notes 7)  Watch it later or export information to a spreadsheet
  12. 12. FUTURE ENHANCEMENTS User specific functionality •  More user control •  User page with upload information •  Privacy controls for videos and notes •  Note filtering (notes just from you or a specific source)
  13. 13. FUTURE ENHANCEMENTS Note functionality •  Analysis •  Entity extraction •  Sentiment analysis •  Timeline view •  Better imports! More sources! •  Integration with a “tweet saver” project •  Allows reporters to save tweets locally for a long time •  App would constantly scrape your Twitter timeline to archive tweets •  Then we can import tweets easier (with a hashtag, for example)
  14. 14. FUTURE ENHANCEMENTS Other enhancements •  Audio •  Currently accepts only video (MP4, YouTube) •  Hope to add audio (mp3, OGG) •  Mobile •  Get around YouTube’s flash limitation to optimize for phones and tablets
  15. 15. CONCLUSIONS •  Currently just a proof of concept right now! •  Want to help test? Have feature ideas? Let us know! •  Contact info@reporterslab.org or charlie@reporterslab.org •  Eventually, The Video Notebook will be free and open-source
  16. 16. QUESTIONS? Contact the lab •  Charlie Szymanski charlie@reporterslab.org @charlieisatwork •  Tyler Dukes tyler@reporterslab.org @mtdukes •  General questions info@reporterslab.org •  Twitter @ReportersLab •  Facebook facebook.com/reporterslab

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