Thursday, March 28, 2013

Summary of Findings (Green Team): News Analysis (1 out of 5 Stars)

News Analysis
Green Team
Rating (1 out of 5 Stars)

Note: This post represents the synthesis of the thoughts, procedures and experiences of others as represented in the 8 articles read in advance (see previous posts) and the discussion among the students and instructor during the Advanced Analytic Techniques class at Mercyhurst University in March 2013 regarding News Analysis specifically. This technique was evaluated based on its overall validity, simplicity, flexibility and its ability to effectively use unstructured data.

News analysis is a poorly defined analytic technique that is often confused for a separate technique, such as sentiment analysis, content analysis, and computational linguistics all applied to news sources. News analysis is meant to analyze the qualitative and quantitative attributes of news sources, with particular focus on sentiment, context, and novelty. News analysis, or other techniques referred to as news analysis, is frequently utilized for the financial industry to predict stock movements and consumer confidence.

  • Can be applied in a relatively short amount of time
  • Can be done individually or within a group
  • Can examine multiple facets of news, including sentiment and novelty

  • Not easily defined -- ambiguous in regards to what is measured, how to conduct it, and the information it provides
  • Unable to separate human bias from news analysis
  • Frequently used as a guise for a separate technique -- sentiment analysis, content analysis, and computational linguistics
  • Often limited in use to textual news sources

  1. Determine a topic that is likely to be covered in the news.
  2. Search for relevant news articles from news sources (online, print, or other)
  3. Take into account the different biases that certain sources may contain along with personal biases from previous knowledge or personal interpretation.
  4. Note which information is important, relevant trends, and anything else noteworthy.
  5. Decide likelihood of topic and confidence interval.

Personal Application of Technique:
The class was tasked with using only online news sources to create an estimate to the question: Has the US government been training Syrian rebels?  The class had ten minutes to look at different news sources and create an answer to the question.  In addition to answering the question with an estimate, the class had to assign an analytic confidence in the assessment.  This exercise reiterated the difficulty in using this method, since it is not easily defined nor is it possible to eliminate biases or the framing through information already known.  Additionally, the issue of Circular Reporting was raised through this application and was an additional entity that should be taken into account when conducting news analysis.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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