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Covering Politics and Politicians

Written the 13. November 2009 by Nils Mulvad

New way of following the political process and the individual politicians are emerging. We see different business models, and this will grow in the coming years. We see scraping of all kind of data from parliaments websites and politicians blogs and pages on Facebook and Twitter etc. The main thing now is to use it for journalistic stories and introduce text mining.

Five ways

We see five business models for covering politics with automatic tools.
1. Non-profit (from a media-background)
2. Ngo (activists)
3. Traditional media
4. New online media
5. Scientific project

Status

Possible to scrape parliamentary sites, but economic heavy. Business model not found yet.
Possible to scrape Facebook, blogs, Twitter, etc.
Textmining of speeches, blogs and tweets.
First steps into analysis and stories now.
Next step will be the municipality level.

Types of stories

Influence on politics (in many ways)
Connections
Voting (against partyline, government loses etc)
Analysis of speeches and questions
Economics of MP’s

Problems in stories with traditional coverage

Sourcedriven
Overwhelming
Focusing on surface, not content.

Websites on politicians

Texas Tribune. Look especially to the mission (non-profit), the layout, the structure of following every single politician with updates from twitter.
Texas Tribune.
Following one politicians.
The mission.

Votewatch.
Covering EU-Parliament. Financed as a close-to scientific project.

They work for you.

Danish site on Parliament.

Washington Post.

New York Times – Hillary Clinton schedule.

Handouts

Text mining.
Using Twitter and Facebook for journalists.
Political campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
Teaching online-journalism in Denmark.
Berlingske-project “I lægens hænder”.

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