NSF Grant Funds New Approach to Analyzing News Data

The National Science Foundation has awarded a UCLA research team more than $944,000 to develop a framework for integrating massive amounts of data from several types of news sources. The cross-campus collaboration between the Department of Communication and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs will produce a database that analyzes text, images, video and audio from print, television and online media.  “No one has attempted to merge different sources of social and mass media data into one database,” said Assistant Professor of Communication Jungseock Joo, the principal investigator. Using cutting-edge computational methods, the team will build a system to automatically evaluate the data to identify topics, actors, events, sentiments and other large-scale patterns. The team includes UCLA Luskin’s Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, an assistant professor of public policy who has studied vast troves of social media data in his research into subnational conflict. Steinert-Threlkeld said the new tool will enable researchers, students, policymakers, politicians and ordinary citizens to learn more about how information is disseminatedThe team, which includes UCLA Communication faculty members Francis Steen and Tim Groeling, will collaborate with Stanford University’s Jennifer Pan, a specialist on social media data from China. — Mary Braswell

Jungseock Joo

Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld

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