News Genres. Advancing Media History by Transparant Automatic Genre Classification
Marcel Broersma (University of Groningen
This project studies how genres in newspapers and television news can be detected automatically using machine learning in a transparent manner. This enables us to capture the often hypothesized but, due to the highly time-consuming nature of manual content analysis, largely understudied shift from opinion-based to fact-centred reporting. Moreover, we open the black box of machine learning by comparing, predicting and visualizing the effects of applying various algorithms on heterogeneous data with varying quality and genre features that shift over time. This enables scholars to do large-scale analyses of (historic) texts and other media types as well as critically evaluate the methodological effects of various machine learning approaches.
This project brings together expertise of journalism history scholars (University of Groningen), specialists in data modelling, integration and analysis (CWI), digital collection experts (National Library & Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision) and e-science engineers (eScience Centre). It uses a big manually annotated dataset (VIDI-project PI) to develop a transparent and reproducible approach to train an automatic classifier. Building upon this, the project generates three outcomes:
- A study that revises our current understanding of the interrelated development of genre conventions in print and television journalism based upon large-scale automated content analysis via machine learning;
- Metrics and guidelines for evaluating the bias and error of the different pre-processing and machine learning approaches and of-the-shelf software packages;
- A dashboard that integrates, compares and visualises different algorithms and underlying machine learning approaches which can be integrated in the CLARIAH media suite.