BLEWS: Using Blogs to Provide Context for News Articles

Michael Gamon, Sumit Basu, Dmitriy Belenko, Danyel Fisher, Matthew Hurts, Arnd Christian König

An overwhelming number of news articles are available every day via the internet. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to peruse more than a handful; furthermore it is difficult to ascertain an article's social context, i.e., is it popular, what sorts of people are reading it, etc. In this paper, we develop a system to address this problem in the restricted domain of political news by harnessing implicit and explicit contextual information from the blogosphere. Specifically, we track thousands of blogs and the news articles they cite, collapsing news articles that have highly overlapping content. We then tag each article with the number of blogs citing it, the political orientation of those blogs, and the level of emotional charge expressed in the blog posts that link to the news article. We summarize and present the results to the user via a novel visualization which displays this contextual information; the user can then find the most popular articles, the articles most cited by liberals, the articles most emotionally discussed in the political blogosphere, etc.

Subjects: 1.10 Information Retrieval; 13. Natural Language Processing

Submitted: Feb 15, 2008

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