At the end of May, we finally had our first in-person team meeting in Damian’s garden! We enjoyed the nice weather, had good food and drinks, and heard quite some funny stories. Oh, and of course, we spent time discussing this project as a whole ;). Thank you so much Damian for hosting us!
A lit bit update on what we’ve been doing:
Monika has scraped text messages from over 170 public Dutch language Telegram chats and channels. She will use this historical data to understand the most prevalent narratives and communities that dominate the Dutch Telegram landscape across time, and to build a database of alternative news sources.
Zilin is now working on a framework for studying news on social media. And she will train models for classifying dutch news items based on multiple criteria (e.g., subjectivity, humorous elements, etc.).
Another exciting thing is that we are (secretly) planning a fun event for data collection in August! Shhh, we will announce it next month.
Stay tuned and, in the meantime, enjoy the summer!
Damian gave an invited talk at the Department of Communication and Media Research (IKMZ) at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. On 29 March, he talked (via zoom, due to corona) about “Modeling News Flows: How Feedback Loops Influence Citizens’ Beliefs and Shape Societies” not fully coincidentally also the title of the NEWSFLOWS project. He outlined the theoretical underpinnings of the project, insights from previous work, as well as the steps ahead that NEWSFLOWS is going to take.
On January 1, 2021, we officially started! NEWSFLOWS is the result of an idea I was walking around with for years – the idea that there must be a better way to describe how news spreads in the current media environment than common narratives like filter bubbles or echo chambers. Now, with the funding of an ERC Starting grant, we can finally investigate how news flows in our digital society look like with a team of multiple researchers for the coming five years. The first two PhD candidates started on February 1, 2021 – the fun can begin!
We’re glad you want to learn more about our research project.