Richard Rogers: Lippmannian Device

Session 1: Data Production, Usage and Integration

Showing the partisanship or issue commitment of an actor. Tool is named after Walter Lippmann. In “A Test of the News” he argues that publics don’t exist, but publics need to be created through tools, eg by being polled. He proposed a series of tools, one of which we tried to address in The Lippmannian Device tool.

First use scenario: Querying sources for actors (built on top of Google). The output are source clouds. Example project: Climate Change Sceptics. Sceptic friendly sources and watchdogs. Which sources mention which individual names?

Second use scenario: An organization’s issue agenda (or commitment). The output are issue clouds. Example project 1: NGO, Public Knowledge. 2:¬†Greenpeace issues taken from their website. What is Greenpeace’s issue agenda?

Third use scenario: multiple sources, multiple issues. what is the agenda of a human rights organizations? Take three good lists of human rights organizations (global south, global north, UN). Triangulate lists. Scraped all websites for all their issues. Top box: all URLs of the websites, bottom: all issues. The tool is actually batch querying Google.
Bottom of the tagcloud, which issues a neglected by the human rights organizations?

Italian journalists who were doing critical reporting used the tool. Impression: the same experts on tv, no matter what the issue is. Use the tool to verify that indeed actors are affliliating with multiple issues. 

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