Spade digging
Credit: Thinkstock

CNN and Twitter have teamed up with the social discovery platform Dataminr to create "a bespoke tool for news".

Announcing the new platform, Dataminr chief executive Ted Bailey said the aim was to "alert journalists to information that's emerging on Twitter in real time".

Dataminr for News will analyse tweets to discover patterns that reveal breaking news while the story is still in its "infancy," he added.

Journalists can receive alerts via desktop applications, pop-ups, email and mobile notifications.

Lila King, CNN's senior director for social news, told that the digital news team in the company's Atlanta HQ have already been using Dataminr for News to find emerging information on a variety of stories.

We have put a lot of energy into mastering the art of social sourcing in the last yearLila King, CNN
"At CNN, we have put a lot of energy into mastering the art of social sourcing in the last year," said King.

"And the reality is, there just aren't a lot of terrific off-the-shelf tools for mining social signals for potential news. We've tried and tested loads of them and find that they're ok but not great."

Most platforms seem to be originally built for a different purpose, such as analytics tools for marketing teams, and are "shoehorned into news," King said.

She added that when Twitter introduced CNN to Dataminr, the outlet saw an opportunity to create "a bespoke tool for news".

CNN is currently covering roughly two stories a day that started as tips from Dataminr, with recent examples including the shooting at the Columbia Mall in Maryland, the arrest of Justin Bieber, and several instances of clashes in Egypt.

One of the ways Dataminr for News has helped the CNN newsroom to be more efficient, King said, is that it had given them an advantage in terms of speed.

"An early head start on a story is not only about the bragging rights of a scoop, it can also mean early access to the best images and eyewitnesses, and the digital traffic that comes from being ahead of an eventual trend," she said.

"We've also found it very effective in quickly tracking the original source of a photo or video, and in quickly knocking down stories that don't deserve our time and attention."

Dataminer for News will be available to journalists later this year, although the exact release date and cost are yet to be announced.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).