News Shaman aims to highlight the emotional impact and rhythmic flow of reading a collection of news stories. The tool offers a quick view of the emotional analytics of a given story or list of stories– a sort of “mood ring” for your content. This allows a publisher to gauge whether their feature series or newsletter digest is setting an emotional tone that fits their readers, and begin to iterate on the best flow for their content; is it better to open with a downer and finish with an inspiring glimmer of hope, or start irreverent and end with a sober reflection? Combined with analytics tools, News Shaman can begin to answer these questions, and help gain editorial insight into how readers are reading and reacting to stories.
This project was built by Liam Andrew, Kathryn Beaty, and Ben Hasson at The Huffington Post and Change.org Editors Lab hackathon in NYC on April 8-9, 2016. Code is available on GitHub.
The ideas behind News Shaman were developed further at the Coral Project’s Communities of Data hackathon in Washington, DC, May 2016. Using a shared dataset of Washington Post reader comments, we built tools and visualizations to analyze and predict the emotional impact of stories. Read more about the results on the Coral Project community page.