C+J Symposium 2014

Preamble: What's BBC News Labs?

Preamble: What's BBC News Labs?

Automation in the newsroom?

Idea: Leverage news nerds' skills to make journos' lives easier.


  • The machine is excellent at executing repetitive tasks
  • Coding is a super-power allowing to handle things a human couldn't
  • The "hacks and hackers" paradigm seems to generate great results

i.e. doing magic in news

Approaching computer-assisted journalism

  • Helping journalists to talk to their audiences:
    linked data, news recommendations and personalisation
  • Helping journalists to find stories:
    monitoring new sources of informations

BBC Linked data and semantic tagging

Linked data powered elections

data powered

test du texte ici

Covering the European Elections with Linked data

Covering the European Elections with Linked data

Finding stories with data

Datastringer's architecture

BBC London example

simple algorithm

Prop results

email alerts instead of
console output


        function stringer(lat, lng, numberOfMonths, threshold, callback) {
           // get the data for each month
           // sort crimes in categories
           // for each category, calculate the average on y months, y being numberOfMonths
           // compare the last month value and the average
           // if this difference is more than x % or less than -x %,
           //trigger the alert, x being threshold


           "stringer": "local-police-stringer.js",
           "parameters": ["metropolitan", "00AGGU"]
        }, {
           "stringer": "crime-stringer.js",
           "parameters": ["51.52863195218981", "-0.12342453002929688", "6", "25"]