Hal Roberts, Rahul Bhargava, Linas Valiukas, Dennis Jen, Momin M. Malik, Cindy Bishop, Emily Ndulue, Aashka Dave, Justin Clark, Bruce Etling, Rob Faris, Anushka Shah, Jasmin Rubinovitz, Alexis Hope, Catherine D'Ignazio, Fernando Bermejo, Yochai Benkler & Ethan Zuckerman, Media Cloud: Massive Open Source Collection of Global News on the Open Web, 15 Proc. Int'l AAAI Conf. on Web & Soc. Media 1034 (2021).
Abstract: We present the first full description of Media Cloud, an open source platform based on crawling hyperlink structure in operation for over 10 years, that for many uses will be the best way to collect data for studying the media ecosystem on the open web. We document the key choices behind what data Media Cloud collects and stores, how it processes and organizes these data, and open API access as well as user-facing tools. We also highlight the strengths and limitations of the Media Cloud collection strategy compared to relevant alternatives. We give an overview two sample datasets generated using Media Cloud and discuss how researchers can use the platform to create their own datasets.