CogMedia.|

Investigating the mind-media connection

Welcome to the Cognition and Media (CogMedia) project, where you'll find aggregation and analysis of newsfeeds from major media headlines. Our research goal is to link cognition in news consumers to large-scale trends in media. Hosted by the Communicative Mind Laboratory in the Department of Communication at UCLA. Are you an academic researcher or educator? You can get lots of data for free through our API initiative, allowing you to import straight into R.

Data science + NLP.

Use our API free of charge to learn some tricks in R.

Browse headlines.

Click here to peruse our database using our public interface.

Research approach.

Our research approach can be called "cognitive analytics." Think of how consumers read the news. It's literally mental. We are testing the hypothesis that subtle but measurable cognitive factors are useful in understanding what consumers read and share. These cognitive factors include subtle aspects such as accessibility, comprehensibility, and even bias. Subtle aspects of human mental processing could help us to understand media data, from the level of individual consumers, to more collective levels, such as the distribution of news themes, perhaps even the behavior of major newsmedia.

We are developing cognitive metrics based on newsmedia headlines, such as how simplified or complex a news story's language is, or how recognizable a recent story might be to a reader. The CogMedia project aims to bridge these cognitive metrics to broader collective patterns seen in newsmedia stories. What predicts a story's becoming viral? What explains the thematic patterns in news stories? How do cognitive variables relate to partisanship and controversy, in the manner that stories are composed and disseminated?

Working papers.

The Co-Mind Laboratory uses the CogMedia database to conduct specific research projects, linking cognitive processes to newsmedia consumption and social media metrics. We will share active research projects here through working papers. Stay tuned.

Team.

Rick Dale
PI, coder. Faculty @ UCLA, Department of Communication

Sofia Cervantes
UX consultant. BS, Cognitive & Information Sciences, UC Merced

Jason Luna
Researcher, cognition. Current undergraduate @ UCLA

Jess Yerkes
Researcher, networks. BA, Communication, UCLA

API.

CogMedia's core data is available for download in throttled buckets. In order to obtain a free API key, please email rdale@ucla.edu. The documentation for the API is on GitHub here.

https://github.com/racdale/cogmedia-api

With the API, you can summon data right inside R. The result is a data frame over which you can apply your favorite tools (tidyverse, etc.). Illustrations are on the API GitHub repository above.

Each story is based only on the RSS feed of the news item. We obey all copyright rules of the news source. However we tag news stories with a variety of information from social media metrics. Each story record includes:

  • source News organization (e.g., New York Times).
  • title Title of the story.
  • description Text associated with story description in RSS.
  • alexa An Alexa rank of the source.
  • partisanship A partisanship score, based on AllSides.com.
  • social_score An approximate rate of Twitter sharing shortly after story release.
  • story_neighbors The number of neighbors on a graph based on shared word triples, from +/- 12 hours of other stories. Basis of network representation of news media.
  • url Full URL to the story's source.

Our database contains...
444,644
news stories, since early 2019.

Past week of stories, by source...

ABC News
201
BBC
203
Boston Globe
17
Boston Herald
389
Business Insider
571
CNN
614
Daily Beast
205
Fortune
161
Fox News
251
LA Times
152
NBC News
316
New York Times
609
NPR
173
NY Post
420
Reason.com
40
Reuters
510
ScienceDaily
34
The Atlantic
90
The Economist
7
The Federalist
92
The Independent UK
585
The Nation
54
USA Today
429
Wall Street Journal
67
Washington Post
93
Washington Times
683