Media Content Analysis Lab

The ODISSEI Media Content Analysis Lab will offer systematic analysis of large corpora of digital media content. The Media Content Analysis Lab seeks to tackle the major challenge of digital text analysis whereby copyright and GDPR restrictions make it very hard to share media content data by providing a workbench for researchers where they can share data and analyses with strict rights management, without the need to read or export the data themselves. Currently, several Dutch initiatives exist that facilitate retrieval, storage, and analysis of media content (i.e. the infrastructure for content analysis [INCA] at the University of Amsterdam (Trilling et al., 2018), and the Amsterdam Content Analysis Toolkit [AMCaT] at VU Amsterdam (Van Atteveldt et al., 2014). Their use, however, requires considerable programming skills and is currently tailored to a limited set of applications. Through the Media Content Analysis Lab, the large amount of longitudinal media content data (i.e. online news data; social media data) currently available within ASCoR at University of Amsterdam will be made available to researchers at ODISSEI member organisations. It will also be possible to deposit new data, or to use specific tools on data stored elsewhere. First, an initial set of pre-existing tools will be identified – ranging from scrapers to collect content from specific sources, to the extraction of meta information to scripts to conduct topic modelling, sentiment analysis, various forms of machine learning, deep learning (for a concise overview see Boumans & Trilling, 2018). Next, suitable existing textual corpora will be added to the database. An interface will be developed that offers researchers the opportunity to register as users, and to apply existing tools on existing datasets. Moreover, the opportunity to apply the content analytical tools on one’s own datasets will be added. Researchers from different social science disciplines will be actively invited and encouraged to do so and will receive technical support when needed.

Project team Media Content Analysis Lab: Rens Vliegenthart (University of Amsterdam – Task leader).

Questions regarding Media Content Analysis Lab? Contact Tom Emery (ODISSEI Coordination Team).