From Nuisance to News Sense: The NEWSSENSE Frameworkby@mediabias

From Nuisance to News Sense: The NEWSSENSE Framework

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NEWSSENSE is a novel sensemaking tool and reading interface designed to collect and integrate information from multiple news articles on a central topic.
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This paper is available on arxiv under CC 4.0 license.


(1) Jeremiah Milbauer, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA, USA (email: {jmilbaue | sherryw};

(2) Ziqi Ding, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA, USA (e-mail: {ziqiding | zhijinw}

(3) Tongshuang Wu, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA, USA.

3 The NEWSSENSE Framework

The core philosophy behind NEWSSENSE is to go beyond article aggregation by integrating the information contained within a cluster of related news articles into the reading experience.

NEWSSENSE starts with a single “focus" article and a set of related “background" articles. The distinction between focus and background article is arbitrary, as any article within the cluster could be designated the focus article. NEWSSENSE then identifies claims within the focus article that are related – either by contradiction or entailment – to claims within the background articles. The claims in the focus article are then highlighted, and linked to the background articles so that users can explore the supporting or contradicting evidence for a given claim without just relying on third-party measurements of bias or credibility.

The NEWSSENSE interface has three primary components: a Focus Article, Sentence Highlights, and External Evidence. Together, these elements display the computed connections between the focus article and the background articles.

3.1 Focus Article

The NEWSSENSE interface features a central panel that displays the focus article, including the entire news article the reader is interested in primarily. The focus article can be presented through a dedicated application, or by adding NEWSREADER as an overlay on top of the existing web browsing experience.

3.2 Sentence Highlights

The interface highlights claims made in the focus article that have supporting articles in green underlines, while claims with contradicting articles are highlighted in red underlines. By doing so, readers can quickly and easily identify areas of agreement and disagreement across different news sources.

3.3 External Evidence

When the reader hovers or clicks on a highlighted claim, an overlay panel appears, containing the supporting or contradicting claim excerpts, as well as their news sources. Links can be annotated with information about the general credibility or political slant of the referenced news venue.

For readers’ convenience, each supporting or contradicting claim is clickable and directs the reader to origin of the associated claim. This allows readers to quickly access the relevant claims without having to search through an entire article. For a standalone NEWSSENSE interface, readers will be prompted with a “back” button in the secondary articles to quickly go back to the focus article. By providing this functionality, readers can easily navigate through the focus and secondary articles and compare viewpoints, further enhancing their understanding of the news story.