Media archives is an almost completely unutilized source of information. Old stories are piled up with little or no structure which makes them difficult to make use of.
This was the (most certainly relevant) starting point for the WAN-IFRA Media Hackday in Berlin, 5-6 October. We, Team Journalism++ United consisting of Pierre Romerra (Paris), Erik Willems (Amsterdam), Yordi Dam (Amsterdam), Nicolas Kayser-Bril (Berlin) and Jens Finnäs (Stockholm), chose to take on the challenge from a journalistic angle. How can we increase the value of the utility of the archives for reporters and editors?
Journalists have a bad memory. We tend to forget to follow up the stories we write. Was the building of the new school finished according to schedule? Were the financial goals met? Were the promises made about the future fulfilled?
We named our hack Broken Promises. Using Guardians content API (the paper was kind enough to offer full access during the hackathon) we scraped thousands of old stories for future references. The articles were stored in a database and on top of this database we built a dashboard that would give a quick overview of all the past stories that mention this day, month and year.