Somewhat Unknown Monitoring Tools for Journalists

Samvel Martirosyan

Media researcher

Monitoring is an important process for journalists and professionals, and there are several simple tools to facilitate this process online.

Of course, the best option is when a media outlet or organization permits itself to avail of the services of programmers, who can create the needed tools (here you can see the tech solutions employed by the Meduza.io newsroom [RU]).

But even in the absence of such luxuries, there are numerous opportunities to use the tools already available for free.

Google, which pursues us every day, has several tools that are often ignored. The simplest of these are the additional tools offered by Google Search that allow to filter search results by time: to choose specific dates or see content posted online in the past hour (see image below).

But this solution doesn’t always work well in Armenian, since users can’t separate the news sites from the others, and often information trash doesn’t allow to properly process the flows of information.

For this purpose, Google offers a special tool called Google Custom Search Engine, which allows you to customize the search engine to search only those websites you specify. You can create your own tool in just a few minutes.

The other option is to make use of Twitter lists. Here you can create thematic lists of users and read them separately. This, for example, is a list of users related to Armenia created by Reported.ly, with the purpose of monitoring events happening in Armenia. 

The  lists are convenient in that they can be grouped and read separately, apart from the general Twitter feed. This tool allows you to monitor the news media separately, since mainly having a presence here are news outlets, on one hand, and the activists and expert community on social media, on the other hand.

Since the lists are public and, for the most part, open, you can use those that already exist. For example, lists related to Armenia can be found here.

You can also use the tool Google Alerts. Though lately there have been delays in sending notifications on search results of keywords, which is a serious problem for monitoring.

Facebook, in turn, recently updated its search function, which allows searching posts with keywords. But Facebook doesn’t specify how completely it presents the search results, which likewise is not useful for monitoring.

Samvel Martirosyan

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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