A Look at News Trends from the COVID-19 Crisis
Soon after sharing our free datasets for analyzing the coronavirus (COVID-19) with the public, we were excited to discover an organization that was leveraging our datasets to fuel their data analysis. MeaningCloud, a leader in text analytics, collected the news articles Webz.io recently provided from major Spanish online media publications from both the open and dark web. The goal was to discover insightful news trends from the COVID-19 crisis. The company successfully categorized 61,156 news articles as related to COVID-19, dividing them into 78 separate categories. This was over a time period of March 3, 2020, to April 13, 2020 – a total of 42 days.
Using their customized model for text categorization, their top-level analysis revealed that a large majority of articles fit into one of three categories: other, health (changes in the number of people affected with COVID-19) and politics (quarantine and health).
Drilling down a bit further, however, discovered more interesting news trends from the COVID-19 crisis. In the graph below, we see that articles about the rise in unemployment (Economía>Desempleo) increased significantly during this time period, with a peak on April 2nd. (The good news is that at the present time the number of articles on the subject is decreasing).
Another frequent news subject: mask shortages (Salud>Aprovisionamiento>Mascarillas), which has recently increased – possibly due to reports of fewer coronavirus deaths and new infections and the talk of gradually lifting coronavirus restrictions. And finally, news articles about donations increased from March 23rd to 30th, decreasing in the following weeks.
In our western democratic society, the media plays a key role in reporting the facts to the public. In times of crisis, this role is even more critical, as it can strongly influence public sentiment and even future public policy. Today’s enormous number of news, discussions, blogs, and reviews related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis offers a historical opportunity to gain insights and offer critical analysis into how society, governments, and the public are responding to the pandemic.
That’s why here at Webz, we take our role of delivering you data seriously. We want to do our part in making sure these future government policies and public sentiment are fueled by the most relevant, high-quality, structured data in near real-time.