Media Cloud

Case Studies

Media Cloud in Action


Case Studies

Issues Covered Heavily During the 2016 US Election

Monitoring a Topic

Key Question: How were topical priorities set by media sources? 

Key Takeaways: The right wing media ecosystem altered the broader media agenda: 

  • Immigration is the key topic around which Trump and Breitbart found common cause; just as Trump made this a focal point for his campaign, Breitbart devoted disproportionate attention to the topic and was widely shared on social media
  • Mainstream media, though critical, focused on immigration as well
  • Though framing of immigration differed, media organizations and activists can use this information to critically reflect on how agendas were set, and develop strategic plans for covering future elections

Contraceptives Coverage in Different Media Ecosystems

Designing Messages

Key Question: How do Nigerian media talk about contraceptives?

Key Takeaways: Framing differs depending on the source of information: 

  • Traditional newspapers focus on the conflict between religious authorities advocating traditional contraceptive methods such as abstinence, and public health approaches of using condoms or IUDs
  • Online, youth-oriented sources focused on celebrities and pop culture supporting the use of modern contraceptives
  • Health organizations and non-profits working in Nigeria can use these insights to find partners, design campaigns and build advocacy efforts

Disseminating Public Health Information in News Media

Identifying Influencers & Bridge Figures

Key Question: Who were key information authorities for coverage of the Ebola epidemic, and did that impact the global health response?

Key Takeaways: There is an important relationship between health communicators, online publics and social media when organizing global health responses: 

  • Significant public engagement and sharing was directed towards stories about domestic (U.S.) Ebola infections rather than West Africa
  • Scientific information was infrequently shared by digital publics
  • Because international health authorities were not frequently linked to by mainstream media and in social media conversations, they were largely unsuccessful in directing the narrative about the Ebola outbreak
  • This information can be used by intergovernmental organizations to better understand how networked global publics impact the dissemination of of health communications 

Re-Entry Post-Incarceration Documentary

Evaluating Interventions

Key Question: Has this documentary, and accompanying public outreach, changed coverage of re-entry after incarceration in digital media conversations?

Key Takeaways: This pilot study is still in the study design and data collection phase. In order to analyze both local and national coverage of this documentary, we have developed the following:

  • A Connecticut-specific source collection (the regional focus of this documentary) to assess localized coverage of topics related to incarceration, including issues involving prison-affected populations, recidivism, and re-entry
  • A film-critic specific collection, to understand how critics have discussed the documentary itself as well as related content regarding the issues that this documentary covers
  • These collections will be used to evaluate pre and post-coverage of related topics before and after the documentary’s release, assessing the overall impact of the project on media conversations