Media Cloud

List of Themes

List of Themes

Media Cloud automatically classifies stories as pertaining to theme(s) from our master list of 600 themes. 

We run all our English stories through a set of trained models to detect what theme(s) they focus on. To build these models, we took the approach of transfer learning - starting with the Google News word2vec models and then adapting them to produce based on the New York Times annotated corpus. We score each story against the most common 600 descriptors from the NYT corpus. Any descriptors that score above 0.2 probability are listed as theme(s) for the story.  For more technical details about the development of this classifier, please see Yasmin Rubniovitz's MS thesis (section 4.3).

Below is the list of 600 themes, in alphabetical order.  You can also download a CSV of these to use in automated queries.

A - E

abortion

academy awards (oscars)

accidents and safety

account changes

accounting and accountants

acquired immune deficiency syndrome

acquired immune deficiency syndrome (aids)

advertising

advertising and marketing

affirmative action

age, chronological

aged

agriculture

air pollution

airlines and airplanes

airports

alcohol abuse

alcoholic beverages

anatomy and physiology

animals

anthrax

anti-semitism

antiques

antitrust actions and laws

apparel

appointments and executive changes

arbitration, conciliation and mediation

archaeology and anthropology

architecture

area planning and renewal

armament, defense and military forces

arms control and limitation and disarmament

arms sales abroad

arson

art

art shows

assassinations and attempted assassinations

assaults

asylum (political)

athletics and sports

atomic energy

atomic weapons

attacks on police

attorneys general

auctions

automobile insurance and liability

automobile racing

automobiles

awards, decorations and honors

babies

bakeries and baked products

bankruptcies

banks and banking

bars

baseball

basketball

beaches

beer

beverages

bicycles and bicycling

biographical information

biological and chemical warfare

biology and biochemistry

birds

birth control and family planning

blackouts and brownouts (electrical)

blacks

blacks (in us)

blood

boards of directors

boats and boating

bombs and bomb plots

bombs and explosives

book reviews

book trade

books and literature

boxing

boycotts

brain

breast

bribery

bridge (card game)

bridges and tunnels

brokers and brokerage firms

budgets and budgeting

building (construction)

buildings (structures)

buses

cable television

cancer

capital punishment

casinos

cellular telephones

censorship

chemicals

chemistry

chess

child abuse

child abuse and neglect

child care

child custody and support

children and youth

christians and christianity

christmas

church-state relations

city councils

civil war and guerrilla warfare

classical music

coaches and managers

cocaine and crack cocaine

collectors and collections

college athletics

colleges and universities

comedy and humor

commuting

company and organization profiles

company earnings

company reports

computer and video games

computer chips

computer security

computer software

computers and information systems

computers and the internet

concerts and recitals

condominiums

constitutional amendments

constitutions

consumer behavior

consumer protection

contests and prizes

contracts

conventions and conferences

conventions, national (us)

cooking and cookbooks

cooperatives

copyrights

corporations

correction stories

coups d'etat and attempted coups d'etat

courts

credit

credit and money cards

crime and criminals

cruises

culture

currency

customs (tariff)

dairy products

dancing

data processing (computers)

death and dying

deaths

deaths (obituaries)

debating

decisions and verdicts

defense contracts

delays (transportation)

demonstrations and riots

deportation

design

diet and nutrition

disclosure of information

discount selling

discrimination

diseases and conditions

divorce, separations and annulments

dna (deoxyribonucleic acid)

doctors

documentary films and programs

dogs

domestic violence

dow jones stock average

draft and recruitment (sports)

drought

drug abuse and traffic

drug addiction and abuse

drug traffic

drugs (pharmaceuticals)

drunken and reckless driving

earthquakes

economic conditions and trends

editorials

education and schools

election issues

election results

elections

electric light and power

electronic mail

electronics

embargoes and economic sanctions

embezzlement

endangered and extinct species

energy and power

english language

entertainment and amusements

environment

equal educational opportunities

espionage

ethics

executives and management

exercise

explosions

extradition

 

 

 

F - O

factories and industrial plants

families and family life

farmers

fast food industry

federal aid (us)

federal taxes (us)

ferries

festivals

figure skating

finances

fines (penalties)

firearms

fires and firefighters

fires and firemen

fish and other marine life

fishing, commercial

fishing, sport

floods

flowers and plants

food

food contamination and poisoning

football

forecasts

foreign aid

foreign investments

foreign service

forests and forestry

foster care

frauds and swindling

free agents (sports)

freedom and human rights

freedom of speech and expression

freedom of the press

fruit

furniture

futures and options trading

futures trading

gambling

games

gardens and gardening

gas (fuel)

genetic engineering

genetics and heredity

geographic profiles

geography

gifts

global warming

golf

government bonds

government employees

governors (us)

grain

guards

gun control

handicapped

hazardous and toxic substances

health insurance

health insurance and managed care

health, personal

heart

hijacking

hiring and promotion

hispanic-americans

historic buildings and sites

history

hockey, ice

holidays and special occasions

home furnishings

home repairs

home repairs and improvements

homeless persons

homosexuality

horse racing

hospitals

hostages

hotels and motels

housing

hunting and trapping

hurricane katrina

hurricanes and tropical storms

ice skating

identification devices

illegal aliens

immigration and emigration

immigration and refugees

impeachment

income

income tax

independence movements

indians, american

industry profiles

insects

insurance

intelligence

interest rates

interior design

international relations

international trade and world market

internet and world wide web

interscholastic athletics

inventions and patents

islam

jazz

jewels and jewelry

jews

judges

jury system

key rates (nyt column)

kidnapping

kurds

labeling and labels

labor

land use policies

language and languages

law and legislation

layoffs (labor)

layoffs and job reductions

legal profession

legislatures and parliaments

leisure

liability for products

libraries and librarians

life styles

light

livestock

lobbying and lobbyists

local government

magazines

marathon running

marijuana

marketing and merchandising

marriages

mathematics

mayors

meat

media

medicaid

medicare

medicine and health

men

mental health and disorders

mergers, acquisitions and divestitures

metals and minerals

military action

military aircraft

military bases and installations

military personnel

mines and mining

minorities (ethnic, racial, religious)

minorities (us)

missiles

missiles and missile defense systems

missing persons

monuments and memorials

mortgages

motion pictures

murders and attempted murders

museums

music

mutual funds

names, organizational

nasdaq composite index

navies

nazi policies toward jews and minorities

ncaa basketball tournament

new models, design and products

new year

news and news media

newspapers

nightclubs and cabarets

noise

nursing and nurses

nytravel

office buildings

office buildings and commercial properties

oil (petroleum) and gasoline

olympic games

opera

organized crime

organized labor

P - Z

palestinians

parades

parking

parks and other recreation areas

parties (social)

pensions and retirement plans

pentagon building

perjury

persian gulf war

personal computers

personal finances

philanthropy

photography

physics

pilots

playoff games

poetry and poets

police

police brutality and misconduct

political advertising

political prisoners

politics and government

population

pornography and obscenity

postal service

pregnancy and obstetrics

presidential election of 1988

presidential election of 1992

presidential election of 1996

presidential election of 2000

presidential election of 2004

presidential election of 2008

presidential elections (us)

presidents and presidency (us)

prices

prices (fares, fees and rates)

priests

primaries

prisoners of war

prisons and prisoners

privacy

privatization

probation and parole

production

property taxes

prostitution

public opinion

quotation of the day

race

racial relations

racketeering and racketeers

radiation

radio

railroads

rain

ratings and rating systems

reading and writing skills

real estate

recalls and bans of products

recession and depression

recipes

recording equipment

recordings (audio)

recordings (video)

records and achievements

recycling of waste materials

referendums

reform and reorganization

refugees and expatriates

regulation and deregulation of industry

religion and churches

relocation of business

renting and leasing

reproduction (biological)

rescues

research

restaurants

restoration and rehabilitation

retail stores and trade

retirement

reviews

roads and traffic

robberies and thefts

rock music

royal family

running

sales

satellites

savings

savings and loan associations

scholarships and fellowships

science and technology

search and seizure

securities and commodities violations

security and warning systems

sentences (criminal)

serial murders

sex

sex crimes

sexual harassment

ships and shipping

shoes and boots

shootings

shopping centers

shortages

shows (exhibits)

shutdowns (institutional)

skiing

small business

smoking and tobacco

smuggling

snow and snowstorms

soccer

social conditions and trends

social security (us)

soft drinks

software products

space

space shuttle

spanish language

special sections

speech

sports of the times (times column)

stadiums and arenas

standards and standardization

states (us)

stations and terminals (passenger)

steel and iron

steroids

stock prices and trading volume

stocks (corporate)

stocks and bonds

strikes

suburbs

subways

suicides and suicide attempts

suits and claims against government

suits and litigation

summer games (olympics)

summit conferences

super bowl

supermarkets

surgery and surgeons

surveys and series

suspensions, dismissals and resignations

swimming

tax credits

tax evasion

taxation

taxicabs and taxicab drivers

teachers and school employees

telephones and telecommunications

television

tennis

terms not available

terrorism

tests and testing

textiles

theater

third world and developing countries

threats and threatening messages

torture

toys

track and field

trade shows and fairs

trades (sports)

transit systems

transplants

transportation

travel and vacations

treaties

trees and shrubs

trials

trucks and trucking

tuition

unemployment

unemployment and job market

united states armament and defense

united states economy

united states foreign service

united states international relations

united states open (tennis)

united states politics and government

urban areas

utility vehicles and other light trucks

vaccination and immunization

veterans

vetoes (us)

vice presidents and vice presidency (us)

vietnam war

violence

viruses

volunteers

wages and salaries

war and revolution

war crimes and criminals

war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity

waste materials and disposal

water

water pollution

weather

weddings and engagements

weight

welfare (us)

whitewater case

wines

wiretapping and other eavesdropping devices and methods

women

world cup (soccer)

world series

world trade center (nyc)

world war ii (1939-45)

writing and writers

zoning