Clwstwr is a five-year programme in south Wales — run from Cardiff — that was started to encourage the development of original screen-related projects. ‘Screen’ here means anything that touches on creative or technological industries in a broad sense. Since it was set up in early 2019, it has allocated funding and development support to 23 different projects to allow for original research and development.
Many of the projects have been underway for close to a year at this stage (a full list of the projects is here) and a few of them are of particular interest to us since they are working on news:
Artificial Intelligence in the newsroom
This project is investigating how to put the resources of the deep web at the disposal of working journalists, by using artificial intelligence. It’s run by the Cardiff team of Amplyfi, a company that uses tech for business intelligence, and the project aims to develop technology that will identify new entities that are emerging in the deep web, and especially new relationships between those entities.
Extracting court information for the press
The team behind the Caerphilly Observer are running this project, which will deal with court information (who’s appeared in court, who’s due to appear) that is often either unwieldy or downright inaccessible for journalists. The plan is to gather all this information for Magistrates Courts in Wales and make it available to journalists through a searchable database, which would greatly aid press coverage of local courts.
New ways of telling news stories
What’s the best way to tell a news story? This project is trying to answer this question by looking firstly at how people understand and response to stories in general, and then by designing new journalism techniques that will allow the press to tell stories in the most effective way possible. It’s a radical re-evaluation of a journalistic storytelling tradition that has long worked just on the basis of ‘that’s how we’ve always done it!’.
News in school
This project will design “a pilot for regular news service delivered to pupils within school hours”. The idea is that teachers can use this service to complement their teaching and that a new generation of young people will be introduced to the idea of staying informed.