Tracking influence in the media

This article by Amrita Jayakumar originally appeared in The Washington Post.


What do you get when you mix a poetry major and a development project in Africa?
An unconventional government contractor.

In 1995, Bryan Rich traveled to Africa in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, working with a group of local journalists to set up an independent radio station in Burundi, its neighboring country. The project, established by Washington nonprofit Search for Common Ground and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, placed Rich in charge of recruiting and training journalists.

While navigating the challenges of a war-torn region with a history of media-sponsored propaganda, Rich said he created a system to better understand the work of his reporters.
He made databases for each reporter’s stories, collecting information on whom they quoted and metadata on their sources, such as ethnic group, religion and gender. […]

Read the full article here.