CNN, Twitter release tool to help journalists find news faster

The new tool, built in conjunction with the social analytics company Dataminr, aims to discover breaking news soon after it happens.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman

Twitter and CNN have unveiled a new tool that will help journalists identify breaking news soon after it happens.

The new tool, developed in partnership among CNN, Twitter, and the social analytics company Dataminr, is designed to identify potentially breaking news as it's "emerging on Twitter in real time."

While any journalist can see news bubbling up on Twitter through their feeds, the new tool, called Dataminr for News, will analyze tweets in real time and identify potential breaking news while it's still in its early stages.

Though there's certainly the potential for false news to break through with a tool like this, Dataminr CEO Ted Bailey told TechCrunch, which reported the news ahead of the official announcement, that the system was designed to examine things like whether there is corroboration for a report. The tool is expected to be made available to all journalists later this year, though a price hasn't been announced.

For CNN's part, there's an advantage in having been involved in the creation of the tool, KC Estonson, CNN's head of digital, told TechCrunch.

"There's no such thing as permanent exclusivity," Estonson said. "There is such a thing as first mover advantage."

In its early testing of the tool, CNN was able to get a quick start on covering stories like the arrest of Justin Bieber, the crash of a US Navy helicopter, and a shooting at Purdue University, CNN's senior director of social news said.