Link Media, which broadcasts documentaries, global news, world music, international cinema and more on its Link TV satellite channel in the U.S., is expanding its news video offerings with the launch of Link News. Link has long been a provider of international news reporting. During the recent uprisings in Egypt, it provided extensive coverage thanks to feeds from Al Jazeera English and Mosaic, its Knight-sponsored, Peabody Award-winning daily news program on the Middle East and North Africa. But with the launch of Link News, the site’s powerful new search tools will bring an even greater variety of stories from all over the web, which will be available to users worldwide for free.
With support from Knight Foundation, Link Media developed semantic search technology for its news video platform. This technology, based on Link’s ViewChange.org, analyzes the transcripts and descriptions of the videos and produces multiple topic keywords. These topics are then used to find related videos and articles from all over the web. The search also pulls up different suggestions on how viewers can engage with the news story they just watched— for example, the names of related volunteer organizations or petitions that they can sign. Results are constantly updated in real time to include new, relevant content.
The Knight Foundation grant not only enabled Link Media to modify its search technology, it also provided the opportunity to research how 16-25 year-olds used this tool, and the news consumption habits of this audience in general. The report is available here.
“We were thrilled to discover that young people are not only highly engaged by news, but they're particularly interested in the kinds of site features we were focusing on,” says Hannah Eaves, vice president of Digital and Engagement at Link Media, about the site’s real-time searches and links to related videos. “With semantic technology, we can fulfill their wish to learn more about the issues covered in the news, and can offer them media from a wide variety of sources.”
The videos and related press articles come from more than 6,500 international content sources, including the Associated Press, Euronews, Al Jazeera English and Link TV’s own original international programming. This means that viewers not only have access to international news stories; they are able to see the same story presented in different ways by multiple content providers.