Revisionista

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006 at 11:58 am

The latest News Sniffer project went live on Sunday: Revisionista. It tracks changes in corporate news articles and marks the differences. So you can choose a BBC news article and see how it’s changed since it was first created. Most changes are on breaking new articles which get updated as more information becomes available, but some changes are rather telling of policy.

Currently only the BBC is monitored, but it’s pretty easy for me to add support for any site with an RSS feed (which I’ll be doing soon). Suggestions of what sites to monitor?

Some examples:

Many Palestinians feel Mr Blair has ignored their suffering changed to
Mr Blair met with the families of captured Israeli soldiers.
http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/918/diff/12/13

On Cuba, the following quote disappears: In the US, many investors are hoping for a share in the spoils of any future development
http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/874/diff/0/1

Ismail Haniya’s negative quotes regarding Blair disappear.http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/890/diff/2/3

US sanctions responsible for Iran plane crash? Of course not!
http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/114/diff/7/8

Accusations of US torture become claims of “clandestine CIA activity”.
http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/661/diff/0/1

Iran may well claim its nuclear programme has the sole goal of generating civilian power, but the BBC would rather you forget that.
http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/552/diff/2/3

I wonder what the threshold is that turns “a small number of protestors” into “Thousands”
http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/462/diff/0/1

Negative quotes about the government disappear.
http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/383/diff/8/9

6 Responses to “Revisionista”

  1. Cassandra says:

    If you added the NY Times, there are a whole lot of people who would want to bear your love children.

  2. Anna says:

    CNN? But how could you tell what the original ever was without revisions… and revisions on revisions on revisions…

  3. Ahmed says:

    Kudos for putting your time and effort into this! Hope this goes to some good effect.
    It is quite obvious to see BBC manipulating its headlines -and its contents- to meet the expectations of where its people are reading from.
    And BBC’s ‘Have your Say’ is the biggest joke that has come along the pike in a long time.
    I have tried wasting my time there a few times. None of my comments ever got published, perhaps because my favorite is to touch the spots which no one else likes to, or dares to. To one of my sendings to ‘Have your Say’, I actually received an e-mail response saying my comments could not be published because they were ‘hateful’ and ‘inflammatory’. And what I had said was that in the Cricket Test match incident between Pakistan and Umpire Darrel Hair, it appeared there was collusion between the English team and the two umpires. Ball tampering would be called whenever England began to lose and it happened only in the Fourth test. My views came from some news reports which said that there had been backroom meetings between the umpires and the England Manager. So what was ‘hateful’ and ‘inflammatory’ about my view.
    BBC should change the name to ‘Have your censored say’.
    The other biggest censor in the world is Google. Google’s searches show you only the site listings which Google wants to see. You got it. Only those which are displaying Google Ads. Not sure how your site can monitor this mammoth censor. And if anyone cares.
    But thanks for the opportunity to vent..

  4. paulyt says:

    Could you possibly montior news.com.au? Website for the publisher of various newspapers in Australia)

    RSS Link http://feeds.news.com.au/public/rss/2.0/news_national_breaking_news_39.xml

  5. Thomas says:

    Re: Ahmed on Google:

    Point of order: my site has no ads of any kind, and it shows up in Google(.co.uk) just fine (it’s not that high up in the results, but it’s there). Same goes for lots of other sites – try keywords like “bbc”, “xmplay”, “yahoo”. I can guarantee that the top result for each of those will have no Google ads on it.

    Do note that Google can only index sites that it knows about, either by linking to from an already-indexed site or by submitting the url manually.

  6. Could you check articles on alcohol? Many articles are influenced by the alcohol industry or the indiviual behaviour regarding alcohol of the journalists and editors. At least in Switzerland.

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