Knight Lab recognized for election coverage

Cat Zakrzewski, Assistant Campus Editor

The Northwestern Knight News Innovation Lab was recognized for its innovational election coverage by the Online News Association and PBS MediaShift Idea Lab.

The Online News Association recognized the lab for Congressional Primaries 2012, which a University news release said is an application that created comprehensive profiles of the candidates by tracking public information like campaign finance and social media use.

PBS MediaShift Idea Lab’s “Our Picks for the Most Innovative Election Coverage” recognized the Knight Lab’s algorithm, called Tweetcast, according to a McCormick news release. The Twitter-based algorithm can determine what presidential candidate a person voted for based on their tweets.

Users enter their Twitter username into the algorithm, and it then predicts who they voted for by analyzing their tweets.

“Our technology examines the words, hashtags, websites, and usernames in a user’s tweets to predict future voting behavior,” the TweetCast website explains.