I once again continued working with news headlines this week. However this time I think I have a more robust collection of headlines. I found a news api that lets me pull in over 550+ headlines from 60 different news sources. The code I wrote basically gets the list of sources from the API and then uses that list to request 10 headlines from each source. These headlines are then saved in a list together and then if any of them contain numbers (in either written or numerical form) they are sorted into another list based on the numbers they use. E.g “Five people discover volcano” would be assigned to a list within the 5th slot of another list. I then got the real time and date and tried to have the program print the date and time using these headlines. Here are some results:
Alan Shearer Names The Two Strikers Who Can Break His Premier League Goal Record | SPORTbible: This startup wants to send electric planes from London to Paris within 10 years
March 23, 2:39:
The best laptop deals in March 2017: cheap laptops for every budget, twenty-third,
Less than half of women breastfeed after two months, survey finds: thirty-nine
March 23, 3:01:
Obituary: Martin McGuinness died on March 21st, twenty-third
Germany 1-0 England: Three Lions stars rated and slated: Germany 1 England 0: Lukas Podolski bows out with signature thunderbolt to light up final match
Police officer, three others killed in Wisconsin shooting: reports: Less than half of women breastfeed after two months, survey finds
South Korean ferry in which hundreds died raised after three years: Police Officer, 3 Others Killed in a Shooting in Wisconsin
Anti-terror police arrest three in Birmingham after Westminster attack: U.K. Parliament Attacker Leaves Four Dead, Including Police Officer
Germany 1-0 England: Three Lions stars rated and slated: Terror Attack Near British Parliament Leaves 5 Dead
[More updates coming]
The last two I found particularly interesting because the headlines refer to the same event with different numbers. In this case it seems like the number of fatalities increased and the second was an updated headline. This is essentially what I was interested in by making a time based form that deals with news. I wanted to create something that relays time in terms of world events. This update underscores both how prevalent this event was in the news of that time but also the nature of the event itself. The juxtaposition of the two headlines about the London attacks with different death tolls actually makes the event seem realer, to me at least. As if that extra person passed away while you were reading about it.
The program also just writes the value of time if it can’t find. I thought this would create the effect of having “unburdened” numbers – or numbers that haven’t been implicated in any major news that day. Refreshing this list over and over shows how certain numbers become widely reported based on the days events while others don’t. I still haven’t nailed this news thing down to where I want it exactly (I think part of the problem is that it takes to long to read through a 24 hour clock) but I think this is the closest I’ve gotten so far in terms of making something interesting.