Media monitoring service
A media monitoring service provides clients with documentation, analysis, or copies of media content of interest to the clients. Services tend to specialize by media type or content type. For example, some services monitor news and public affairs content while others monitor advertising, sports sponsorships, product placement, video or audio news releases, use of copyrighted video or audio, infomercials, "watermarked" video/audio, and even billboards.
Such services hold, or have held, various names - changing over time as new forms of media are created. Alternative names for such services include:
Press/media cutting agency/service
Press/media clipping agency/service
In the past, the mass media consisted almost solely of printed matter, so monitoring the press was the chief activity of such agencies. But with radio, television and the Internet now providing output of interest to their clients the services have expanded their activities.
Typically, a client (either an individual or an organization - such as a charity or corporation) approaches a media monitoring service to keep track of what is being said about them, their competitors, or other topics of interest.
An author has a book published and has a strong interest in tracking how well the book is received by critics. The media monitoring service will have a method by which they extract any information about the author and their book from newly printed magazines, radio programs, television programs and so on.
The author will receive a printed bundle of clippings, i.e., the bits of the magazines and newspapers relating to them and their book. They may also receive recordings of any radio reviews, television programs and so on, in which they are featured.
In the past the services relied on employing people to read through printed matter and physically cut out relevant articles. With the vast amount of publications on offer now some services use scanning equipment with optical character recognition to automate this task to some degree.
Television news monitoring companies, especially in the United States, capture and index closed captioning text and search it for client references. Some TV monitoring companies still employ human monitors who review and abstract program content.
Online media monitoring services utilize automated software called spiders or robots (bots) to automatically monitor the content of online news sources including newspapers, magazines, trade journals, TV station and news syndication services.
The International Association of Broadcast Monitoring (IABM) is a world-wide trade association made up of news retrieval services which record, monitor and archive broadcast news sources including television, radio and internet. It acts as a "clearinghouse" or "forum" for discussion on topics of collective concerns and acts as a united voice for the news monitoring industry. Members of IABM subscribe to a code of ethics for broadcast news monitors.
FIBEP (Federation Internationale des Bureaux d’Extraits de Presse/International Federation of the Press Clipping Services) is the most important professional organization in the media monitoring field. The organization was established in 1953 in Paris, and, at present, has 92 members from 43 countries all over the world. Every 18 months, the members of FIBEP members organize a three-day FIBEP-Congress. In work groups, workshops, reports and discussion circles, members discuss the latest trends in the market.
Some people can argue that Google News provides a media monitoring service by allowing queries on the number of times a keyword has been mentioned in thousands of publications, based on the publications' websites. However, specialized services will very often provide a much more reliable service based on trusted publications and human reading.
Starting in 2005 companies like Global News Intelligence began using Java based artifical intelligence to automate the process of coding clipped content for tone and sentiment. This emerging technology is often referred to as media meta analysis. Key technological differentation to clip/cut only services is instant visualization media tone and sentiment without requiring the user to review content.
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