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News agency to pilot Twitter ‘trendspotter’

The Press Association is to trial an ‘early warning system’ for breaking news designed to spot trends on Twitter.

RTreporter – which stands for Real Time Reporter – gives an overview of what is being talked about on Twitter at one one time.

PA has now begun a three month pilot to use the product in its newsrooms.

After the Dutch ANP, which has been using RTreporter since the beginning of 2014, PA is onlythe second news agency to adopt this technology.

RTreporter, originally developed in Holland, works by using algorithms and semantic analysis to scan, filter and arrange Tweets and visualize them in a dashboard.

Tony Watson, Managing Director of PA, said: “We believe that tools like RTreporter can give news agencies an edge in finding news first. This technology can also help us raise awareness in the newsroom that social media is an important source of news”.

Bert Kok, one of the founders of RTreporter, said: “We are working closely with news agencies like PA and ANP on the further development of the dashboard.

“We strongly feel that newsrooms need automation to help them in the news gathering process and cope with the ever growing number of news sources. With RTreporter we can help them with that”.