Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003

The battle against international news clichés

Today appears to be the day to feature projects friends are involved with. I can’t resist pointing people to Evgeny Morozov’s new site, Kill the Cliché. Evgeny is a technology journalist who writes for The Economist and other international publications. He’s also one of my very favorite bloggers and a trenchant media critic.

Kill the Cliché analyses the international news stories published by half a dozen prominent newspapers and identifies terms and phrases that get overused by journalists. The selection of terms is pretty subjective, and while there’s an argument to be made that the word “amid” isn’t a cliché, it’s pretty interesting to see the frequency of terms like “insurgent” and “death toll”. The tool tracks the rise and fall of these terms, and singles out reporters like Jill Drew of the Washington Post for being especially cliché-heavy.

I’m a big fan of the site’s tagline – “More Data = Better Media”. But Evgeny, isn’t launching a site as a beta a Web2.0 cliché?

One Response to “The battle against international news clichés”

  1. Evgeny says:

    thanks for the pointer :-)

    I know I’ll take some heat for the selection of terms — I think we pulled them off from some Eng language site, without doing too much digging into their origins. but once I hear enough complaints, we’ll resort it. No way I want to sparkle linguistics debates!

    …and the “beta” sign is to give people hope that better things will come :-)

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