Ioko, one of the companies behind the BBC's iPlayer, has devised an automatic news monitoring tool to speed up the release of accurate, multi-sourced stories.

The Media Monitoring ‘solution' is pitched at journalists and TV news organisations and captures data from a wide range of analogue and digital broadcast channels, plus RSS feeds, blogs and social networking sites such as Twitter.

Information is saved in a central database, which is searched using automated context-based technology that it describes as smarter than ‘keyword' searches. The searches use conceptual ‘weighting' dictionaries created by news analysts at the broadcaster. Sources are then cross-referenced and trends relevant to the user identified. The tool then pumps out a merged package of video and text-based sources covering the same story or topic.

“Traditionally TV news channels are highly dependent on traditional wires and their own news-gathering ability for information,” said Ioko vice- president of media Fearghal Kelly.

“It is possible to get summary facts quickly, but the context may be unclear or unverifiable before broadcast. This results in possible audience loss and certainly loss in perceived value. Our solution monitors broadcast channels and uses contextual matching and the net simultaneously to enrich information and increase its value.

"It enables a journalist or analyst to create a ‘concept' dictionary which describes the ideas and concepts that the analyst defines as relevant to a specific story type. So, for example, if a journalist has been searching for the words “swine flu and Mexico City” then the solution will automatically contextually find matches such as “decline in travel company share value”.

Media Monitoring can be run by the client or as a bespoke service. Exterity hardware is used for the digital satellite stream capture. Autonomy software provides the contextual matching search.

Ioko has developed specialised IPR around this video and processing solution and is currently talking to a number of broadcasters about deployment.