Feed the news machine and watch it twist your words

Colors magazine’s News Machine takes your tweets and puts them through the modern media mangle. Built to launch issue #86, Making the News, potential news generators can see it in action at the International Journalism Festival in Italy

Colors magazine’s News Machine takes your tweets and puts them through the modern media mangle. Built to launch issue #86, Making the News, potential news generators can see it in action at the International Journalism Festival in Italy…

The News Machine has been constructed to simulate the contemporary 24-hour news cycle. Simply tweet a ‘headline’ to @colorsmachine and the text will be transmitted through various filters and regurgitated as a piece of printed ‘news’.

The machine itself is made up of several components. Firstly, a megaphone reads out the tweet, a tape recorder then converts the sound into text, it’s displayed on a television, which is then filmed, and the video is turned into a radio signal, which broadcasts the tweet – a microphone then interprets the radio message as text again and, finally, it’s printed out.

All is explained in this film (shown below) which demonstrates the journey of the tweeted headline, highlighting the way that facts can too often go astray in the midst of relentless reporting.

*UPDATE: I tweeted the headline of this piece to the News Machine and received a fairly laconic, if honest, tweet back. Apparently, this is what the machine printed out (below). As with some of the best news stories, it’s so often all about the timing…

As the magazine mischievously states on its Vimeo page, “tweet a headline to @colorsmachine and see what happens; after Italian news hoaxer Tommaso De Benedetti tweeted the (fake) death of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2012, crude oil prices rose by US $1.17 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.”

Colors’ News Machine will be in action at The International Journalism Festival which is on from today until April 28 at various venues in Perugia, Italy. More details at journalismfestival.com. Colors #86, Making the News, is out now. More at colorsmagazine.com.

 

The April print issue of CR presents the work of three young animators and animation teams to watch. Plus, we go in search of illustrator John Hanna, test out the claims of a new app to have uncovered the secrets of viral ad success and see how visual communications can both help keep us safe and help us recover in hospital

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