Jonathan Stray of the Associated Press on investigating thousands (or millions) of documents by visualizing clusters, fantastic talk from the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting. Visualizations built with multidimensional scaling algorithm Glimmer.
Jonathan's background is in CS before he became a reporter and that gives him the ability to do very interesting computational reporting.
meckdevil writes on slashdot about this talk:
Associated Press developer-journalist extraordinaire Jonathan Stray gives a brilliant explanation of the use of data-mining strategies to winnow and wring journalistic sense out of massive numbers of documents, using the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs released by Wikileaks as a case in point. The concepts for focusing on certain groups of documents and ignoring others are hardly new; they underlie the algorithms used by the major Web search engines. Their use in a journalistic context is on a cutting edge, though, and it raises a fascinating quandary: By choosing the parameters under which documents will be considered similar enough to pay attention to, journalist-programmers actually choose the frame in which a story will be told. This type of data mining holds great potential for investigative revelation - and great potential for journalistic abuse.