Media Observatory Initiative


In the digital age, news consumers experience increasing difficulty in distinguishing genuine from false information and, as a result, their trust in the media is being severely undermined. This project aims to develop a web platform to explore the Swiss and global news landscape in order to better understand its structure and the dynamics at play. The platform, called NewsTeller, captures, processes and references over 1.5 million news articles per month in 4 languages with improved context. Computational methods have been developed to enrich data in several dimensions, including reaction signals extracted from social media and news channel characteristics. These characteristics are intended to help the public distinguish between the myriad of existing channels, which can vary greatly in quality and credibility. In addition, reaction of online audiences can enable journalists to identify and address controversial or polarizing issues more effectively.

Furthermore, the close partnership with Le Temps has led to the emergence of new forms of interaction between journalists and scientists, resulting in the publication of a data-supported article on the mediatization of Covid-19. Two international workshops and an interest group have also been set up on topics addressed by the project in order to develop international academic collaborations.

The scientific team received funding from IMI for a new collaborative project called “Media Laboratory“, which started in October 2020. In addition, a small extension to this project was developed between October and December 2022 as part of the “CommPass” project.

Presentation of the project results at the IMI Annual Event (24.09.2020)

Watch on YouTube

This project has been co-sponsored by OFCOM.

OFCOM logo

Keywords :
observatory, digitalization, media sustainability, news ecosystem, visualization

12 months

People involved

Principal investigator

Prof. Karl Aberer (EPFL)



Jérémie Rappaz (EPFL)

Panayiotis Smeros (EPFL)


Software engineer

Marco Romanelli (EPFL)



François Quellec (EPFL)

Manjot Singh (EPFL)


Media experts

Gaël Hürlimann (Le Temps)

Catherine Frammery (Le Temps)

Paul Ronga (Le Temps)

Academic institution

Distributed Information Systems Laboratory – LSIR (EPFL)

Media partner

Le Temps (Ringier)


This project started in October 2019 and has been completed

Related call for projects

Helping media fight misinformation and restore the public’s trust” (2018)