Hate crimes in America have historically been difficult to track since there is very little official data collected. What data does exist is incomplete and not very useful for reporters keen to learn more. This led ProPublica — with the support of the Google News Lab — to form Documenting Hate earlier this year, acollaborative reporting project that aims to create a national database for hate crimes by collecting and categorizing news stories related to hate crime attacks and abuses from across the country.
Now, with ProPublica, we are launching a new machine learning tool to help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting.
The Documenting Hate News Index — built by the Google News Lab, data visualization studio Pitch Interactive and ProPublica — takes a raw feed of Google News articles from the past six months and uses the Google Cloud Natural Language API to create a visual tool to help reporters find news happening across the country. It’s a constantly-updating snapshot of data from this year, one which is valuable as a starting point to reporting on this area of news.