I just learned about APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). We used a tool called Insomnia to connect to an API and edit it as a class. Here is what I learned:
—-> What is an API —-> Researching an API —-> API Tools —-> API Playground
We were left to think about how as journalist we can best use APIs in our field. After some initial research by trusted sources like Nieman's Reports article What APIs Can Do for News and help from ChatGPT (Date used 2/27/23) , here is what was found:
"What APIs exist for your commonly used news and data sources?"
As a journalist and data scientist, there are a variety of APIs that exist for commonly used news and data sources. Some of the most popular APIs for news and data include:
News API: This is a popular API for accessing news articles from a variety of sources, including CNN, BBC, and Reuters. News API allows developers to search for news articles, get top headlines, and even get news based on specific topics.
Twitter API: Twitter's API allows developers to access real-time tweets, trends, and user data. This is a valuable resource for journalists looking to track breaking news stories and get insights into public opinion.
Google News API: The Google News API allows developers to access news articles from a variety of sources, including local and national news outlets. Developers can use this API to search for news articles, get top headlines, and even get news based on specific topics.
OpenWeatherMap API: This API provides developers with access to real-time and historical weather data for any location. This is useful for journalists who need to report on weather-related events and trends.
World Bank API: The World Bank API provides access to a wealth of data on global development, including economic indicators, population statistics, and social indicators. This is a valuable resource for journalists looking to report on global trends and issues.
Facebook API: The Facebook API allows developers to access data on user behavior, demographics, and interests. This can be useful for journalist
"What APIs do you wish existed?"
Some APIs that could be beneficial for journalists and data scientists:
Fact-Checking API: An API that verifies the accuracy of news articles and claims made in public statements. This API could use natural language processing techniques to check facts against reliable sources and provide a confidence score on the accuracy of the statement.
Political Campaign Finance API: An API that provides real-time access to data on political campaign financing. This API could aggregate data from different sources, including the Federal Election Commission, and provide journalists with insights into how much money is being spent by different campaigns.
Crisis Response API: An API that provides real-time updates on crisis situations, including natural disasters, civil unrest, and other emergency situations. This API could aggregate data from social media, news outlets, and other sources to provide journalists with up-to-date information on developing situations.
Media Bias API: An API that provides information on the political biases of different news outlets. This API could use natural language processing techniques to analyze the language and tone of news articles and provide a confidence score on the political bias of the outlet.
Public Health API: An API that provides real-time access to public health data, including vaccination rates, disease outbreaks, and other public health metrics. This API could aggregate data from different sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and provide journalists with insights into public health trends and issues.
API News Examples
New York Times
New York Time's API
Most Popular: "Provides services for getting the most popular articles on NYTimes.com based on emails, shares, or views."
Archive: "The Archive API returns an array of NYT articles for a given month, going back to 1851. Its response fields are the same as the Article Search API. The Archive API is very useful if you want to build your own database of NYT article metadata. You simply pass the API the year and month and it returns a JSON object with all articles for that month. The response size can be large (~20mb)."
Article Search: "Use the Article Search API to look up articles by keyword. You can refine your search using filters and facets."
The Guardian Open Platform
The Guardian's API
Workshops: OpenCorporates API for Beginners
How to use the OpenCorporates API to access company data across 140 jurisdictions as structured data for your investigations.
Quotes by expert sources:
David Weinberger: "But the first priority is getting news organizations to use APIs simply because they’re a good way to run a complex, information-driven business."
In his article, Weinberger says these are the best reasons for APIs internal use:
Summary of API value in journalism from David Weinberger
I am excited to see what's to come in the world of APIs and all we can "tap" into 💻. In the meantime, let's check what's on tap 🍻!
Nieman Reports: What APIs Can Do for News
ChatGPT (Date used 2/27/23)