The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
Advertisement
The Aggies react after clinching the national championship after Texas A&M’s win against Georgia at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship Game in Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies ace it, Bulldogs face it
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 20, 2024

The No. 13 Texas A&M women's tennis team took on No. 7 Georgia and served up a score of 4-1 to clinch its newest title: NCAA Champions.  The...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Instant Analysis

Multimedia+monitoring
Graphic by Frederica Shih
Multimedia monitoring

The ability to read or watch news in any language is realized in some ways through a partnership with A&M’s Communication Department and the Pentagon. 

Communication professor Randy Kluver was approached by the Pentagon in 2008 about a media translating software used by the Department of Defense. The goal was to pilot their program as a language learning tool at a few universities, but the schools like West Point and the Naval Academy initially turned down the pitch. 

Texas A&M was the first, and so far only, university to gain access to The Media Monitoring System, an automated software that analyzes real-time news broadcasts and social media posts and translates them to English.

The system transcribes foreign news TV broadcasts and web posts and displays an English translation next to the foreign language text after a few-second delay. This capacity has become an important resource in global media analysis, allowing researchers to study the way people communicate all over the world.

The collected media is archived for at least one year. The database contains the first mention of the protests in Tunisia that started the Arab Spring and the 2011 uprisings in Cairo that were reported as riots in Western media, but were correctly reported by Al Jazeera as attacks, Kluver said. Currently, researchers are analyzing Middle Eastern media to gain information about the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.  

“We’re engaged in an ongoing study of ISIS,” Kluver said. “We’re looking primarily at how Arabic-speaking Twitter users respond to ISIS.”

Kluver said MMS is used for education, instruction and research for both the Pentagon and in academics.

“We, myself and some graduate students, have been working to develop academic research papers using this tool,” Kluver said. “Just really helping people better understand global media.”

Programs of this kind could lessen the need for translators, as the current system can translate Arabic, Chinese and Russian broadcasts as well as Farsi and Korean websites, Kluver said. Although the translations aren’t perfect, the software receives a significant upgrade every year and the technology continues to improve. Kluver said universities like Harvard and West Point are now eager to work with the Department of Communication on projects that involve this system and are partnering with A&M to do global media research.

“One of the issues in media research is that most of it is U.S. based. A lot of people aren’t looking at trends in other countries and doing real analysis of that data,” said Jacquelyn Manly, graduate researcher. “So it’s exciting in that sense. It’s also challenging because there’s not really an established precedent — it hasn’t been done.”

The system is often used by researchers in the Department of Communication, as well as Arabic language instructors, the Corps of Cadets and classes in the Bush School. Kluver’s international communication class uses the system for projects where they analyze media in other countries.

“The MMS is an incredible piece of technology,” said Hannah Conrad, a telecommunication senior in Kluver’s class. “The ability to track and translate online media information is a tool that is both frightening and enlightening.”

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Multimedia monitoring

    Photo by Alexis Will
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *