Wordle is a form of text analysis that represents the comparative frequency of words in a text by the size they appear in the Wordle.
The bigger the word, the more times it’s used, and vice versa.
For example, here is what a Wordle based on the RSS feed for this blog looks like.
This can be quite useful to journalists in two categories of ways.
First, it can be a great way to visually illustrate the theme of a speech or other important document to the readers. So, in this respect, it is a tool journalists can use to help them make sense of something for their readers – always a good thing.
And as journalism increasingly goes digital, so too does visualization aids importance increase.
But that’s not the only way it can help journalists. It can also do so by helping journalists make sense of text themselves; for you must understand something before you can try to make sense of it to another.
Using Wordle to compare, say, campaign platforms between candidates or speeches given by one president in relation to the previous one, can quickly give a journalist the gist of what is important or present them with several angles to explore in their story.
Sometimes the graphic analysis of text makes concepts or ideas that may be hidden in poor writing stand out when they might otherwise not have.
So, the implications of Wordle for journalists are many, but they all fall within the help category under either “helping the reader” or “helping the writer so that he or she can help the reader.” Either way, it’s a useful tool.
Just remember: The enemy is unchallenged information. So, don’t rely solely on Wordle to do the work of devising angles in stories for you.