When journalists ask their audience for help, success creates a whole new problem: what do you do with thousands of tips?
Or what do you do with thousands of textual descriptions of … anything … potholes, disciplinary actions at prisons, aircraft safety incidents? There are too many to really read.
And any time you feel “there are too many to really read,” that’s when you should consider getting help from machine learning.
I built a machine-learning classifier for tips about hate crimes – and wrote up the process so that other journalists could follow it for whatever kinds of tips their newsroom receives.