According to a new report in Bloomberg Law, the Department of Homeland Security put out an interesting request for contract work recently. Specifically, the department wants to hire someone, or some group, to monitor journalists and media organizations in the United States and around the world. Why? In order to compile a databases of said journalists and organizations, as well as bloggers and so-called “media influencers.” Among other things, Homeland Security wants to create and maintain such a database so that it may assess the individual and group “sentiment” of those it catalogs.
Per an official statement, “DHS wants to track more than 290,000 global news sources, including online, print, broadcast, cable, and radio, as well as trade and industry publications, local, national and international outlets, and social media.” What’s more, they want “to track media coverage in more than 100 languages including Arabic, Chinese, and Russian”:
“Services shall provide media comparison tools, design and rebranding tools, communication tools, and the ability to identify top media influencers,” according to the statement. DHS agencies have “a critical need to incorporate these functions into their programs in order to better reach federal, state, local, tribal, and private partners,” it said.