Wordle is an interesting tool for journalists to use to analyze the key words in a lengthy speech or document.
Looking at Obama’s three State of the Union messages would have been a time consuming project requiring lots of analyzing, but Wordle whips up an analysis in just a couple seconds.
Obama’s first message stressed the economy, having a plan, American, banks, time, money and people. Just by looking at those few words you can get the idea that, at the time, there was a lot of confidence in turning around the economy and having a positive outlook that everything would change soon.
The second message still included the economy, but it more so included solid solution-words like jobs, businesses and energy.
The third message still stressed jobs, but has a resigned feel with words like education, years, new, America and work.
These vocabulary changes reflect the changing views of Americans through the years. The words seem to address Americans’ feelings and what they talk about needing.
Because the speeches seem to reflect the overall sentiment of the nation at each time, Wordle can be used to interpret issues being addressed to a large audience. When someone gives a speech, it’s often in response to something that is happening. Whether its the opening of something new or a State of the Union message, the speaker will still touch on key words that will resonate with the audience in that community, or nation, at that time.
Journalists can use the trends highlighted by Wordle to write stories targeting the key words.