Old media and new opportunities for a computational social science on PCST



Although with some reluctance, social sciences now seem to have accepted the challenge deriving from the growing digitisation of communication and the consequent flow of data on the web. There are actually various empirical studies that use the digital traces left by the myriads of interactions that occur through social media and e-commerce platforms, and this trend also concerns the research in the PCST field. However, the opportunity offered by the digitisation of traditional mass media communication — the newspapers in particular — is much less exploited. Building on the experience of the TIPS project, this paper discusses the advantages and the limits of computational social science on PCST using newspapers as the main source of data. Some methodological issues are also addressed, in order to suggest a more aware use of such data and the several computational tools available for analysing them.