By scanning news articles, press releases or blog posts, which can be submitted to the program by inserting the URL or pasting the entire article, the technology can then pick out people or organisations and identify the financial or political links between them.
Discussing the impact of this technology, Megan Taylor writes on PoynterOnline that it is a simple yet powerful tool for the news industry.
Anyone can use this, but it could be especially powerful in the hands of hands of journalists, bloggers, and others reporting or analyzing the news. It would take hours to look these things up by hand, and many people don’t know how to find or use the information.
Journalists could paste in their copy to do a quick check for connections they might have missed. Bloggers could run Poligraft on a series of political stories to reveal the web of contributions leading to a bill. All this information is public record, but it’s never easy to dig through. What is possible when investigative journalism is made just a little bit easier?
See a video below from the Sunshine Foundation posted on Youtube explaining how the technology works: