Presidential debate: live monitoring of the battle between candidates


In 2019, crucial presidential elections were carried out in Argentina and two different models had to be elected. Mauricio Macri was running for re-election and Alberto Fernández represented the Kichnerismo project to regain power.

The debates before election concentrated the attention of citizens as an exam before the election day and LA NACION devoted to a journalistic plan for its monitoring.


In order to carry out a differential coverage of the presidential debate, we proposed to do monitoring in real time so that our piece could be used as a second screen while the citizens followed the TV event live.

For the first time, the analysis of content and words used by the candidates was carried out simultaneously with the debate thanks to an innovative solution provided by Chequeado, a non-political and non-profit organization dedicated to verify public discourse, which worked together with LA NACION for this project.

Thus, we were able to measure the terms used, the mentions of words that we had previously defined according to the topics of each part of the debate, the references of the candidates to each other and the time taken by each one, among other variables.

The second moment was the analysis of the discursive veracity, carried out by the Chequeado experts. The development was then completed as the checks were carried out with the evaluation of the most outstanding phrases, categorized as true, false, doubtful, etc.


The strategy was to unify the potential of the name of LA NACION and its journalist team with the advice of Chequeado experts who contributed with technology and the experience in the discourse verification. We had to be very methodical in distributing the journalistic and technical work in order to move forward with the planning, which took approximately one month.

During that period, we announced in social media and through advertising on the website that this experience was going to take place in real time so that the audience would be informed about the tool accessible during the debate. Community was present during the live debate and during the post- debate moment, since the special event was accessible and updated for 24 hours.

As regards the offer of content of the debate, it was the most seen by the audience with more than 300,000 visits and repercussion in TV and radio mass media.


The application frontend was completely developed in JavaScript, using react.js as main framework. The debate contents are transcribed in real time from live videos with an open source software developed by Chequeado.

The automatic transcription, which used Google Speech to Text API as engine, was uploaded to a Google Spreadsheet and was subsequently verified by a team of journalists to correct any possible mistake.

After being digitalized, the frontend development used the Google API of Google Spreadsheet to obtain the text and do calculations for different visualizations. Given the fact that the development was reactive, as the debate advances, more text was digitalized, and calculations and displays were modified.

Estimated number of persons working on the project

There were ten people working on this project which includes LA NACION and Chequeado teams.