News article revision histories provide clues to narrative and factual evolution in news articles. To facilitate analysis of this evolution, we present the first publicly available dataset of news revision histories, NewsEdits. Our dataset is large-scale and multilingual; it contains 1.2 million articles with 4.6 million versions from over 22 English- and French-language newspaper sources based in three countries, spanning 15 years of coverage (2006-2021).We define article-level edit actions: Addition, Deletion, Edit and Refactor, and develop a high-accuracy extraction algorithm to identify these actions. To underscore the factual nature of many edit actions, we conduct analyses showing that added and deleted sentences are more likely to contain updating events, main content and quotes than unchanged sentences. Finally, to explore whether edit actions are predictable, we introduce three novel tasks aimed at predicting actions performed during version updates. We show that these tasks are possible for expert humans but are challenging for large NLP models. We hope this can spur research in narrative framing and help provide predictive tools for journalists chasing breaking news.
As labeling schemas evolve over time, small differences can render datasets following older schemas unusable. This prevents researchers from building on top of previous annotation work and results in the existence, in discourse learning in particular, of many small class-imbalanced datasets. In this work, we show that a multitask learning approach can combine discourse datasets from similar and diverse domains to improve discourse classification. We show an improvement of 4.9% Micro F1-score over current state-of-the-art benchmarks on the NewsDiscourse dataset, one of the largest discourse datasets recently published, due in part to label correlations across tasks, which improve performance for underrepresented classes. We also offer an extensive review of additional techniques proposed to address resource-poor problems in NLP, and show that none of these approaches can improve classification accuracy in our setting.