GoodNewsEveryone: A Corpus of News Headlines Annotated with Emotions, Semantic Roles, and Reader Perception

GoodNewsEveryone: A Corpus of News Headlines Annotated with Emotions, Semantic Roles, and Reader Perception


Most research on emotion analysis from text focuses on the task of emotion classification or emotion intensity regression. Fewer works address emotions as structured phenomena, which can be explained by the lack of relevant datasets and methods. We fill this gap by releasing a dataset of English news headlines annotated via crowdsourcing with their dominant emotions, emotion experiencers and textual cues, emotion causes and targets, as well as the reader’s perception and emotion of the headline. We propose a multiphase annotation procedure which leads to high quality annotations on such a task via crowdsourcing. Finally, we develop a baseline for the task of automatic prediction of structures and discuss results. The corpus we release enables further research on emotion classification, emotion intensity prediction, emotion cause detection, and supports further qualitative studies.


Laura Bostan, Evgeny Kim, Roman Klinger \addressInstitut für Maschinelle Sprachverarbeitung, Universität Stuttgart
Pfaffenwaldring 5b, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
{laura.bostan,, roman.klinger}


1 Introduction

Research in emotion analysis from text focuses on mapping words, sentences, or documents to emotion categories based on the models of \newciteEkman1992 or \newcitePlutchik2001, which propose the emotion classes of joy, sadness, anger, fear, trust, disgust, anticipation and surprise. Emotion analysis has been applied to a variety of tasks including large scale social media mining [\citenameStieglitz and Dang-Xuan2013], literature analysis [\citenameReagan et al.2016, \citenameKim and Klinger2019], lyrics and music analysis [\citenameMihalcea and Strapparava2012, \citenameDodds and Danforth2010], and the analysis of the development of emotions over time [\citenameHellrich et al.2019].

There are at least two types of questions which cannot yet be answered by these emotion analysis systems. Firstly, such systems do not often explicitly model the perspective of understanding the written discourse (reader, writer, or the text’s point of view). For example, the headline “Djokovic happy to carry on cruising” [\citenameHerman2019] contains an explicit mention of joy carried by the word “happy”. However, it may evoke different emotions in a reader (e. g., the reader is a supporter of Roger Federer), and the same applies to the author of the headline. To the best of our knowledge, only one work takes this point into consideration [\citenameBuechel and Hahn2017c]. Secondly, the structure that can be associated with the emotion description in text is not uncovered. Questions like: “Who feels a particular emotion?” or “What causes that emotion?” still remain unaddressed. There has been almost no work in this direction, with only few exceptions in English [\citenameKim and Klinger2018, \citenameMohammad et al.2014] and Mandarin [\citenameXu et al.2019, \citenameDing et al.2019].

With this work, we argue that emotion analysis would benefit from a more fine-grained analysis that considers the full structure of an emotion, similar to the research in aspect-based sentiment analysis [\citenameWang et al.2016, \citenameMa et al.2018, \citenameXue and Li2018, \citenameSun et al.2019].

Figure 1: Example of an annotated headline from our dataset. Each color represents an annotator.

Consider the headline: “A couple infuriated officials by landing their helicopter in the middle of a nature reserve” [\citenameKenton2019] depicted on Figure 1. One could mark “officials” as the experiencer, “a couple” as the target, and “landing their helicopter in the middle of a nature reserve” as the cause of anger. Now let us imagine that the headline starts with “A cheerful couple” instead of “A couple”. A simple approach to emotion detection based on cue words will capture that this sentence contains descriptions of anger (“infuriated”) and joy (“cheerful”). It would, however, fail in attributing correct roles to the couple and the officials, thus, the distinction between their emotion experiences would remain hidden from us.

In this study, we focus on an annotation task with the goal of developing a dataset that would enable addressing the issues raised above. Specifically, we introduce the corpus GoodNewsEveryone, a novel dataset of news English headlines collected from 82 different sources analyzed in the Media Bias Chart [\citenameOtero2018] annotated for emotion class, emotion intensity, semantic roles (experiencer, cause, target, cue), and reader perspective. We use semantic roles, since identifying who feels what and why is essentially a semantic role labeling task [\citenameGildea and Jurafsky2002]. The roles we consider are a subset of those defined for the semantic frame for “Emotion” in FrameNet [\citenameBaker et al.1998].

We focus on news headlines due to their brevity and density of contained information. Headlines often appeal to a reader’s emotions, and hence are a potential good source for emotion analysis. In addition, news headlines are easy-to-obtain data across many languages, void of data privacy issues associated with social media and microblogging.

Our contributions are: (1) we design a two phase annotation procedure for emotion structures via crowdsourcing, (2) present the first resource of news headlines annotated for emotions, cues, intensity, experiencers, causes, targets, and reader emotion, and, (3), provide results of a baseline model to predict such roles in a sequence labeling setting. We provide our annotations at

2 Related Work

Our annotation is built upon different tasks and inspired by different existing resources, therefore it combines approaches from each of those. In what follows, we look at related work on each task and specify how it relates to our new corpus.

2.1 Emotion Classification

Emotion classification deals with mapping words, sentences, or documents to a set of emotions following psychological models such as those proposed by \newciteEkman1992 (anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise) or \newcitePlutchik2001; or continuous values of valence, arousal and dominance [\citenameRussell1980].

One way to create annotated datasets is via expert annotation [\citenameAman and Szpakowicz2007, \citenameStrapparava and Mihalcea2007, \citenameGhazi et al.2015, \citenameSchuff et al.2017, \citenameBuechel and Hahn2017c]. The creators of the ISEAR dataset make use of self-reporting instead, where subjects are asked to describe situations associated with a specific emotion [\citenameScherer and Wallbott1994]. Crowdsourcing is another popular way to acquire human judgments [\citenameMohammad2012, \citenameMohammad et al.2014, \citenameMohammad et al.2014, \citenameAbdul-Mageed and Ungar2017, \citenameMohammad et al.2018]. Another recent dataset for emotion recognition reproduces the ISEAR dataset in a crowdsourcing setting for both English and German [\citenameTroiano et al.2019]. Lastly, social network platforms play a central role in data acquisition with distant supervision, because they provide a cheap way to obtain large amounts of noisy data [\citenameMohammad2012, \citenameMohammad et al.2014, \citenameMohammad and Kiritchenko2015, \citenameLiu et al.2017]. Table 1 shows an overview of resources. More details could be found in \newciteBostan2018.

Dataset Emotion Annotation






Size Source
Emotion & Intensity Classification ISEAR Ekman + {shame, guilt} 7,665 \newciteScherer1997
Tales Ekman 15,302 \newciteOvesdotter2005
AffectiveText Ekman + {valence} 1,250 \newciteStrapparava2007
TEC Ekman + {surprise} 21,051 \newciteMohammad2015a
fb-valence-arousal VA 2,895 \newcitePreotiuc2016
EmoBank VAD 10,548 \newciteBuechel2017a
DailyDialogs Ekman 13,118 \newciteLi2017
Grounded-Emotions Joy & Sadness 2,585 \newciteLiu2017b
SSEC Plutchik 4,868 \newciteSchuff2017
EmoInt Ekman {disgust, surprise} 7,097 \newciteMohammad2017
Multigenre Plutchik 17,321 \newciteTafreshi2018
The Affect in Tweets Others 11,288 \newciteTweetEmo
EmoContext Joy, Sadness, Anger & Others 30,159 \newciteChatterjee2019
MELD Ekman + Neutral 13,000 \newcitePoria2019
enISEAR Ekman + {shame, guilt} 1,001 \newciteTroiano2019
Roles Blogs Ekman + {mixed, noemo} 5,025 \newciteAman2007
Emotion-Stimulus Ekman + {shame} 2,414 \newciteGhazi2015
EmoTweet 28 emo categories 15,553 \newciteYan2016emocues
Electoral-Tweets Plutchik 4,058 \newciteMohammad2014
REMAN Plutchik + {other} 1,720 \newciteKim2018
GoodNewsEveryone extended Plutchik 5,000 Bostan et. al (2020)
Table 1: Related resources for emotion analysis in English.

2.2 Emotion Intensity

In emotion intensity prediction, the term intensity refers to the degree an emotion is experienced. For this task, there are only a few datasets available. To our knowledge, the first dataset annotated for emotion intensity is by \newciteAman2007, who ask experts for ratings, followed by the datasets released for the EmoInt shared tasks [\citenameMohammad and Bravo-Marquez2017, \citenameMohammad et al.2018], both annotated via crowdsourcing through the best-worst scaling. The annotation task can also be formalized as a classification task, similarly to the emotion classification task, where the goal would be to map some textual input to a class from a set of predefined classes of emotion intensity categories. This approach is used by \newciteAman2007, where they annotate high, moderate, and low.

2.3 Cue or Trigger Words

The task of finding a function that segments a textual input and finds the span indicating an emotion category is less researched. Cue or trigger words detection could also be formulated as an emotion classification task for which the set of classes to be predicted is extended to cover other emotion categories with cues. First work that annotated cues was done manually by one expert and three annotators on the domain of blog posts [\citenameAman and Szpakowicz2007]. \newciteMohammad2014 annotates the cues of emotions in a corpus of electoral tweets from US via crowdsourcing. Similar in annotation procedure, \newciteYan2016emocues curate a corpus of 15,553 tweets and annotate it with 28 emotion categories, valence, arousal, and cues.

To the best of our knowledge, there is only one work [\citenameKim and Klinger2018] that leverages the annotations for cues and considers the task of emotion detection where the exact spans that represent the cues need to be predicted.

2.4 Emotion Cause Detection

Detecting the cause of an expressed emotion in text received relatively little attention, compared to emotion detection. There are only few works on English that focus on creating resources to tackle this task [\citenameGhazi et al.2015, \citenameMohammad et al.2014, \citenameKim and Klinger2018, \citenameGao et al.2015]. The task can be formulated in different ways. One is to define a closed set of potential causes after annotation. Then, cause detection is a classification task [\citenameMohammad et al.2014]. Another setting is to find the cause in the text. This is formulated as segmentation or clause classification [\citenameGhazi et al.2015, \citenameKim and Klinger2018]. Finding the cause of an emotion is widely researched on Mandarin in both resource creation and methods. Early works build on rule-based systems [\citenameLee2010, \citenameLee et al.2010, \citenameChen et al.2010] which examine correlations between emotions and cause events in terms of linguistic cues. The works that follow up focus on both methods and corpus construction, showing large improvements over the early works [\citenameLi and Xu2014, \citenameGui et al.2014, \citenameGao et al.2015, \citenameGui et al.2016, \citenameGui et al.2017, \citenameXu et al.2017, \citenameCheng et al.2017, \citenameChen et al.2018, \citenameDing et al.2019]. The most recent work on cause extraction is being done on Mandarin and formulates the task jointly with emotion detection [\citenameXu et al.2019, \citenameXia and Ding2019, \citenameXia et al.2019]. With the exception of \newciteMohammad2014 who is annotating via crowdsourcing, all other datasets are manually labeled, usually by using the W3C Emotion Markup Language1.

2.5 Semantic Role Labeling of Emotions

Semantic role labeling in the context of emotion analysis deals with extracting who feels (experiencer) which emotion (cue, class), towards whom the emotion is expressed (target), and what is the event that caused the emotion (stimulus). The relations are defined akin to FrameNet’s Emotion frame [\citenameBaker et al.1998].

There are two works that work on annotation of semantic roles in the context of emotion. Firstly, \newciteMohammad2014 annotate a dataset of tweets via crowdsourcing. The tweets were published before the U.S. presidential elections in 2012. The semantic roles considered are the experiencer, the stimulus, and the target. However, in the case of tweets, the experiencer is mostly the author of the tweet. Secondly, \newciteKim2018 annotate and release REMAN (Relational EMotion ANnotation), a corpus of paragraphs based on Project Gutenberg. REMAN was manually annotated for spans which correspond to emotion cues and entities/events in the roles of experiencers, targets, and causes of the emotion. They also provide baseline results for the automatic prediction of these structures and show that their models benefit from joint modeling of emotions with its roles in all subtasks. Our work follows in motivation \newciteKim2018 and in procedure \newciteMohammad2014.

2.6 Reader vs. Writer vs. Text Perspective

Studying the impact of different annotation perspectives is another little explored area. There are few exceptions in sentiment analysis which investigate the relation between sentiment of a blog post and the sentiment of their comments [\citenameTang and Chen2012] or model the emotion of a news reader jointly with the emotion of a comment writer [\citenameLiu et al.2013].

Fewer works exist in the context of emotion analysis. \newcite5286061 deal with writer’s and reader’s emotions on online blogs and find that positive reader emotions tend to be linked to positive writer emotions. \newciteBuechel2017b and \newcitebuechel-hahn-2017-emobank look into the effects of different perspectives on annotation quality and find that the reader perspective yields better inter-annotator agreement values.

3 Data Collection & Annotation

We gather the data in three steps: (1) collecting the news and the reactions they elicit in social media, (2) filtering the resulting set to retain relevant items, and (3) sampling the final selection using various metrics.

The headlines are then annotated via crowdsourcing in two phases by three annotators in the first phase and by five annotators in the second phase. As a last step, the annotations are adjudicated to form the gold standard. We describe each step in detail below.

3.1 Collecting Headlines

The first step consists of retrieving news headlines from the news publishers. We further retrieve content related to a news item from social media: tweets mentioning the headlines together with replies and Reddit posts that link to the headlines. We use this additional information for subsampling described later.

We manually select all news sources available as RSS feeds (82 out of 124) from the Media Bias Chart [\citenameOtero2019], a project that analyzes reliability (from original fact reporting to containing inaccurate/fabricated information) and political bias (from most extreme left to most extreme right) of U.S. news sources.

Our news crawler retrieved daily headlines from the feeds, together with the attached metadata (title, link, and summary of the news article) from March 2019 until October 2019. Every day, after the news collection finished, Twitter was queried for 50 valid tweets for each headline2. In addition to that, for each collected tweet, we collect all valid replies and counts of being favorited, retweeted and replied to in the first 24 hours after its publication.

The last step in the pipeline is aquiring the top (“hot”) submissions in the /r/news3, /r/worldnews4 subreddits, and their metadata, including the number of up and downvotes, upvote ratio, number of comments, and comments themselves.

3.2 Filtering & Postprocessing

We remove any headlines that have less than 6 tokens (e. g., “Small or nothing”, “But Her Emails”, “Red for Higher Ed”), as well as those starting with certain phrases, such as “Ep.”,“Watch Live:”, “Playlist:”, “Guide to”, and “Ten Things”. We also filter-out headlines that contain a date (e. g., “Headlines for March 15, 2019”) and words from the headlines which refer to visual content, like “video”, “photo”, “image”, “graphic”, “watch”, etc.

3.3 Sampling Headlines

We stratify the remaining headlines by source (150 headlines from each source) and subsample equally according to the following strategies: 1) randomly select headlines, 2) select headlines with high count of emotion terms, 3) select headlines that contain named entities, and 4) select the headlines with high impact on social media. Table 2 shows how many headlines are selected by each sampling method in relation to the most dominant emotion (see Section 3.4.1).







Anger 257 350 377 150 144 1278
Annoyance 94 752 228 2 42 1118
Disgust 125 98 89 31 50 392
Fear 255 251 255 100 149 1010
Guilt 218 221 188 51 83 761
Joy 122 104 95 70 68 459
Love 6 51 20 0 4 81
Pessimism 29 79 67 20 58 253
Neg. Surprise 351 352 412 216 367 1698
Optimism 38 196 114 36 47 431
Pos. Surprise 179 332 276 103 83 973
Pride 17 111 42 12 17 199
Sadness 186 251 281 203 158 1079
Shame 112 154 140 44 114 564
Trust 32 97 42 2 6 179
Total 3399 2626 1040 1390 10470
Table 2: Sampling methods counts per adjudicated emotion.
Question Type Variable Codes
Phase 1 1. Which emotion is most dominant in the given headline? closed, single Emotion Emotions + None
2. Do you think the headline would stir up an emotion in readers? closed, single Emotion Yes, No
Phase 2 1. Which emotion is most dominant in the given headline? closed, single Emotion Emotions
2. How intensely is the emotion expressed? closed, single Intensity Low, Med., High
3. Which words helped you in identifying the emotion? open Cue String
4. Is the experiencer of the emotion mentioned? close Experiencer Yes, No
5. Who is the experiencer of the emotion? open Experiencer String
6. Who or what is the emotion directed at? open Target String
7. Select the words that explain what happened        that caused the expressed emotion. open Cause String
8. Which other emotions are expressed in the given headline? closed, multiple Other Emotions Emotions
9. Which emotion(s) did you feel while reading this headline? closed, multiple Reader Emotions Emotions
Table 3: Questionnaires for the two annotation phases. Emotions are Anger, Annoyance, Disgust, Fear, Guilt, Joy, Love, Pessimism, Neg. Surprise, Optimism, Negative Surprise, Optimism, Positive Surprise, Pride, Sadness, Shame, and Trust.

Random Sampling. The goal of the first sampling method is to collect a random sample of headlines that is representative and not biased towards any source or content type. Note that the sample produced using this strategy might not be as rich with emotional content as the other samples.

Sampling via NRC. For the second sampling strategy we hypothesize that headlines containing emotionally charged words are also likely to contain the structures we aim to annotate. This strategy selects headlines whose words are in the NRC dictionary [\citenameMohammad and Turney2013].

Sampling Entities. We further hypothesize that headlines that mention named entities may also contain experiencers or targets of emotions, and therefore, they are likely to present a complete emotion structure. This sampling method yields headlines that contain at least one entity name, according to the recognition from spaCy that is trained on OntoNotes 5 and on Wikipedia corpus.5 We consider organization names, persons, nationalities, religious, political groups, buildings, countries, and other locations.

Sampling based on Reddit & Twitter. The last sampling strategy involves our Twitter and Reddit metadata. This enables us to select and sample headlines based on their impact on social media (under the assumption that this correlates with emotion connotation of the headline). This strategy chooses them equally from the most favorited tweets, most retweeted headlines on Twitter, most replied to tweets on Twitter, as well as most upvoted and most commented on posts on Reddit.

3.4 Annotation Procedure

Using these sampling and filtering methods, we select headlines. Next, we set up two questionnaires (see Table 3) for the two annotation phases that we describe below. We use Figure Eight6.

Phase 1: Selecting Emotional Headlines

The first questionnaire is meant to determine the dominant emotion of a headline, if that exists, and whether the headline triggers an emotion in a reader. We hypothesize that these two questions help us to retain only relevant headlines for the next, more expensive, annotation phase.

During this phase, headlines were annotated by three annotators. The first question of the first phase (P1Q1) is: “Which emotion is most dominant in the given headline?” and annotators are provided a closed list of 15 emotion categories to which the category No emotion was added. The second question (P1Q2) aims to answer whether a given headline would stir up an emotion in most readers and the annotators are provided with only two possible answers (yes or no, see Table 3 and Figure 1 for details).

Our set of 15 emotion categories is an extended set over Plutchik’s emotion classes and comprises anger, annoyance, disgust, fear, guilt, joy, love, pessimism, negative surprise, optimism, positive surprise, pride, sadness, shame, and trust. Such a diverse set of emotion labels is meant to provide a more fine-grained analysis and equip the annotators with a wider range of answer choices.

Phase 2: Emotion and Role Annotation

The annotations collected during the first phase are automatically ranked and the ranking is used to decide which headlines are further annotated in the second phase. Ranking consists of sorting by agreement on P1Q1, considering P1Q2 in the case of ties.

The top ranked headlines are annotated by five annotators for emotion class, intensity, reader emotion, and other emotions in case there is not only a dominant emotion. Along with these closed annotation tasks, the annotators are asked to answer several open questions, namely (1) who is the experiencer of the emotion (if mentioned), (2) what event triggered the annotated emotion (if mentioned), (3) if the emotion had a target, and (4) who or what is the target. The annotators are free to select multiple instances related to the dominant emotion by copy-paste into the answer field. For more details on the exact questions and example of answers, see Table 3. Figure 1 shows a depiction of the procedure.

Rule Cue Exp. Cause Target Example
1. Majority
2. Most common subsequence 163 70 {, }; {, , }; {, , } {, }
3. Longest common subsequ. 349 74 170 419 {, , }; {, , , }; {, } {, , }
4. Noun Chunks 0 11 0 0
5. Manual 611 25 38 110
Table 4: Heuristics used in adjudicating gold corpus in the order of application on the questions of the type open and their counts. refers to the the word with the index i in the headline, each set of words represents an annotation.

Quality Control and Results

To control the quality, we ensured that a single annotator annotates maximum headlines (this protects the annotators from reading too many news headlines and from dominating the annotations). Secondly, we let only annotators who geographically reside in the U.S. contribute to the task.

We test the annotators on a set of test questions for the first phase (about % of the data) and for the second phase. Annotators were required to pass %. The questions were generated based on hand-picked non-ambiguous real headlines through swapping out relevant words from the headline in order to obtain a different annotation, for instance, for “Djokovic happy to carry on cruising”, we would swap “Djokovic” with a different entity, the cue “happy” to a different emotion expression.

Further, we exclude Phase 1 annotations that were done in less than seconds and Phase 2 annotations that were done in less than seconds.

After we collected all annotations, we found unreliable annotators for both phases in the following way: for each annotator and for each question, we compute the probability with which the annotator agrees with the response chosen by the majority. If the computed probability is more than two standard deviations away from the mean we discard all annotations done by that annotator.

On average, distinct annotators needed seconds in the first phase. We followed the guidelines of the platform regarding payment and decided to pay for each judgment $ (USD) for Phase 1 (total of $ USD). For the second phase, distinct annotators needed on average 1:17 minutes to perform one judgment. Each judgment was paid with $ USD (total $ USD).

Role Chunk Examples
Exp NP cops, David Beckham, Florida National Park, Democrats, El Salvador’s President, former Trump associate
AdjP illegal immigrant, muslim women from Sri Lanka, indian farmers, syrian woman, western media, dutch doctor
Cue NP life lessons, scandal, no plans to stop, rebellion, record, sex assault
AdjP holy guacamole!, traumatized
VP infuriates, fires, blasts, pushing, doing drugs, will shock
Cause VP escaping the dictatorship of the dollar, giving birth in the wake of a storm
Clause pensioners being forced to sell their home to pay for care
NP trump tax law, trade war, theory of change at first democratic debate, two armed men
Target AdvP lazy students
NP nebraska flood victims, immigrant detention centers, measles crisis
Table 5: Example linguistic realization of entities.

3.5 Adjudication of Annotations

In this section, we describe the adjudication process we undertook to create the gold dataset and the difficulties we faced in creating a gold set out of the collected annotations.

The first step was to discard obviously wrong annotations for open questions, such as annotations in other languages than English, or annotations of spans that were not part of the headline. In the next step, we incrementally apply a set of rules to the annotated instances in a one-or-nothing fashion. Specifically, we incrementally test each instance for a number of criteria in such a way that if at least one criteria is satisfied the instance is accepted and its adjudication is finalized. Instances that do not satisfy at least one criterium are adjudicated manually.

Relative Majority Rule. This filter is applied to all questions regardless of their type. Effectively, whenever an entire annotation is agreed upon by at least two annotators, we use all parts of this annotation as the gold annotation. Given the headline depicted in Figure 1 with the following target role annotations by different annotators: “A couple”, “None”, “A couple”, “officials”, “their helicopter”. The resulting gold annotation is “A couple” and the adjudication process for the target ends.

Most Common Subsequence Rule. This rule is only applied to open text questions. It takes the most common smallest string intersection of all annotations. In the headline above, the experiencer annotations “A couple”, “infuriated officials”, “officials”, “officials”, “infuriated officials” would lead to “officials”.

Longest Common Subsequence Rule. This rule is only applied two different intersections are the most common (previous rule), and these two intersect. We then accept the longest common subsequence. Revisiting the example for deciding on the cause role with the annotations “by landing their helicopter in the nature reserve”, “by landing their helicopter”, “landing their helicopter in the nature reserve”, “a couple infuriated officials”, “infuriated” the adjudicated gold is “landing their helicopter in the nature reserve”.

Table 4 shows through examples of how each rule works and how many instances are “solved” by each adjudication rule.

Noun Chunks For the role of experiencer, we accept only the most-common noun-chunk(s)7.

The annotations that are left after being processed by all the rules described above are being adjudicated manually by the authors of the paper. We show examples for all roles in Table 5.

4 Analysis

4.1 Inter-Annotator Agreement

We calculate the agreement on the full set of annotations from each phase for the two question types, namely open vs. closed, where the first deal with emotion classification and second with the roles cue, experiencer, cause, and target.




Reader Percep.

Dominant Emo.


Other Emotions

Reader Emotions

0.34 0.09 0.09 0.22 0.06 0.05
% 0.71 0.69 0.17 0.92 0.80 0.80
H (in bits) 0.40 0.42 1.74 0.13 0.36 0.37
Table 6: Agreement statistics on closed questions. Comparing with the questions in Table 3, Emotional/Non-Emotional uses the annotations of Phase 1 Question 1 (P1Q1). In the same way, Reader perception refers to P1Q2, Dominant Emotion is P2Q1, Intensity is linked to P2Q2, Other Emotions to P2Q8, and Reader Emotions to P2Q9.

We use Fleiss’ Kappa () to measure the inter-annotator agreement for closed questions [\citenameArtstein and Poesio2008, \citenameFleiss et al.2013]. In addition, we report the average percentage of overlaps between all pairs of annotators (%) and the mean entropy of annotations in bits. Higher agreement correlates with lower entropy. As Table 6 shows, the agreement on the question whether a headline is emotional or not obtains the highest agreement (), followed by the question on intensity (). The lowest agreement is on the question to find the most dominant emotion ().

All metrics show comparably low agreement on the closed questions, especially on the question of the most dominant emotion. This is reasonable, given that emotion annotation is an ambiguous, subjective, and difficult task. This aspect lead to the decision of not purely calculating a majority vote label but to consider the diversity in human interpretation of emotion categories and publish the annotations by all annotators.

Table 7 shows the counts of annotators agreeing on a particular emotion. We observe that Love, Pride, and Sadness show highest intersubjectivity followed closely by Fear and Joy. Anger and Annoyance show, given their similarity, lower scores. Note that the micro average of the basic emotions (+ love) is for when more than five annotators agree.


Table 8 presents the mean of pair-wise inter-annotator agreement for each role. We report average pair-wise Fleiss’ , span-based exact over the annotated spans, accuracy, proportional token overlap, and the measure of agreement on set-valued items, MASI [\citenamePassonneau2004].

We observe a fair agreement on the open annotation tasks. The highest agreement is for the role of the Experiencer, followed by Cue, Cause, and Target.

This seems to correlate with the length of the annotated spans (see Table 9). This finding is consistent with \newciteKim2018. Presumably, Experiencers are easier to annotate as they often are noun phrases whereas causes can be convoluted relative clauses.

# of annotators agreeing
Emotion 2 3 4 5
Anger 1.00 0.74 0.33 0.15
Annoyance 1.00 0.71 0.22 0.05
Disgust 1.00 0.78 0.21 0.08
Fear 1.00 0.83 0.44 0.23
Guilt 1.00 0.82 0.37 0.14
Joy 1.00 0.84 0.43 0.17
Love 1.00 0.90 0.62 0.48
Pessimism 1.00 0.76 0.24 0.07
Neg. Surprise 1.00 0.81 0.32 0.11
Optimism 1.00 0.69 0.31 0.12
Pos. Surprise 1.00 0.82 0.38 0.14
Pride 1.00 0.70 0.30 0.26
Sadness 1.00 0.86 0.50 0.24
Shame 1.00 0.63 0.24 0.13
Trust 1.00 0.43 0.05 0.05
Micro Average 1.00 0.75 0.33 0.16
Table 7: Percentage Agreement per emotion category on most dominant emotion (second phase). Each column shows the percentage of emotions for which the # of annotators agreeing is greater than 2, 3, 4, and 5
Type % Tok. MASI H
Table 8: Pairwise inter-annotator agreement (mean) for the open questions annotations. We report for each role the following scores: Fleiss’s , Accuracy, score, Proportional Token Overlap, MASI and Entropy
Dominant Emotion Anno.









Neg. Surprise


Pos. Surprise






Mean Tok.

Std. Dev Tok.

Experiencer 371 214 292 294 144 176 39 231 628 212 391 52 238 89 95 3466 1.96 1.00
Cue 454 342 371 410 175 256 62 315 873 307 569 60 383 117 120 4814 1.45 1.10
Cause 449 341 375 408 171 260 58 315 871 310 562 65 376 118 119 4798 7.21 3.81
Target 428 319 356 383 164 227 54 297 805 289 529 60 338 111 117 4477 4.67 3.56
Overall 1702 1216 1394 1495 654 919 213 1158 3177 1118 2051 237 1335 435 451 17555 3.94 3.64
Table 9: Corpus statistics for role annotations. Columns indicate how frequent the respective emotions are in relation to the annotated role and annotation length.

4.2 General Corpus Statistics

In the following, we report numbers of the adjudicated data set for simplicity of discussion. Please note that we publish all annotations by all annotators and suggest that computational models should consider the distribution of annotations instead of one adjudicated gold. The latter for be a simplification which we consider to not be appropriate.

GoodNewsEveryone contains headlines from various news sources described in the Media Bias Chart [\citenameOtero2018]. Overall, the corpus is composed of words ( characters) out of which are unique. The headline length is short with words on average. The shortest headline contains words while the longest headline contains words. The length of a headline in characters ranges from the shortest to the longest.

Table 9 presents the total number of adjudicated annotations for each role in relation to the dominant emotion. GoodNewsEveryone consists of headlines, of which have annotated dominant emotion via majority vote. The rest of headlines (up to ) ended in ties for the most dominant emotion category and were adjudicated manually. The emotion category Negative Surprise has the highest number of annotations, while Love has the lowest number of annotations. In most cases, Cues are single tokens (e. g., “infuriates”, “slams”), Cause has the largest proportion of annotations that span more than seven tokens on average (65% out of all annotations in this category),

Figure 2: Distances between emotion cues and the other relations: cause, experiencer, and target.

For the role of Experiencer, we see the lowest number of annotations (19%), which is a very different result to the one presented by \newciteKim2018, where the role Experiencer was the most annotated. We hypothesize that this is the effect of the domain we annotated; it is more likely to encounter explicit experiencers in literature (as literary characters) than in news headlines. As we can see, the cue and the cause relations dominate the dataset (27% each), followed by Target (25%) relations.

Table 9 also shows how many times each emotion triggered a certain relation. In this sense, Negative Surprise and Positive Surprise has triggered the most Experiencer, and Cause and Target relations, which due to the prevalence of the annotations for this emotion in the dataset.

Further, Figure 2, shows the distances of the different roles from the cue. The causes and targets are predominantly realized right of the cue, while the experiencer occurs more often left of the cue.

5 Baseline

As an estimate for the difficulty of the task, we provide baseline results. We formulate the task as sequence labeling of emotion cues, mentions of experiencers, targets, and causes with a bidirectional long short-term memory networks with a CRF layer (biLSTM-CRF) that uses Elmo embeddings as input and an IOB alphabet as output. The results are shown in Table 10.

Category P R
Experiencer 0.44 0.53 0.48
Cue 0.39 0.35 0.37
Cause 0.19 0.11 0.14
Target 0.10 0.08 0.09
Table 10: Results for the baseline experiments.

6 Conclusion & Future Work

We introduce GoodNewsEveryone, a corpus of headlines annotated for emotion categories, semantic roles, and reader perspective. Such a dataset enables answering instance-based questions, such as, “who is experiencing what emotion and why?” or more general questions, like “what are typical causes of joy in media?”. To annotate the headlines, we employ a two-phase procedure and use crowdsourcing. To obtain a gold dataset, we aggregate the annotations through automatic heuristics.

As the evaluation of the inter-annotator agreement and the baseline model results show, the task of annotating structures encompassing emotions with the corresponding roles is a very difficult one.

However, we also note that developing such a resource via crowdsourcing has its limitations, due to the subjective nature of emotions, it is very challenging to come up with an annotation methodology that would ensure less dissenting annotations for the domain of headlines.

We release the raw dataset, the aggregated gold dataset, the carefully designed questionnaires, and baseline models as a freely available repository (partially only after acceptance of the paper). The released dataset will be useful for social science scholars, since it contains valuable information about the interactions of emotions in news headlines, and gives interesting insights into the language of emotion expression in media. Note that this dataset is also useful since it introduces a new dataset to test on structured prediction models. We are currently investigating the dataset for understanding the interaction between media bias and annotated emotions and roles.

7 Acknowledgements

This research has been conducted within the CRETA project ( which is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and partially funded by the German Research Council (DFG), projects SEAT (Structured Multi-Domain Emotion Analysis from Text, KL 2869/1-1). We thank Enrica Troiano and Jeremy Barnes for fruitful discussions.

8 Bibliographical References


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