This is a three-part call for: a conference, a special journal issue, and a book project “Algorithms, Automation, & News: Capabilities, cases, and consequences”. Algorithms and automation are increasingly implicated in many aspects of news production, distribution, and consumption. Meanwhile, automated journalism grows apace. These developments raise questions about the social role of journalism as a longstanding facilitator of public knowledge.
Selected papers are published in a special issue of Digital Journalism and proposed edited volume.
Possible themes include, but are not limited to, the issues outlined here:
- the hidden biases built into bots deciding what’s newsworthy
- the ‘popularism’ that tracking trends inevitably promotes
- how misplaced trust in algorithmic agency might blunt journalists’ critical faculties
- the privacy of data collected on individuals for the purposes of newsgathering and distribution
- who and what gets reported
- the ethics of authorship and accountability
- the legal issues of libel by algorithm
- the availability of opportunities for professional development, training, and education
- the continuity of fact-checking and analysis, among others
- whether we will retreat into our own private information worlds, ‘protected’ from new, challenging and stimulating viewpoints
- the algorithmically oriented spread of ‘fake news’ within such filter bubbles
- the boundaries between editorial and advertising content
- the transparency and accountability of the decisions made about what we get to read and watch.
The conference takes place in Munich, Germany on May 22–23, 2018. Deadline for abstracts is on July 15.