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ARTICLE: Automation and the work of newsroom librarians

One of the first newsroom departments to encounter full-scale automation has been the newsroom library. Jan Lauren Boyles and Jared Meisinger, of Iowa State University, conducted in-depth interviews with 16 American newsroom librarians. They studied the automation of journalistic labor in the digital age. Of the 100 largest print publications in the United States, 46 … Continued


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ARTICLE: Data journalism producing abstract categories

The world around us is not naturally organized into categories for statistical analysis. For the purposes of data journalism, discrete, unique incidents, events, and people must be rendered as similar, so that abstract categories may be created and compared, a new study states. Wilson Lowrey and Jue Hou, of the University of Alabama, studied data … Continued


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ARTICLE: Teaching the basics of data journalism

In a new research article Grant Hannis, of Massey University, examines a study module that introduces the basic concepts and practices of data journalism. The case study looks at a three-hour long data journalism module, part of the postgraduate journalism programme taught at Massey University, New Zealand. The module goes through the following steps: introducing … Continued


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ARTICLE: The what, where and who of data journalism education

What skills do data journalists need and possess? Where is data journalism being taught, and by who? a new study asks. Bahareh R. Heravi of University College Dublin, examined data journalism education in higher education. The research draws data from the 2017 Global Data Journalism Survey (206 participants from 43 countries) and a dataset of … Continued


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ARTICLE: Analytics tools rationalize journalistic work while creating a compelling user experience

How do analytics rationalize journalistic work? Rutgers University researcher Caitlin Petre spent six months at the newsroom analytics company Chartbeat doing ethnographic observation and interviews. The author looked at discursive strategies and design elements used by the company to influence journalists’ views on the issue. The newsroom analytics dashboard differs from a “Taylorist” stopwatch in … Continued


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ARTICLE: News organizations should consider legal liability as they develop automated journalism

Could algorithms produce libelous news content? Seth C. Lewis of the University of Oregon, Amy Kristin Sanders of Northwestern University in Qatar, and Casey Carmody of the University of Minnesota, state that news organizations must seriously consider legal liability as they develop newswriting bots. They review the issue in the context of the United States’s … Continued


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ARTICLE: Human-written, automated and combined news articles were seen equally as credible

As many news organizations are already using computer algorithms to produce journalistic content, questions about how audiences view these stories arise. Anja Wölker and Thomas E. Powell of the University of Amsterdam, did an experiment on how readers perceive different forms of automated journalism in regard to credibility of the message and source. Their online … Continued


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ARTICLE: “Robots” do not make credible journalists

Readers find news stories written by “robot journalists” less credible than stories by human authors, T. Franklin Waddell, of University of Florida, writes. Waddell conducted two online experiments with a total of 311 Americans, where the participants were exposed to identical stories with different bylines. Most notably, stories credited to “Automated Insights, Robot Reporter” were … Continued


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PAPER: Automation to help reporting election data

Leo Leppänen, Myriam Munezero, Stefanie Sirén-Heikel, Mark Granroth-Wilding and Hannu Toivonen, all of the University of Helsinki, studied whether the journalistic process of newsworthiness determination can be automated. The researchers used statistical analysis to determine newsworthy events. The paper looked at a real natural language news generation system “election bot” Vaalibotti Valtteri as a case … Continued


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ARTICLE: How do applications make editorial decisions?

News applications are imbued with the power to make editorial decisions, but these decisions are often “black boxed” from the user. How do they work and how does code cross the boundary between programming and journalism? Matthew S. Weber, of Rutgers University, and Allie Kosterich, of Pace University (formerly also of Rutgers University), analysed the … Continued