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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


Picture: Screenshot of Vaalibotti Valtteri website, made by the Immersive Automation research project at the University of Helsinki

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


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ARTICLE: Newsgames are imperfect, but have their uses

Both proponents and detractors of newsgames “exaggerate” their impact, write Christoph Plewe, of Free University of Berlin, and Elfriede Fürsich, of University of Pittsburgh. They analysed three refugee or migration related newsgames: The Refugee Challenge, Against All Odds and The Migrant Trail. All three games make an appeal to sympathize with the migrants, and thus … Continued


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ARTICLE: What do people expect from automated news?

The quality of automated news is competitive with human journalists for routine tasks, a new study states. Mario Haim, of LMU Munich, and Andreas Graefe, of Macromedia University, Germany, tested people’s perceptions of both automated and human-written news, and the influence of people’s prior expectations regarding the source. The authors conducted an online survey in … Continued


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ARTICLE: Algorithms challenge journalists’ professional judgment

The use of algorithmic judgment for news selection and placement should be considered distinct from journalists’ professional judgment, argues a new article by Matt Carlson, of Saint Louis University. The growing use of algorithms in automated news distribution and production challenges  journalists’ professional judgment. As human subjectivity can be seen as vulnerable to mistakes, and … Continued


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PAPER: Information verification tools need to be customizable

An international team of researchers has been working on software for automated verification of information circulating on Twitter. The team observed 15 Swiss journalists to find out how they utilize and verify user generated content (UGC) in their work. Later on the team’s software was tested and evaluated by two journalists. The study’s main finding … Continued