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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


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PAPER: Introducing a tool for news story personalization

An University of Michigan project aims to create a simple story personalisation tool for journalists. Called PersaLog, the system is being worked on by Eytan Adar, Carolyn Gearig and Ayshwarya Balasubramanian, all of University of Michigan, and Jessica Hullman, of University of Washington. PersaLog consists of a simple coding language and an editing environment. Through … Continued


REPORT: Artificial intelligence in the newsroom

The Associated Press has published a new report called “The Future of Augmented Journalism: A guide for newsrooms in the age of smart machines” written by Francesco Marconi, Alex Siegman and also a “Machine Journalist”. The report is the result of collaboration among the two authors and different artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The article captures … Continued


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ARTICLE: A portrait of data journalism research

Julian Ausserhofer and Michael Oppermann, both of University of Vienna, with Robert Gutounig, Sarah Matiasek and Eva Goldgruber, all of FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences, have conducted a systematic review of research on data journalism (author names not in original order). The review covers the years 1996-2015, and it details the field’s most important … Continued