To Dortmund, Cardiff and back – SciCAR and Future of Journalism Conference 2019

scicar(Bild von mir)

 

It’s September, which usually means it’s time for conference travel before the new term begins – and this is exactly what I did. I presented new work on automation in German sports journalism, and, of course, met many lovely colleagues from all over the world.

 

SciCAR 2019

I went to SciCAR 2019 at the Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism in Dortmund from 9th to 11th September. SciCAR focuses on all forms of computer-assisted reporting, which ranges from using Excel to tabulate some data to automation of news coverage. In short: this is the perfect conference for a computational journalism researcher like me!

This conference does not have a purely academic approach, but aims to foster cooperation between journalists and academia. This means that there were practice sessions in which journalists talked about their daily work and taught practical skills, which was quite exciting. And then there were sessions on cutting-edge academic research, both of which is a mix that can never be boring. And it wasn’t – I listened to talks on the use of data in local newsrooms, heard about how to access geolocation data, and also had avid listeners for my own talk on the state of automation in German sports journalism. Which was quite a challenge, by the way – a “normal” conference presentation in my field is about 12 minutes long, but here I had 45 minutes to fill…

The full programme can be accessed here.

 

Future of Journalism Conference 2019

Straight on from Dortmund I went to Cardiff, home of the beloved Future of Journalism Conference. From 11th to 13th September, I heard all about new research on journalism innovations. Again, this is another perfect conference for me.

What I especially love about this conference is that it’s all about how new technologies might shape journalism – and even though we, the researchers, might be a bit too enthusiastic at times about how technology such as Virtual Reality might be adopted by the audience, it’s still amazing to see the possibilities out there. Scepticism is of course allowed (and direly needed!), but we all try our best to look into the future with a positive mindset. Moreover, this is the conference where I see (almost) my whole academic family, and this alone makes it worthwhile to travel to Cardiff every two years.

There’s no programme available online, but the book of abstracts can be downloaded here.