I co-wrote two exciting new works on the digitalisation of journalism and its products.
The first publication is the book „Algorithms, Automation, and News: New Directions in the Study of Computation and Journalism“, which I edited with Neil Thurman (LMU Munich) and Seth Lewis (University of Oregon). We examine the growing importance of algorithms and automation—including emerging forms of artificial intelligence—in the gathering, composition, and distribution of news. In the book we connect a long line of research on journalism and computation with scholarly and professional terrain yet to be explored.
Taken as a whole, the chapters share some of the noble ambitions of the pioneering publications on ‘reporting algorithms’, such as a desire to see computing help journalists in their watchdog role by holding power to account. However, they also go further, firstly by addressing the fuller range of technologies that computational journalism now consists of: from chatbots and recommender systems to artificial intelligence and atomised journalism. Secondly, they advance the literature by demonstrating the increased variety of uses for these technologies, including engaging underserved audiences, selling subscriptions, and recombining and re-using content. Thirdly, they problematise computational journalism by, for example, pointing out some of the challenges inherent in applying artificial intelligence to investigative journalism and in trying to preserve public service values. Fourthly, they offer suggestions for future research and practice, including by presenting a framework for developing democratic news recommenders and another that may help us think about computational journalism in a more integrated, structured manner.
There’s a 20% discount available until 30th June if you order via the Routledge website and enter this code FLY21 at checkout.
The second publication is a journal article in Journalism Studies, which I co-authored with Michael Koliska (Georgetown University), Neil Thurman (LMU Munich), and Sally Stares (City, University of London).
Titled “Exploring Audience Perceptions of, and Preferences for, Online News Videos”, this is what the article is about:
Journalism professionals and media experts have traditionally used normatively formed criteria to evaluate news quality. Although the digital news media environment has enabled journalists to respond at unprecedented speed to audience consumption patterns, little academic research has systematically addressed how audiences themselves perceive and evaluate news, and even less has focused on audio-visual news. To help fill this research gap, we conducted in-depth group interviews with 22 online news video consumers in the UK to explore their perceptions of online news videos—an increasingly popular news format. Thematic analyses suggest audiences evaluate online news videos using a complex and interwoven set of criteria, which we group under four headings: antecedents of perceptions, emotional impacts, news and editorial values and production characteristics. Some of these criteria can be positioned clearly in relation to the literature on news quality in general, while our documentation of the others contributes new, format-specific knowledge. Our findings offer journalists practical insights into how audiences perceive and evaluate a host of characteristics of online news videos, while our conceptual framework provides a foundation for further academic research on audience evaluations of online news videos, and even audio-visual news more generally.