Journalist and computer scientist Jonathan Stray has posted an interesting breakdown of what he calls “computational journalism”, a kind of parent term for data journalism, visualisation, computational linguistics, communications technology, filtering, research and more.
I’d like to propose a working definition of computational journalism as the application of computer science to the problems of public information, knowledge, and belief, by practitioners who see their mission as outside of both commerce and government. This includes the journalistic mainstay of “reporting” — because information not published is information not known — but my definition is intentionally much broader than that.
Stray has put together a reading list under each sub-header (including our very own ‘How to: get to grips with data journalism‘).
Worth a read.
Full post on Jonathan Stray’s blog at this link.
Professional journalist and computer scientist Jonathan Stray argues in this thoughtful blog post that journalism and news organisations should create products to better support civic culture and “the people who are actually changing the world”. He looks at the existing state of product design in journalism and how it could be improved:
Newspaper stories online and streaming video on a tablet are not those tools. They are transplantations of what was possible with paper and television (…) Much of the ongoing future-of-journalism discussion focuses on how reporting needs to change, and rightly so. But that analysis stops short of the user, and how journalism is actually used – or could be used.
Digital news product design has so far mostly been about emulation of previous media. Newspaper web sites and apps look like newspapers. “Multimedia” journalism has mostly been about clicking somewhere to get slideshows and videos. This is a little like the dawn of TV news, when anchors read wire copy on air. Digital media gives us an explosion of product design possibilities, but the envisioned interaction modes have so far stayed mostly the same.
News and journalism “products” need to consider who will be using them and what those users’ expectations will be – news outlets’ current perception of what they are offering and to whom is not matched by users’ behaviour on their sites, the post explains.
Full post on Jonathan Stray’s website…
So where does news aggregation get in the way of original reporting? Nieman Journalism Lab took a look at one big story – the attack on Google in China – and analysed its treatment by various news organisations. A spreadsheet shows the full results (download file at this link).
[Jonathan Stray] I chose a single big story and read every single version listed on Google News to see who was doing the work. Out of the 121 distinct versions of last week’s story about tracing Google’s recent attackers to two schools in China, 13 (11 per cent) included at least some original reporting. And just seven organisations (six percent) really got the full story independently.
Full post at this link…
Jonathan Stray reviews 14 different iPhone news apps from various publications, including broadcasters, web-only and newspapers.
Not all apps get even the basics right. But a few are pushing the boundaries of what mobile news can be, with innovative new features such as info-graphic displays of hot stories, or integrated playlists for multimedia.
Full post at this link…