FAQ: Do you think that an increase in algorithms is leading to a decline in human judgement?

recipe by Phillip Stewart

This algorithm has been quality tested. Image by Phillip Stewart

The latest in my series of FAQ posts follows on from the last one, in response to a question from an MA student at City University who posed the question “Do you think that an increase in algorithmic input is leading to a decline in human judgement?”. Here’s my response.

Does an increase in computation lead to a decline in human input?

Firstly, it’s important to emphasise that the vast majority of data journalism involves no algorithms or automation at all: it’s journalists making calculations, which historically they would have done manually.

You mention the possibility that “an increase in computation leads to a decline in human input”. An analogy would be to ask whether an increase in pencils leads to a decline in human input in art. Continue reading

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FAQ: Can data journalism improve the world?

The latest in my series of FAQ posts comes in response to questions from a number of MA students at City University who emailed to ask “Can data journalism improve the world?”. Here’s my response, along with some follow-up questions and answers.

Can data journalism improve the world?

I wouldn’t be involved in data journalism if I didn’t think it could improve the world! But more broadly, I think journalism as a whole improves the world, whether that’s data journalism or not. (In fact, the whole reason I got involved in data journalism was because I believed it had the biggest potential to help journalism – particularly investigative journalsm – and, by extension, improve the world.) Continue reading

How Periodista de Datos aggregated over 300 journalists in Spain and Latin America to help data journalism collaboration

In July an aggregator of data journalists from Spain and Latin America was launched under the name Periodista de Datos. Four months later, Maria Crosas Batista interviewed Félix Arias, project lead with Miguel Carvajal, to find out more about how the project came about — and where they plan to take it next.

Periodistas de datos gif

Satisfying a need for up-to-date information in one place

This project came as the result of a specific need of journalists (and professors) driving the Innovation in Journalism MA (MIP) at the Miguel Hernández University (Elche, Spain).

Félix and Miguel were looking for a tool to use in their lessons that could show the potential of data journalism, as well as outstanding projects, to their students. Continue reading

This email newsletter is rounding up what’s happening in Brazilian digital media

moreno

A new email newsletter has been launched by Brazilian journalist and journalism lecturer Moreno Cruz Osório to provide a weekly roundup of key research, developments and stories in the media industry in the country — in English. Continue reading

Four simple SEO settings missed by hyperlocal websites

When it comes to news websites’ referral traffic, Google beats Facebook hands-down, with the search giant accounting for 40% compared to Facebook’s 26%. And yet hyperlocals, says publisher John Guinn, are making it harder for people to find them by not making the most of four simple SEO settings. In a guest post for OJB, John explains what those settings are — and how hyperlocal sites can use them to improve their SEO. Continue reading

“Spatiotemporal storytelling” at Le Parisien: how one newspaper is aggregating data to provide a public service

LiveCity is a new data-driven project from Le Parisien that aims to bring together a range of public data sources to serve audiences across its webpages and apps. In a guest post for OJB, Project Director Stanislas de Livonnière, spoke to Steve Carufel about the challenge of aggregating one city’s dispersed open and live data feeds into a single set of dashboards and widgets that could be integrated into the outlet’s website and apps.
Continue reading

Email overload: here are 6 approaches I’ve found useful for managing my inbox

Information overload image by James Marvin Phelps

Information overload image by James Marvin Phelps

It’s nothing new to say that email overload is one of the biggest problems we face in trying to organise our time. But let’s be more specific: there are, it seems to me, two core problems caused by email: firstly, reaching the end of a day and realising you’ve done nothing but respond to emails; and secondly, finding you are never relaxing because you are getting emails or email notifications on your phone.

I’ve tried various approaches to email management — and there is a whole literature of tips and guidance on the subject. Here are some of the techniques I’ve found work for me in solving the problems above (note: they may not work for everyone). Continue reading