Presentation at Duke University (2009): "Computation & Journalism: The Impact of Technology on Journalism, Information Quality, and Civic Literacy"

Talk/Presentation at Duke University, Jan 27, 2009. Hosted by  James Hamilton, director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke University

Computation & Journalism: The Impact of Technology on Journalism, Information Quality, and Civic Literacy

Irfan Essa
Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Interactive Computing, GVU and RIM Centers 

Fundamentally, journalism is the process of collecting news information and disseminating that information with a layer of contextualization and understanding provided by journalists in the form of a news story. Recent advances in computational technology are rapidly affecting how news is gathered, reported, and distributed, and how stories are authored and told. New technologies for aggregating, visualizing, summarizing, consuming, and collaborating on news are becoming increasingly popular. Theses advances are challenging the traditional practices of journalism and directly affecting the future of news production and consumption. Both computation and journalism share a deep interest in information and the value it provides to society, and they are deeply involved in the future of storytelling in various contexts, especially current events. This requires us to consider how both Computation and Journalism can help each other.

In this talk, I will present a vision for a new area of research and education that brings together the fields of computation and journalism together to enhance both these disciplines and supports a creation of a “Computationalist-Journalist.,” a new kind of participant in the public conversation. I will start by describing how imaging, video, and media production and consumption has changed with technology and then how similar technologies can be used for Journalism and related Civic Literacy issues. I will describe new technologies that have changed the landscape of both Computation and Journalism and use these developments to showcase, where we are headed to with both Computation and Journalism, and technologists and journalists together to create new computing tools that further the aims of journalism.


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