Field of view

Digital journalism gains shape as a distinct field with 58 academic articles as points on a map.

Editors Bob Franklin and Scott Eldridge II press the point that ‘digital’ can no longer be treated as a prefix in journalism. Nor should it be a proxy for ‘new’.

They argue the ways and means of digital journalism have matured to a stage of having conceptually distinct characteristics, issues, and manners of research, all of which merit the field being treated as a discrete specialty.

Within their view of digital journalism, AI and journalism is, so far, a sub-set. It is mostly noticed as automated journalism. Five of the 58 chapters touch on AI most directly:

  • Automating Massive-Scale Analysis of News Content, Thomas Lansdall-Welfare, Justin Lewis and Nello Cristianini
  • Automated Journalism: A posthuman future for digital news?, Matt Carlson
  • Computer-Mediated Creativity and Investigative Journalism, Meredith Broussard
  • Computational Journalism and The Emergence of News Platforms, Nicholas Diakopoulos
  • Data, Algorithms, and Code: Implications for journalism practice in the digital age, John V. Pavlik

In the most forward-looking of the five, author Matt Carlson suggests a research agenda for automated journalism, expecting it will be productive in three areas:

  • Business models, particularly affects on labour as well as on profitability
  • Emerging practices within newsrooms
  • Acceptance by audiences

The collection is weighty in volume, thinking, and price. It will be most useful to formal researchers. Certain sections will appeal to casual readers with a particular interest and a library card. There is a lot to choose from.

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The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies 1st Edition
Taylor and Francis | 2018 | Edited by Bob Franklin and Scott Eldridge II

Note: Searches for this book may show are a number of results with very similar titles, including another with these editors. Also, the e-book version is considerably less costly.

The posthuman future of journalism… suggests a hybrid state in which computer-and human-authored stories intermingle in ways yet to be developed.

Matt Carlson, in Automated journalism: A posthuman future for digital news?

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