Funding: NSF (2008) "Symposium on Computation and Journalism"

Award#0813831 – Symposium on Computation and Journalism


Fundamentally, journalism is aimed at collecting news information and disseminating that information with a layer of contextualization and understanding provided by journalists. Recent advances in computational technology are rapidly affecting how news information is gathered, reported and distributed. Furthermore, new avenues for aggregating, visualizing, summarizing, consuming, and collaborating on news are increasingly becoming popular and challenging traditional practices of Journalism. Following the success of text search, image and video search questions are now poised to make a bigger impact to journalism and other related fields. Computation and Journalism individually share a deep routed interest in Information, and the value it provides to society. The concept of Information Quality, the measure of the value that the information provides to the user of that information, brings these two disciplines together. In computing and information sciences, information quality is used to describe the degree of excellence in communicating knowledge or intelligence and is composed of different facets such as accuracy, reliability, comprehensiveness, currency, and validity. In journalism, where the conveyance of quality information is paramount, principles such as accuracy, fairness, thoroughness, and transparency guide journalists in communicating quality information. Traditionally, journalism has also entailed an ethos of working on the side of the citizenry to provide them with quality information they need to make informed decisions in the process of their daily lives. However, the plethora of un-vetted blogs, podcasts, videos and other online media, generated by users or by corporations with subjective biases have led to significant compromise in information quality. Collaborative knowledge generation (wikipedia), and citizen journalism, are showing new ways of how information and (global) news can be shared. However, as the Web and the Internet continue to grow and as computing technologies pervade through the planet, a thorough study of the process of journalism and the deep computational aspects of such processes need to be undertaken. To this end, the PI’s research group at Georgia Institute of Technology is interested in understanding how computational advances impact the field of journalism. The long term aim is to make novel contributions by developing computational technologies to better support the goals of journalism. To launch this effort, they are organizing a Symposium on Computation + Journalism at GA Tech, in Atlanta, GA, February 22-23, 2008. The goal of this symposium is to bring together stakeholder from the all aspects of Journalism, Media, and Computation. Participants in panels, presentations and breakout groups will discuss these issues and create a roadmap towards answering these questions that bring together computation and journalism.

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