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The promise of computational journalism.

Flew, Terry, Daniel, Anna, & Spurgeon, Christina L. (2010) The promise of computational journalism. In McCallum, K (Ed.) Media, Demcoracy and Change: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communications Association Annual Conference, Australia and New Zealand Communication Association, Canberra, ACT, pp. 1-19.

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Abstract

There are at least four key challenges in the online news environment that computational journalism may address. Firstly, news providers operate in a rapidly evolving environment and larger businesses are typically slower to adapt to market innovations. News consumption patterns have changed and news providers need to find new ways to capture and retain digital users. Meanwhile, declining financial performance has led to cost cuts in mass market newspapers. Finally investigative reporting is typically slow, high cost and may be tedious, and yet is valuable to the reputation of a news provider. Computational journalism involves the application of software and technologies to the activities of journalism, and it draws from the fields of computer science, social science and communications. New technologies may enhance the traditional aims of journalism, or may require “a new breed of people who are midway between technologists and journalists” (Irfan Essa in Mecklin 2009: 3). Historically referred to as ‘computer assisted reporting’, the use of software in online reportage is increasingly valuable due to three factors: larger datasets are becoming publicly available; software is becoming sophisticated and ubiquitous; and the developing Australian digital economy. This paper introduces key elements of computational journalism – it describes why it is needed; what it involves; benefits and challenges; and provides a case study and examples. Computational techniques can quickly provide a solid factual basis for original investigative journalism and may increase interaction with readers, when correctly used. It is a major opportunity to enhance the delivery of original investigative journalism, which ultimately may attract and retain readers online.

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ID Code: 39649
Item Type: Conference Paper
ISBN: 987-1-174088-319-1
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 08 Feb 2012 12:06
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 10:12

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