Posted by: structureofnews | February 4, 2011

A Reading List

Just a quick post to point to Jonathan Stray’s excellent reading list on the intersection of journalism and computer science.  It’s well-worth digging into.

Perhaps even more useful are his thoughts about “computational journalism,” which encompasses more than the “data journalism” some of us like to talk about.

I’d like to propose a working definition of computational journalism as the application of computer science to the problems of public information, knowledge, and belief, by practitioners who see their mission as outside of both commerce and government. This includes the journalistic mainstay of “reporting” — because information not published is information not known — but my definition is intentionally much broader than that. To succeed, this young discipline will need to draw heavily from social science, computer science, public communications, cognitive psychology and other fields, as well as the traditional values and practices of the journalism profession.

He talks about the differences between

  • data journalism;
  • visualization (an area close to my heart);
  • computational linguistics;
  • computational technology and free speech;
  • tracking the spread of information and misinformation;
  • filtering and recommendation;
  • tracking public knowledge;
  • and research.

There’s a lot there.  Check it out.


Responses

  1. Thanks for the reference to Stray’s reading list. Great resource.

  2. […] field of computational journalism.  This isn’t new, of course – Jonathan came up with a taxonomy a little while back – and it’s certainly not definitive.  But given a field that spans the […]


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