“Journalism practice may feel like a product on a conveyor belt”: Researchers on the future of automated news production and consumption

Even if automation is creeping into all corners of our lives, at least we humans can still get together in real life to talk about it. At the Algorithms, Automation, and News conference in Munich this week, some of journalism’s biggest brainiacs shared their research on everything from bot behavior to showing your work when it’s automated to reporting through the Internet of Things. Many of academics’ relevant papers will be published in a forthcoming issue of Digital Journalism. (Full list of presenters, panelists, and papers here.) Algorithmic accountability — reverse-engineering and reporting on the algorithms across our lives, from Facebook to Airbnb to targeted job listings — is a hot topic in journalism, but this conference focused more on the silver linings: how automation and algorithms could bolster newsrooms full of human journalists. Here are some of the top tweets from the Munich mind-gathering: The Associated Press’ director of
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Exiting the exit poll: The AP’s new plan for surveying voters after a not-so-hot 2016

One hundred and seventy-four days remain until the United States’ midterm elections (421 until the next presidential election, but who’s counting) — which means there’s still time to “evolve” how polling is conducted. The 2016 presidential election wasn’t polling’s shining moment, with many post-mortems pointing to opinion polls misleading election forecasters and underestimating now-President Trump’s support. It didn’t help that some polls were tied to news organizations that don’t really have the resources anymore to support this work — at least doing this work well. There’s no perfect poll aside from (maybe) the ballot itself, but the polling system — both conducted by the media and reported on in the media — has faced critics since long before November 8, 2016. These issues contributed to the Associated Press’ and Fox News’ departure from the Election Day polling data shared by the major networks last year. But now the wire Continue reading "Exiting the exit poll: The AP’s new plan for surveying voters after a not-so-hot 2016"

Associated Press Issues Correction After Howard Kurtz Calls Out ‘Dishonest Piece’

The Associated Press issued a correction on Monday morning to a misleading report about a Howard Kurtz segment that drew the ire of the Fox News host. The AP reported that on Kurtz’s Sunday show Media Buzz, “Fox News inadvertently posted a graphic showing it lagged other cable news networks in trustworthiness.” The report seems to have been based on a misleading post from liberal blog Raw Story, which went viral on Sunday, and alleged that Kurtz “frantically implored his producer to take down a graphic that showed Fox is the least trusted of the big three cable networks.” As Mediaite noted earlier today, the AP article failed to note that the reason Kurtz asked (calmly) for the graphic to be taken down was because it was displayed out of order — and he actually went on to cover the poll later on. AP changed Continue reading "Associated Press Issues Correction After Howard Kurtz Calls Out ‘Dishonest Piece’"

CNN’s Stelter Defends Fox News Rival Howard Kurtz Over ‘Incomplete’ AP Report

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz called out the Associated Press for writing a story which did not accurately represent a series of events on his show, MediaBuzz, and of all people, CNN’s Brian Stelter came to his defense. Kurtz explained that a graphic of a poll he intended to show was onscreen prematurely, so he asked the control room to take it down and put it up later. Meanwhile, AP reported that Kurtz simply asked that the graphic––showing numbers on how much the biggest cable news networks are trusted––be removed. “This echoed partisan chatter online that I had somehow panicked or didn’t want to show the poll graphic, which is flatly contradicted by reality,” Kurtz said in a Facebook post. “I felt viewers deserved all the facts. That’s more than I can say for the AP, which owes me a correction.” Meanwhile, Stelter echoed Kurtz’s concerns and sympathized with Continue reading "CNN’s Stelter Defends Fox News Rival Howard Kurtz Over ‘Incomplete’ AP Report"

Howard Kurtz Torches the Associated Press For ‘Dishonest Piece’ on Fox News Graphic

Fox News host Howard Kurtz went off on the Associated Press in a Facebook post Monday morning, slamming the outlet for “a story that utterly distorts what happened yesterday on my program Media Buzz.” The AP posted a piece on Sunday that reported, “Fox News inadvertently posted a graphic showing it lagged other cable news networks in trustworthiness.” The AP report appears to be based on an incredibly misleading post on liberal blog Raw Story, which claims that Kurtz “frantically implored his producer to take down a graphic that showed Fox is the least trusted of the big three cable networks.” What the AP article fails to note is that Kurtz asked the graphic to be taken down because it was displayed out of order. He actually covered the graphic — which showed a poll finding the big three cable networks are more trustworthy than Continue reading "Howard Kurtz Torches the Associated Press For ‘Dishonest Piece’ on Fox News Graphic"

Facebook and the AP Team Up to ‘Debunk Election Misinformation’ for the Midterms

With Facebook and other networking sites under fire due to the online foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, the world’s leading social media platform is launching another layer to their fact-checking initiatives by working with the Associated Press to “identify and debunk false and misleading stories.” According to a press release from the AP, these efforts will focus on the upcoming 2018 midterm elections — a move that makes sense as Facebook and Twitter have been grilled by lawmakers and the media alike for not properly cutting off the spread of misinformation on their sites. “The expanded collaboration leverages the presence of AP reporters in all 50 U.S. states to bring a local focus to Facebook’s fact-checking initiative,” read the statement. “AP has worked with Facebook since 2016 to reduce the circulation of false news articles on the platform.” The AP‘s Senior Vice President Continue reading "Facebook and the AP Team Up to ‘Debunk Election Misinformation’ for the Midterms"