Research seminar: Reluctant Journalists as New Age Librarians

Posted by | April 13, 2018 | Media & Communications, Research, Seminar | No Comments

Dr Cate Dowd, Arts, UNE, will present in the 2018 Arts Research Seminar series on Thursday, 19 April 2018, between 12.00 pm  and 1.00 pm in Oorala Lecture Theatre, Building (E22).

Title: Reluctant Journalists as New Age Librarians, Creating the Global Index for Search and Advertising

Image: From the film The Post 2017, Tom Hanks as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. 
 Source: http://www.indiewire.com/2017/12/oscars-2018-tom-hanks-steven-spielberg-the-post-1201909463/

Digital technology in journalism lags behind key developments in online news technologies.  For example, structured approaches to data sharing and data mining, especially for online stories, are more prevalent than in other systems used by journalists.  Journalists have also lost some control over editing and distribution, which is partly due to the effects of the relationship between content tagging done by journalists, and search engines and analytics to match stories and advertising. Intelligent and semantic tagging systems, like Open Calais, are used by journalists to tag stories when writing. However, one of the functions of search and advertising is to build traffic from news stories, and this impacts on journalism. For media moguls, like Rupert Murdoch, digital methods and the fragmentation of journalism, is yesterday’s news.  When using tagging systems an editor is prompted with ‘suggestions for a tag, based on guidelines’ (Thomson-Reuters, 2015).  Stories are sorted into data clusters and cross-referenced using different terms. However, journalists don’t necessarily have access to a full range of tags, so search may not be optimised, and this may make a news organisation less attractive in terms of advertising.  If tags for an online story are limited, the search capacity for a story is also limited. Poor tagging in newsrooms, means some journalism remains invisible when it comes to search, and some journalists have also just become new age librarians. These issues are also explored in depth in a forthcoming book by Dowd titled Digital Journalism, Drones and Automation to be published by Oxford University Press in 2018.


To see upcoming seminars in 2018, please visit the Seminars & Public Lectures page.

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