Tech and Politics

Andreas Jungherr

Data and algorithms in journalism

2022-06-02 27 min Season 1 Episode 13 Andreas Jungherr

Description & Show Notes

In this episode, we will be looking at how the uses of data and algorithms change journalism.

Another field heavily impacted by the uses of data and algorithms is journalism. Journalists and editors see themselves facing new opportunities for the measurement of the success and reach of their pieces with audiences by counting clicks on their sites and interaction metrics provided to them by platform companies used by them to steer audiences to news pieces. Algorithms also play a role in the way people are steered toward journalistic content. By the increasing dependency on digital platforms - like Facebook, Instagram, or Google - news media are subject to the algorithms these platforms use to prioritize or de-prioritize journalistic pieces. Accordingly, figuring out the mechanisms behind these algorithms and adapting one's pieces accordingly may come to matter. Finally, and potentially most disruptively, algorithms are increasingly used to produce journalistic pieces automatically, raising fears about the future of journalism as an occupation. Journalism offers a promising window into the field-specific impact and transformations driven by the increasing availability and uses of data and algorithms.


00:00 - Introduction
00:18 - Data and algorithms in journalism
08:36 - The use and perception of metrics in newsrooms
18:27 - Effects of metrics on audiences
22:40 - Uses and effects of data and algorithms in politics and society
25:55 - Conclusion

Script to episode with references and further readings: