FL#197: Following the crowd with Populace

The startup Populace uses data from social media and other sources to display crowd densities at various locations across urban areas. As a result, the system could make it possible for journalists to find out automatically whenever an unusually large crowd gathers in a public place. We find out how it works from founder and … Continued

FL#196: Automation at The Washington Post

Jeremy Gilbert, director of strategic initiatives at The Washington Post, says computer automation could increase a newsroom’s capabilities in three important ways: analyzing vast amounts of data, putting information into digestible forms, and tailoring the end result for each individual user. We dive into the details and find out how the Post has experimented already. … Continued

FL#142: Enlisting product managers and automating more complex stories

This week we explore the role of product managers within news organizations, and we find out how more complex stories might be written by computers. PART 1: Product managers for news Borrowing from the tech and business worlds, several large news organizations have integrated the role of product manager into their workflows. The result can … Continued

FL141: Faster fact-checking and nonprofit partnerships

This week we find out how automation might speed up political fact-checking, and we learn what goes into successful partnerships that involve nonprofit news organizations. PART 1: Faster fact-checking It takes time to investigate whether claims made by politicians are true, but technology might help speed up that process. We get some ideas from PolitiFact … Continued

Reporting into structure: How journalists, crowds and robots can work together

In previous posts, I’ve written about structured journalism’s potential to improve newsroom economics by rebundling news as networks of structured information, and to provide new value to consumers by giving them more control over the news they consume. But what does structured journalism do for journalists? Will structure merely contribute to the tech-driven weakening of … Continued