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News industry turns to bots to improve journalism

News industry turns to bots to improve journalism

IJNet | April 08, 2016

How bots are improving news efficiency, Mexico’s new independent radio service and more in this week's Digital Media Mash Up, produced by the Center for International Media Assistance.

The droids you’re looking for: Bots as a tool for journalism

In today’s data-saturated world, journalists often struggle to report on many, if not most, of the potential stories that come across their desks. The average reporter is lucky to generate more than a few normal articles a week, while in-depth, investigative pieces often take months. The 24-hour news cycle, deadlines, an ambient media system and overwhelming troves of digital information present challenges, and concretize practices, for today’s journalists. How can those  who report the news make massive caches of information, especially those with political/civic importance, available to the public? How can data-driven technologies be used to this end? What potentials are there for creating new, creative, digital tools for journalists who would otherwise not have access to such technology? (CIMA, 3/31)

Mexicans have created a Netflix-like independent radio service to disrupt the country’s powerful mainstream media

When Olallo Rubio ran an alternative radio station in Mexico City, he had to bite his tongue to avoid criticizing big ad buyers such as Coca Cola on air. But now that his shows are distributed via smartphone app, he recently ran a whole segment on what he calls the “dark history” of the soft-drink company.

Rubio is part of Convoy, a new Netflix-like service that is challenging the country’s dominant radio industry. He says producing independent content within it is practically impossible due to limitations imposed by companies and government entities with close ties to radio broadcasters, as well as by radio hosts themselves. (Quartz, 4/6)

Panama Papers show the value of newsroom collaboration

In early 2015, an anonymous source began forwarding German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung encrypted files from a Panamanian law firm specializing in offshore companies. The trove of documents kept growing, and eventually numbered in the millions. Seeking help to break down all the data, the Munich-based daily contacted a small investigative outfit in Washington that specializes in global analyses. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists quickly organized nearly 400 journalists across 80 countries to jump on the story. (Columbia Journalism Review, 4/5)

The New Day, a British upstart, casts its fate to the newsstand

The New Day, Britain’s youngest media start-up, has a little something for everyone: a digest of the day’s top news, human-interest features, coverage of popular culture, sports, health and travel, and even advice columnists.

What it doesn’t have is a website. Or an app. Or really much of a digital presence at all. (The New York Times, 4/3)

CIMA offers the Mash Up free via email. Sign up here.

Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via Tim Robinson.

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