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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Detecting the Boundaries of Journalistic Behavior Online

Subbu Vincent

Subbu Vincent

Subramaniam Vincent, director of the Journalism and Media Ethics Program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, has received a new grant from the News Quality Initiative at the Craig Newmark School of Journalism in New York.

During January-June 2020, Vincent will explore how and whether datasets curated around ethics vocabulary might help detect the boundaries of journalistic (and hence non-journalistic) behavior online. He will be assisted by two graduate students from Santa Clara University’s Computer Engineering program.

One of the hardest problems in Internet technology while sorting news and news-like content is to identify whether the publishing or originating entity is a journalistic actor or not. “This is because the boundaries of journalism are not well-defined and that has particularly complicated problems for algorithmic approaches to news distribution” said Vincent. "We want to test the hypothesis that ethics in journalism may be a marker for boundaries", he added. 

The project is a research partnership between the Ethics Center Journalism and Media Ethics program and the News Quality Initiative (NewsQ) at CUNY. NewsQ creates data resources for producers of news algorithms and researchers who study them, alongside advertisers seeking to support quality news.

The News Quality Initiative is at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York and is run in collaboration with Hacks/Hackers.

For more information, read Subbu Vincent's blog post at Newsq.net.

Dec 18, 2019

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