Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford

I’ve recently started a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Oxford, where I’ll be affiliated with the Oxford Internet Institute and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. I’m joining a research team on the Misinformation, Science and Media project which is led by Philip Howard and Rasmus Nielsen. The project investigates the implications of misinformation campaigns online on the public understanding of techno-scientific issues.

My contribution to the project will focus on knowledge cultures that emerge online around climate science and policy. A particular focus area will be recent concerns about problematic information, junk news and misinformation online, and responses to these.

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Release of A Field Guide to “Fake News” and Other Information Disorders (Final Version)

Today sees the launch of A Field Guide to “Fake News and Other Information Disorders, a new free and open access resource to help students, journalists and researchers investigate misleading content, memes, trolling and other phenomena associated with recent debates around “fake news”.

The field guide responds to an increasing demand for understanding the interplay between digital platforms, misleading information, propaganda and viral content practices, and their influence on politics and public life in democratic societies.

It contains methods and recipes for tracing trolling practices, the publics and modes of circulation of viral news and memes online, and the commercial underpinnings of this content. The guide aims to be an accessible learning resource for digitally-savvy students, journalists and researchers interested in this topic. Continue reading

New Edition of Data Journalism Handbook to Explore Journalistic Interventions in the Data Society

The first edition of The Data Journalism Handbook has been widely used and widely cited by students, practitioners and researchers alike, serving as both textbook and sourcebook for an emerging field. It has been translated into over 12 languages – including Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, Georgian, Greek, Italian, Macedonian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian – and is used for teaching at many leading universities, as well as teaching and training centres around the world.

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Call for Collaborators: “A Field Guide to Fake News”

We’re pleased to announce a new project to create “A Field Guide to Fake News”, led by myself, Jonathan Gray and Tommaso Venturini. It will be launched at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia in April 2017.

In the wake of concerns about the role of “fake news” in relation to the US elections, the project aims to catalyse collaborations between leading digital media researchers, data journalists and civil society groups in order to map the issue and phenomenon of fake news in US and European politics.

The guide will look at how digital methods, data, tools, techniques and research approaches can be utilised in the service of increasing public understanding of the politics, production, circulation and responses to fake news online. In particular it will look at how digital traces from the web and online platforms can be repurposed in the service of public interest research, investigations, data stories and data journalism projects.

If you’re a data journalist or researcher interested in collaborating on data stories or investigations around the fake news phenomenon in your country, then please do drop us a line.

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Slides from Talk on Data Journalism and Digital Sociology at University of Miami

Last week the University of Miami organised what might have been the first event dedicated to building bridges between digital humanities and data journalism. There were a lot of great talks. Scott Klein spoke about the culture clash between programmer-journalists and traditional journalists and several digital humanities scholars presented their work, from Geoff McGhee, to Ben Schmidt and Lauren Klein. I’d particularly recommend having a look at Lauren’s work on the cultural and critical dimensions of data visualisation and on feminist data visualisation.

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Data Journalism and the Remaking of Data Infrastructures – Talk at Bath University

Earlier this month I gave a talk at the “Evidence and the Politics of Policymaking” conference at the University of Bath on some of my PhD research on data journalism. The talk focused on the role that data journalism may play in the reshaping of public information systems by looking at cases where journalists did not just exploit the outputs of information systems but engaged in challenging the techniques of measurement and monitoring embedded in these systems in order to reshape what becomes evidence. Such examples would include the Guardian’s The Counted Project, The Migrants’ Files and Al Jazeera America’s Jim Crow Returns. More examples from journalism and civil society are included in a report by myself and colleagues called Changing What Counts published by Civicus earlier this year. 

Below are the slides from the talk.

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New Paper on Networks as Storytelling Devices in Journalism

A journal article I worked on during the first year of my PhD entitled “Narrating Networks: Exploring the Affordances of Networks as Storytelling Devices in Journalism”, has recently been published in Digital Journalism.

The article examines five ways in which networks have been used to tell stories in journalism, from exploring associations around single actors, to detecting key players, mapping alliances and oppositions, exploring the evolution of associations over time, and revealing hidden ties. A list of over 40 journalism projects that use network diagrams or visualisations which we compiled while doing this research has been published with the article and can be accessed on figshare.

The article is co-authored with Jonathan Gray of the University of Amsterdam, Tommaso Venturini from King’s College London and Mathieu Jacomy from the Sciences Po Paris medialab.

The title and the abstract are copied below. An open access pre-print of the paper is available here (PDF).

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