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Algorithmic Transparency in the News Media

Algorithmic Transparency in the News Media The growing use of difficult-to-parse algorithmic systems in the production of news, from algorithmic curation to automated writing and news bots, problematizes the normative turn toward transparency as a key tenet of journalism ethics. Pragmatic guidelines that facilitate algorithmic transparency are needed. This research presents a focus group study that engaged 50 participants across the news media and academia to discuss case studies of algorithms in news production and elucidate factors that are amenable to disclosure. Results indicate numerous opportunities to disclose information about an algorithmic system across layers such as the data, model, inference, and interface. Findings underscore the deeply entwined roles of human actors in such systems as well as challenges to adoption of algorithmic transparency including the dearth of incentives for organizations and the concern for overwhelming end-users with a surfeit of transparency information. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Digital Journalism Taylor & Francis

Algorithmic Transparency in the News Media

Digital Journalism , Volume 5 (7): 20 – Aug 9, 2017

Algorithmic Transparency in the News Media

Digital Journalism , Volume 5 (7): 20 – Aug 9, 2017

Abstract

The growing use of difficult-to-parse algorithmic systems in the production of news, from algorithmic curation to automated writing and news bots, problematizes the normative turn toward transparency as a key tenet of journalism ethics. Pragmatic guidelines that facilitate algorithmic transparency are needed. This research presents a focus group study that engaged 50 participants across the news media and academia to discuss case studies of algorithms in news production and elucidate factors that are amenable to disclosure. Results indicate numerous opportunities to disclose information about an algorithmic system across layers such as the data, model, inference, and interface. Findings underscore the deeply entwined roles of human actors in such systems as well as challenges to adoption of algorithmic transparency including the dearth of incentives for organizations and the concern for overwhelming end-users with a surfeit of transparency information.

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References (88)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
2167-082X
eISSN
2167-0811
DOI
10.1080/21670811.2016.1208053
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The growing use of difficult-to-parse algorithmic systems in the production of news, from algorithmic curation to automated writing and news bots, problematizes the normative turn toward transparency as a key tenet of journalism ethics. Pragmatic guidelines that facilitate algorithmic transparency are needed. This research presents a focus group study that engaged 50 participants across the news media and academia to discuss case studies of algorithms in news production and elucidate factors that are amenable to disclosure. Results indicate numerous opportunities to disclose information about an algorithmic system across layers such as the data, model, inference, and interface. Findings underscore the deeply entwined roles of human actors in such systems as well as challenges to adoption of algorithmic transparency including the dearth of incentives for organizations and the concern for overwhelming end-users with a surfeit of transparency information.

Journal

Digital JournalismTaylor & Francis

Published: Aug 9, 2017

Keywords: algorithmic journalism; algorithmic transparency; computational journalism; ethics; media accountability; robot journalism

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