Young and Hermida: Computational journalism and crime reporting

Mary Lynn Young and Alfred Hermida have published From Mr. and Mrs. Outlier To Central Tendencies: Computational journalism and crime reporting at the Los Angeles Times, forthcoming in Digital Journalism.

Here is the abstract:

This study examines the impact of computational journalism on the creation and dissemination of crime news. Computational journalism refers to forms of algorithmic, social scientific, and mathematical processes and systems for the production of news. It is one of a series of technological developments that have shaped journalistic work and builds on techniques of computer-assisted reporting and the use of social science tools in journalism. This paper uses the Los Angeles Times’ Homicide Report and its Data Desk as a case study to explore how technological adaptation occurred in this newsroom in the early twenty-first century. Our findings suggest that computational thinking and techniques emerged in a (dis)continuous evolution of organizational norms, practices, content, identities, and technologies that interdependently led to new products. Computational journalism emerges from an earlier and still ongoing turn to digital within broader organizational, technological, and social contexts. We place this finding in the local, situated context of the Homicide Report, one of the first crime news blogs to adopt computational journalism in North America.

HT @hermida

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