News automation, materialities, and the remix of an editorial process

15 juin 2021

Software studies is a research field that focuses on the social and cultural implications of the software. They are grounded by interdisciplinarity, borrowing to digital humanities, cultural studies, or new media studies. Their application domains are as heterogeneous as software can be, from interfaces to new digital mediatic forms. This paper examines the relevance of software studies for journalism studies in the context of automated news production, where technological artifacts can also be understood as being shaped by professional values and cultural practices. It also explores methods nourished by software studies’ theories to tackle news automation through a process-oriented approach. The cursor is placed on the materiality of the upstream components of automated news production: the data that feed the systems and the process that will make the news. Automated news production appears as a remixed editorial process nourished by previous editorial experiences that will be standardized through a some-how imitation game where technological and human mediation interplay. This paper addresses the issue of transparency with the flattening of the processes at work, relying on theories and methodological tools based on software studies.

Dierickx L. News automation, materialities, and the remix of an editorial process. Journalism. June 2021. doi:10.1177/14648849211023872

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