In today’s data-saturated world journalists often struggle to report on many, if not most, of the potential stories that come across their desks. The average reporter is lucky to generate more than a few normal articles a week, while in-depth, investigative, pieces often take months. The 24-hour news cycle, deadlines, an ambient media system, and overwhelming troves of digital information present challenges, and concretize practices, for today’s journalists. How can those who report the news make massive caches of information, especially those with political/civic importance, available to the public? How can data-driven technologies be used to this end? What potentials are there for creating new, creative, digital tools for journalists who would otherwise not have access to such technology?
This post originally appeared as “These are the Droids You’re Looking For: Bots as a Tool For Journalism” by Samuel Woolley and Phil Howard on the National Endowment for Democracy’s Center for International Media Assistance Blog.