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MIDAS Seminar Series Presents: Nicholas Diakopoulos – Northwestern University
March 9, 2020 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Room 340 West Hall
Assistant Professor, School of Communication, Northwestern University
Director, Computational Journalism Lab
The Role of Algorithmic Intermediaries in Shaping Attention to News
As people seek news information online, platforms like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and other news aggregators mediate and influence a huge portion of human attention, acting as algorithmic gatekeepers and curators. But as private platforms, there are few public details about how the algorithms of these information intermediaries serve to drive public exposure and salience of news information. What types and sources of news are made available and prioritized, what’s the quality of that information, and are there diverse perspectives represented in the algorithmic curation of major platforms? This talk will address these questions by presenting the results of several audit studies of algorithmic news intermediaries. These studies begin to shed light on the role such intermediaries play in impacting human attention towards the news. Implications for platform power, governance, and the economic health and competitiveness in the larger news ecosystem will be discussed.
Bio: Nicholas Diakopoulos is an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies and Computer Science (by courtesy) at Northwestern University where he directs the Computational Journalism Lab. He is also a Tow Fellow at Columbia University School of Journalism as well as Associate Professor II at the University of Bergen Department of Information Science and Media Studies. His research focuses on computational journalism, including aspects of automation and algorithms in news production, algorithmic accountability and transparency, and social media in news contexts. He is the author of Automating the News: How Algorithms are Rewriting the Media, published by Harvard University Press in 2019. Recently he was a resident researcher in the Computational Political Journalism Lab at the Washington Post. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his Sc.B. degree in Computer Engineering from Brown University
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