The Automated Newsroom in Australia and beyond: Problems and challenges in the use of automated decision-making systems in journalistic practice

Project Summary

Automated decision-making (ADM) and related systems are now widely implemented in global newsrooms. These systems have substantial impacts on the nature and quality of journalistic output, on the shape of the newsroom workforce, and on audiences’ engagement with news content.

This project investigates current developments in journalistic practice by conducting in-depth interviews with news workers, including journalists, social media editors, developers, programmers, computer scientists, graphic designers and social media marketing staff.

These interviews will focus on four areas of the journalistic workflow:

  • Systems to generate automated news reporting,
  • The use of news metrics from outlets and social media platforms in the editorial tasking of journalists and in the personalisation/ recommendation of content to audiences
  • The use of data visualisation in journalistic storytelling and use of algorithmic methods, designs, and audits in investigative journalism, and
  • ADM practices to contend with the mis-and disinformation actors and environments.

This research will provide insights into the technological infrastructures and practices in the implementation of automated decision-making systems in news and media industries in Australia, and potentially with a further extension of the research approach to other media systems in the Global South.

DMRC research program

This project contributes to the research within the following DMRC research program:

Project team

Project outputs

Project funding

  • Australian Government through the Australian Research Council – ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S)