Hold onto your robots: The future of journalism is exceedingly computational. (At least part of it.) And the 2020 U.S. election is a great place to start.
Newsrooms worldwide are trying to infuse their reporting with more data and computational analysis (see: The New York Times’ data training). The engineering-heavy Washington Post newsroom has used bots, automation, and large-scale data in its reporting before, perhaps notably with its Heliograf tool to automatically write stories from data.
But now The Washington Post is going a step further, creating a computational political journalism lab — we’ll unpack what that term means in a sec — just in time for the 2020 political campaigns. The R&D lab, orchestrated by director of engineering Jeremy Bowers, will work with Northwestern assistant professor and algorithmic reporting expert Nick Diakopoulos and have between three to six contributors.