Monday, February 09, 2015

The future for PR

As soon as one begins to look at the future for public relations there are significant straws in the wind to help.

The BBC has a perspective for news.

This suggests that automated article creators/journalists will be commonplace between now and 2027.

Huh! The Guardian is reporting automated journalism being used now.

It is pointing to a story about an earthquake last week.

There is a growing pressure on news organizations to produce more inexpensive content for digital platforms, resulting in new models of low-cost or even free content production.

The Associated Press announced that the majority of U.S. corporate earnings stories for its business news report will eventually be produced using automation technology.

‘In AP’s case, Wordsmith will write thousands of earnings stories that would not have otherwise existed. Wordsmith operates at a speed and scale humans cannot match.

What readers make of robot writers is yet to be fully established – most of the automated services’ clients don’t tell them their content is not penned by real people – but a study of a small group earlier this year at Karlstad University in Sweden showed that many cannot tell the difference between bot copy and hack copy.

The investor community is finding this development exciting  and academics are taking a close interest in the subject too.

A special issue of Digital Journalism around the theme “Journalism in an Era of Big Data: Cases, Concepts, and Critiques,”  sheds important light on the implications of data and algorithms, computation and quantification, for journalism as practice and profession.
Huffington Post 

The papers address questions such as: What does automated journalism mean for journalistic authority? What kind of social, occupational and epistemological tensions—past and present—are associated with the development of quantitative journalism?  What sorts of critiques and cautionary tales, from within and beyond the newsroom, should give the media pause? Overall, what does big data, as a broad sociotechnical phenomenon, mean for journalism’s ways of knowing (epistemology) and doing (expertise), as well as its negotiation of value (economics) and values (ethics)?

There is more here.

What does this mean for PR?

Does it mean we set the software to create the stories for news publications, blogs, Facebook etc while we sleep?

Are we going to offer stories produced automatically for of the moment briefing for politicians and CEOs facing interrogators armed with similar briefing material?

What is the legal position of automated content?

Will it be ethical for PR people to go to software that will produce unhelpful content about competitors automatically?

How would one police such dark practices.....

More reading.....................

The Robotic Reporter: Automated journalism and the redefinition of labor, compositional forms, and journalistic authority
M Carlson - Digital Journalism, 2014 - Taylor & Francis

Big Data and Journalism: Epistemology, expertise, economics, and ethics
SC Lewis, O Westlund - Digital Journalism, 2014 - Taylor & Francis

Enter the Robot Journalist: Users' perceptions of automated content
C Clerwall - Journalism Practice, 2014 - Taylor & Francis

Place-Based Knowledge in the Twenty-First Century: The creation of spatial journalism
A Schmitz Weiss - Digital Journalism, 2015 - Taylor & Francis

Clarifying Journalism's Quantitative Turn: A typology for evaluating data journalism, computational journalism, and computer-assisted reporting
M Coddington - Digital Journalism, 2014 - Taylor & Francis

Digital Journalism. Clarifying Journalism's Quantitative Turn. A typology for evaluating
data journalism, computational journalism, and computer-assisted reporting.

The Future of Journalism: In an age of digital media and economic uncertainty
B Franklin - Journalism Practice, 2014 - Taylor & Francis

“Enter the Robot Journalist: Users' Perceptions of Automated Content.” Journalism
Practice 8 (5). [Taylor & Francis Online]                              

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