Toward a more perfect union: the case for culturally responsive computational journalism

The slides below are from a presentation I gave today as this semester’s Faculty Senate Colloquium lecturer at The College of New Jersey. To be chosen by one’s peers to deliver such a research talk is a singular honor. I am particularly grateful to my English department colleague, the distinguished scholar and pundit Cassandra Jackson, whose introduction made me sound like someone I’d like to meet. # Link in context

Here is the presentation abstract: # Link in context

I moved from industry into academia 25 years ago because I had come to an understanding that the “hollowing-out” and flattening, of corporate, political and cultural hierarchies would make the role of professional communicators more central to the effective functioning of businesses and communities. As the expansion of the Internet and online technologies upended the news and communication industries, I became increasingly engaged with understanding how professional communicators could adapt to these seismic changes. This ultimately led to my current research in the development of culturally responsive models for teaching and practicing computational journalism. In this talk, I will draw upon that research to articulate a vision for a culturally responsive journalism. I will argue that culturally responsive computational journalism is essential to realizing the constructive potential of the seismic changes that computer science has visited upon the news industry. Properly crafted and implemented, culturally responsive journalism could: # Link in context

1. Create an inclusive epistemology of journalism that moves beyond naive empiricism and the current propagandistic journalism of assertion
2. Democratize access to media technologies by broadening participation in the development and deployment of civic media
3. Deepen and broaden critical user engagement with the news
4. Deepen and broaden civic engagement
Computing technology and networks afford almost everyone the opportunity to be a publisher, but they also reward those who are computationally fluent with superior access to the public square. For this reason, I envision a future in which broad application and refinement the pedagogical models being developed here and elsewhere can actually empower citizens and strengthen democracy. # Link in context

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Here are links to sources for the presentation: # Link in context

“Newspaper Newsroom Workforce Continues to Drop.”  Pew Research Journalism Project. March 20, 2014 # Link in context

Broadband technology fact sheet.” Pew Research Internet Project. # Link in context

Computer and Internet Use 1984-2012 US Census # Link in context

Closing the Digital Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project # Link in context

The State of Digital Divides. Pew Internet Research Project. Nov. 5,2013 # Link in context

The Digital Divide is Still Leaving Americans Behind.” Jessica Goodman,  Mashable,  August 20, 2013 # Link in context

Yahoo Latest Tech Icon to Reveal Lack of Diversity.” Jessica Guynn, USA Today, August 15, 2014 # Link in context

Interactive Journalism Institute for Middle Schoolers # Link in context

CABECT research website # Link in context

CABECT in a nutshell (flyer describing the project, with some preliminary data) # Link in context

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CC BY-ND 4.0 Toward a more perfect union: the case for culturally responsive computational journalism by Kim Pearson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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