Course Details


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On Demand


News Algorithms: The Impact of Automation and AI on Journalism

This resource page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the America’s massive open online course (MOOC) titled “News Algorithms: The Impact of Automation and AI on Journalism.” The four-week course took place from February 11 to March 10, 2019. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who is interested in the impact of automation and AI on journalism.

The course, which was supported by the Knight Foundation, was taught by Nicholas Diakopoulos. He created and curated the content for the course, which includes video classes, readings, exercises, and more.

The course materials are broken up into four modules:

  • Module 1: Provides a broad overview of how algorithmic approaches are being used in journalism, including areas like content production and computational story discovery.
  • Module 2: Provides a lot more detail on automated content production, including how it works and is used by news organizations, as well as covering its benefits and limitations so you know when it might be appropriate to deploy. The instructor will demonstrate the basics for how to write a template using a tool called Arria Studio, which is a word processor for creating your own automated content.
  • Module 3: Covers algorithms in news curation and dissemination, like at Google, Facebook, and Apple News, which use algorithms in different ways to drive exposure to content. It also covers how to think about metrics and how editorial criteria can be encoded into the curation algorithms that your own news organization might be developing.
  • Module 4: Covers how algorithms are creating a new object for journalistic investigation, which is giving rise to a specialized practice called algorithmic accountability reporting. The instructor will detail what methods you can use to investigate algorithms on this beat, and how you can be more responsible with the algorithms you might incorporate into your newswork.

As you review this resource page, we encourage you to watch the videos, review the readings, and complete the exercises as time allows. The course materials build off each other, but the videos and readings also act as standalone resources that you can return to over time. We hope you enjoy the materials.

If you have any questions, please contact us at journalismcourses@austin.utexas.edu.

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
300 West Dean Keeton
Room 3.212
Austin, TX, 78712

Phone: 512-471-1391

Email: journalismcourses@austin.utexas.edu