The journalistic social contract is a metaphor used to describe the democratic role that the press plays in helping the citizens maintain oversight of the government, on one hand, and helping the government maintain transparency of its decisions to the citizens, on the other hand. When the web content consumers became web content contributors as well the reciprocity principle in the journalist-citizen relationship has weakened. While some algorithmic affordances help citizens in performing their obligations in the contract, others limit them. Limitations, for example, are due to surveillance, terms of service contracts that induce `digital serfdom', the emergence of `data shadows' etc. The network specifically intends to explore the current state of automation in news curation and the impact this automation has on the algorithmic social contract of journalism. The societal impact of automatisation in news curation is a problem that cannot be investigated from any one individual research discipline. This impact stems from the combination of artificial intelligence methods used, together with the inadequate legal framework that governs mass media in the digital age and further the moral ramifications on individual news consumers and society as a whole. To prevent the negative impact of automatisation here, one must first understand it and to do that an expertise is needed in all of the disciplines involved. This project aims to secure that expertise. The main two challenges in interdisciplinary collaboration are to identify of the right experts and to enable communication between them. The project partners are all experts in the relevant disciplines and can thus identify the important people that the network must engage. The proposed workshop aims to bring the stakeholders up to speed with the language and state-off the art of the relevant aspects of the disciplines not their own, by inviting overview tutorials from different experts.
Project leader: Marija Slavkovik
Institution: DET SAMFUNNSVITENSKAPELIGE FAKULTET