Stephen E. Arnold: The Future of News (as Big Data Made Small and Local)

Advanced Cyber/IO
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

The Future of News: Looking East

I read “Hacking Media: Al Jazeera Hackathon Imagines the Future of News.” The write up is interesting because it suggests that fresh thinking about “real” journalism does not occur in Midtown Manhattan.

The other main point I noted was:

Another of the 19 projects that were chosen for the hackathon is somewhat similar to Perspectives: called ReFrame, it would pull in related information about a major news topic but focus specifically on local perspectives on a national or international story — to try and correct some of the misunderstandings that often surface during the reporting of stories like the Ebola crisis, where journalists are often writing about places they have never been. Another valuable effort, although perhaps a difficult one to automate.

Difficult for some to automate. I can name several firms in the NGIA space with this type of function up and running. I am not surprised if you find this suggestion at odds with the article. But you don’t know what you don’t know as the saying goes.

I also circled this comment about hackathons, which some search vendors are sponsoring in a hope that it will lead to either sales or the landing of a sleek programmer halibut:

Hackathons have gotten a bad rap in some circles because they are often exercises in futility: although everyone has fun drinking coffee or Red Bull for 48 hours straight and eating bad pizza, what comes out of them tends to be goofy little apps or widgets that don’t accomplish a whole lot.

Net net: what seems to be far out innovations may be closer—much closer—than you assume.

Stephen E Arnold, December 5, 2014