Data Journalism in an Expanded Field
C+J 2021 will be a much bigger, more inclusive conference than anything we have attempted before. The fact that people no longer have to travel to make substantial contributions at an event like this lowers the barriers to entry. We will hope to attract both researchers and creators with some curiosity about journalism, as well as news organizations looking to expand their reporting capabilities or experiment with new ways to present stories — from our traditional audience of computing researchers and social scientists, to artists and digital humanities scholars, to historians, geographers and architects… maybe a chef or a theater company to keep things lively?
We will borrow from the organizational structure used by the Joint Statistical Meetings led by the American Statistical Association. People can participate in one of several ways.
- Propose a contributed talk with an abstract of at most 250 words. These separate talks will be divided into sessions by the Program Committee.
- Propose a contributed session with three or four speakers. Each speaker will provide an abstract of at most 250 words, and the session organizer should submit a similar abstract describing the overall topic of the session.
- The Program Committee will organize several invited sessions.
- The Program Committee will invite a slate of keynote speakers.
Talks and sessions might cover a tool or methodology that could support new kinds of reporting or storytelling. Perhaps you’re a social scientist with a new way to think about public opinion. Or you are a researcher in the digital humanities with a fresh approach to thinking about collections of texts, who they are about and what they describe. Or you’re a media artist with a new visualization of event-based data, exploring the temporality of how things unfolded. You might consider a session on the the description of a significant collaboration between journalists and some other field, perhaps discussing the backstory to a complicated piece of reporting. Riffing a bit more, what about talks introducing the new hybrid methods of epidemiology and anthropology, to help journalists find and tell better stories about COVID?
New kinds of data, new kinds of analyses, new kinds of narrative — sessions at C+J 2021 might explore their use in journalism, in helping the public understand complex issues like climate change or COVID or charges of post-election fraud. Truly, the possibilities are endless.
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