Better late than never: If you are interested in what I have been working on since January 2021, it’s this: NEWSFLOWS, a large project funded with an ERC Starting Grant that had been awarded to me. More info, including an overview of team members, results, and – of course – the topic on the project website: https://newsflows.eu.
Some delightful personal news: I accepted a new role as Associate Professor for Communication in the Digital Society. My colleague Theo Araujo – who also got appointed in the same role – and I will work hard to give both the theoretical and the methodological challenges that come with social networks, automated decision making, recommender systems, new forms of human-machine communication, and so on get a prominent place in the curricula of our Communication Science Department.
See here for an interview [in Dutch] where we explain our plans.
I’m happy to announce that the inaugural issue of Computational Communication Research, a new peer-review open-access journal for which I serve as an associate editor, is now available. I’m really exited to contribute to the emerging field of computational communication science in that role. Please take a look here: http://computationalcommunication.org/
I’m thrilled to announce that I got funding (and data access) for a new project in which I, together with eleven colleagues from four countries, will analyze what makes news on Facebook shareworthy. More info here:
SHARENEWS: Predicting the Shareworthiness of ‘Real’ and ‘Fake’ News in Europe
(crosspost from http://vanatteveldt.com/JEDS/)
We were delighted to hear that JEDS/NWO decided to accept our grant proposal for studying personalised online news consumption! In the coming years, our team from the VU, UvA, CWI, and e-Science Center will automatically measure and analyse personalised online news consumption to find out whether online filter bubbles really exist and what effect they have on political knowledge and attitudes.
- Wouter van Atteveldt (VU, Communication Science)
- Laura Hollink (CWI)
- Damian Trilling (UvA, Communication Science)
- Antske Fokkens (VU, Computational Lexicology)
- Judith Möller (UvA, Communication Science)
- Kasper Welbers (VU, Communication Science)
- Natali Helberger (UvA, Law)
- E-science Engineer (NLeSC)
- Ph.D. Student (VU & UvA)
Online and mobile news consumption leaves digital traces that are used to personalize news supply, possibly creating filter bubbles where people are exposed to a low diversity of issues and perspectives that match their preferences. Filter bubbles can be detrimental for the role of of journalism in democracy and are therefore subject to considerable debate among academics and policymakers alike. The existence and impact of filter bubbles are difficult to study because of the need to gather the digital traces of individual news consumption; to automatically measure issues and perspectives in the consumed news content; and to combine and analyse these heterogeneous data streams.
- WP1: Develop a mobile app to trace individual news consumption and gather user data;
- WP2: Create a custom NLP pipeline for automatically identifying a number of indicators of news diversity in the news content;
- WP3: integrate and analyze the resulting heterogeneous data sets;
- Use the resulting rich data set to determine the extent to which news recommender algorithms and selective exposure leads to a lower diversity of issues and perspectives in the filter bubbles formed by news supplied to and consumed by different groups of users (WP4).
These analyses allow us to determine the impact of biased and homogeneous news diets on political knowledge and attitudes. The software developed in this project will be open source and re-usable outside the scope of this project by scholars interested in mobile behavior and news production and consumption.
De Minor Programmeren van de UvA heeft wetenschappers uit verschillende disciplines gevraagd waarom zij het belangrijk vinden om te kunnen programmeren (alle filmpjes hier). Samen met collega Anne Kroon leg ik uit hoe programmeerkennis ons helpt om het huidige medialandschap te analyseren – en waarom het leuk is om dat te doen.