To the editor: Doyle McManus concludes his column thusly: "Serious, solid journalism is coming back into fashion. As long as we remember to practice it." But it does bring up the question: Where has "serious, solid journalism" been in recent years? To be sure the Internet has been a disruptor of the newspaper business. Reading between McManus' lines, however, it sounds like it took the election of Donald Trump to bestir complacent journalists to do their jobs.
President Barack Obama will serve as keynote speaker at an award ceremony Monday night honoring some of the nation's top political journalism. Obama is attending the awarding of the Toner Prize, named for Robin Toner, the first woman to be national political correspondent for The New York Times. During her nearly 25 years there, Toner covered five presidential campaigns, scores of congressional races and many of the country's major policy issues. She passed away in December 2008 at the age of 54 after battling cancer. This is the sixth year the 5,000 prize has been awarded.
In a time where global newsrooms are becoming smaller due to enhanced technological advancement, robotics journalism has emerged as a threat to the fourth estate. Artificial Intelligence has introduced a new paradigm in present-day journalism and newsrooms across the globe are facing fears of staff cuts. Automated journalism has already made its way into newsrooms with automated news writing and distribution, without human supervision already a reality. 'Jia Jia'was the first humanoid robot journalist created by developers from the University of Science and Technology in China's Anhui province in April. She hit headlines when she reported for the country's news agency Xinhua and conducted a live interview with an editor of a popular tech magazine.
Dublin City University's Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) is leading a €3.9 million project to explore new ways of supporting journalism through digital and data technologies. The "journalism and leadership transformation" project will hire 15 PhD researchers to investigate technical, business and ethical aspects of modern journalism. The researchers will be based both in academic and industry environments across Europe including The Irish Times, BBC and the European Journalism Centre. "At a critical time for journalism, DCU FuJo pulled together a multinational team to explore new ways of supporting journalism and its civic functions. We're delighted to bring this major project to DCU and look forward to working with the best academic and industry partners across Europe," said FuJo director and project co-ordinator Dr Jane Suiter.