Computation+Journalism 2014

Data and computation drive our world, often without any kind of critical assessment or accountability. Journalism is adapting responsibly—finding and creating new kinds of stories that respond directly to our new societal condition. Join us for a two-day conference exploring the interface between journalism and computing.

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Event Details


October 24-25, 2014
9:00 am - 6:30 pm


The Brown Institute for Media Innovation
Pulitzer Hall, Columbia University
New York, NY

About the Symposium

We live in a society that is increasingly dependent on data and computation, a dependence that often evolves invisibly, without substantial critical assessment or accountability. Far from virtual, inert quantities, data and computation exert real forces in the physical world, shaping and defining systems of power that will play larger and larger roles in people's lives.

Journalists, "the explainers of last resort," need to adapt responsibly—finding and creating new kinds of "stories" that respond directly to this new societal condition, whether that “story” be an actual written piece, a data visualization, an API or database, or even something hot off the 3D printer.

Computation+Journalism is a forum for discussing the ways journalism is and should be adapting in the face of the quantitative turn in society. We invite the participation of a broad range of thinkers, doers, and storytellers to this interdisciplinary meeting, a hybridization of journalism and the computing and data sciences. We want to hear from journalists with an interest in, or experience in, developing new technologies or applications, and from data and computer scientists working in news, or storytelling broadly, and collaborating or hoping to collaborate with journalistic organizations.

The Computation+Journalism Symposium is part celebration of the best examples mixing story and technology; it is partially a venue to spawn new collaborations and partially a learning experience, an experiment to see what a group of talented practitioners might imagine as new forms of journalism.

This is the third meeting of an ongoing series 'Computation + Journalism'. Details about the first and second symposium can be found at the links below:

Important Dates

September 5, 2014 Paper Submissions Due
September 22, 2014 Acceptances Announced (Extended)
October 15, 2014 Registration Deadline
October 24-25, 2014 C+J Conference

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At this time, registration for the event is full and no longer accepting requests for admission.

Call for Papers

We specifically invite papers emphasizing any of four kinds of contributions:

  • Stories, visualizations, or other interactive experiences exemplary of outstanding journalism produced about or with data, code and algorithms
  • Platforms that support journalistic work and which enable new ways of finding, producing, curating, or disseminating stories and other news content.
  • Research papers which explore a question of interest in journalism or information studies, or in data and computing sciences as it relates back to journalism and news information.
  • Pedagogical innovations, describing how technology can be used in the teaching of journalism, or journalism can be used in the training of data and computer scientists and other flavors of engineers.

  • Each different contribution will be judged on its own merits, but all should be reflective and seek to share knowledge that leads the field forward. For instance, story submissions might explain the story as well as how it was enabled or constrained by technology, platform submissions might detail what is unique about the platform and how its design affords journalistic work, and research submissions might articulate a research question and contribution to state-of-the-art knowledge. All submissions will be reviewed by experts in the field. Accepted papers will be invited to present in a poster/demo or plenary session.

    Papers will be published as part of an online proceedings linked off this site but should be considered "non-archival" for the sake of journal submissions elsewhere. At the same time, we highly encourage unique and novel contributions with limited overlap to other related publications the author may have or intend to publish. Accepted papers will also be invited to publish a short abstracted version of the paper in a special issue of the American Journalism Review (AJR).

    Paper submission and timelines:
    Papers must be electronically submitted by Friday, September 5, 2014 at 5pm Pacific Daylight Time. C+J accepts only electronic submissions in PDF format. We are not asking for anonymous submissions. Accepted papers will be announced on September 15, 2014.

    All submissions must be in PDF format, follow a standard set by the Association for Computing Machinery (, and should not exceed 5 pages (including references).

    Paper Submission Deadline has Passed.


We are seeking contributions on the following topics. While this is an extensive list, do not be limited by it. We are trying to cast the widest possible net in mapping out the interplay between computation and journalism.

  • Accuracy and Verification
  • Algorithmic Accountability and Investigation
  • Audience Studies
  • Automated/Robot Journalism
  • Data and Computing in Different News Domains: Sports, Health, Business, Economy, Politics, Etc.
  • Data Mining News and Social Media
  • Data Visualization and Storytelling
  • Editorial Support Systems
  • Journalism Ethics
  • Journalistic Works that Draw on any of the Ideas Above
  • Media Bias and Diversity
  • Natural Language Processing/Computational Linguistics
  • New Models for Teaching Computation + Journalism, Data Journalism or Just Plain Numeracy in a Journalistic Fashion
  • News Analytics, Metrics and Impact
  • News User Experiences and Interactivity
  • Open Data, Civic Data, and APIs
  • Personalization and Recommendation
  • Prediction and Simulation in the News
  • Sensor and Drone Journalism
  • Tools, Platforms and Languages by Journalists or for Journalists
  • Transparency, Trust and Credibility

Schedule - Friday, October 24

Time Programs
9:00 AM Welcome
9:15 - 10:30 AM Keynote by Jon Kleinberg
Tracing the Flow of On-Line Information through Networks and Text
10:30 - 11:30 AM Papers: Algorithm & Data-Driven Storytelling
Artificial Intelligence for Public Affairs Reporting; Meredith Broussard
Data-Driven Rankings: The Design and Development of the IEEE Top Programming Languages News App;
Nicholas Diakopoulos, Stephen Cass and Joshua Romero
Regulatory Breakdowns in Oversight of U.S. Stockbrokers; Jean Eaglesham and Rob Barry
11:30 - 12:30 PM Panel: Journalistic Platforms
Gideon Mann, Bloomberg
Kareem Amin, NewsCorp
Brian Abelson, and the Tow Center
Moderator: Mark Hansen, Columbia University
12:30 - 1:30 PM Lunch - Boxed Lunches will be provided
1:30 - 2:30 PM Papers: Fact or Fiction
Finding, Monitoring, and Checking Claims Computationally Based on Structured Data; Brett Walenz, You (Will) Wu, Seokhyun (Alex) Song, Emre Sonmez, Eric Wu, Kevin Wu, Pankaj K. Agarwal, Jun Yang (Duke University), Naeemul Hassan, Afroza Sultana, Gensheng Zhang, Chengkai Li (University of Texas at Arlington), Cong Yu (Google Research)
TRAILS: A System for Monitoring the Propagation of Rumors On Twitter; Samantha Finn, Panagiotis Metaxas, Eni Mustafaraj, Megan O'Keefe, Lindsey Tang, Susan Tang and Laura Zeng
RumorLens: A System for Analyzing the Impact of Rumors and Corrections in Social Media; Paul Resnick, Samuel Carton, Souneil Park, Yuncheng Shen and Nicole Zeffer
Moderator: Nick Diakopoulos, University of Maryland
2:30 - 3:00 PM Coffee break
3:00 - 4:00 PM Panel: Establishing and Growing Data Journalism
Eva Constantaras, Internews in Kenya
Fergus Pitt, Columbia University
Jonathan Hewett, City University London
Moderator: Mark Hansen, Columbia University
4:00 - 4:30 PM Break and Poster/Demo Setup
4:30 - 7:00 PM Reception and Poster/Demo Session
CitiBike Rebalancing Study
VisJockey: Enriching Data Stories through Orchestrated Visualization Linked to Related Text
Covering the EU Elections with Linked Data
Controversy and Sentiment in Online News
GED VIZ: A Web Tool for Exploring and Sharing Global Economic Relations
Automatic Discovery of Partisan campaigns, Agenda Setting and Political Spin in Press releases
Automatic Investigation on Mass Media: Epoch Detection in Journalism
The “Courage For” Facebook Pages: Advocacy Citizen Journalism in the Wild
Open Data Hackers in Brazil: Motivations and Practices
MakePipe: Standardized Data Processing Pipelines
Does Comprehensiveness Matter? Reflections on Analysing and Visualising UK Press Portrayals of Migrant Groups
Presidential Issue Framing and the Role of the Media: The Case of the VA Backlog, 2009-2014
Discovering Newsworthy Tweets with a Geographical Topic Model
Retweets indicate Interest, Trust, Agreement: User Opinion and Meta-Analysis of Twitter Research
AttitudeBuzz: Using Social Media Data to Localize Complex Attitudes
Fact Checking and Analyzing the Web with FactMinder
Automatic detection of themes used as narrative frames in news articles
Please Take My Survey: Compliance with smartphone-based EMA/ESM studies

Schedule - Saturday, October 25

Time Programs
9:00 - 10:00 AM Papers: Automation in the Newsroom and Beyond
Datastringer: easy dataset monitoring for journalists; Matt Shearer, Basile Simon and Clement Geiger
Journalist versus news consumer: the perceived credibility of machine written news; Hille Van der Kaa and Emiel Krahmer.
Understanding News Geography and Major Determinants of Global News Coverage of Disasters; Haewoon Kwak and Jisun An.
Moderator: Larry Birnbaum, Northwestern University
10:00 - 11:00 AM Panel: Algorithms & The Future of Accountability Reporting
Christian Sandvig, University of Michigan
Christo Wilson, Northeastern University
Kelly McBride, Poynter Institute
Moderator: Julia Angwin, ProPublica
11:00 - 11:30 AM Midmorning Break
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Papers: Visual Content Gathering and Creation
The Feasibility of Using Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Mapping News Events; Ben Kreimer and Matt Waite
Towards Story Visualization from Social Multimedia; Unaiza Ahsan and Irfan Essa
Data-Driven Cartoons: A Procedural Experiment in Provocation and Civic Participation; Kati London
Moderator: Bernd Girod, Stanford University
12:30 - 1:30 PM Lunch - Boxed Lunches will be provided
1:30 - 2:30 PM Panel: Data-mining in Journalism
Matt Connelly, Columbia University
Jacob Eisenstein, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dan Keating, Washington Post
Hanna Wallach, Microsoft Research New York City
Moderator: Mor Naaman, Cornell Tech and
2:30 - 3:30 PM Dialogue: Crowdsourcing and Collaboration in Journalism
Michael Bernstein, Stanford University
Mar Cabra, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
3:30 - 4:00 PM Wrapup and Conference Summary
4:00 PM - close Networking Happy Hour

Keynote Speaker

Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University

Jon Kleinberg is the Tisch University Professor in the Computer Science Department at Cornell University. His research focuses on issues at the interface of networks and information, with an emphasis on the social and information networks that underpin the Web and other on-line media. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of MacArthur, Packard, and Sloan Foundation Fellowships.

Organizing Committee

General Chairs

  • Nick Diakopoulos, University of Maryland
  • Irfan Essa, Georgia Tech
  • Mark Hansen, Columbia University

Program Committee

  • Larry Birnbaum, Northwestern University
  • Andrew DeVigal, University of Oregon
  • Jacob Eisenstein, Georgia Tech
  • Eric Gilbert, Georgia Tech
  • Scott Klein, ProPublica
  • Alexis Lloyd, New York Times R&D Lab
  • Susan McGregor, Columbia University
  • Andres Monroy-Hernandez, Microsoft Research
  • Cheryl Phillips, Stanford University
  • Rachel Schutt, News Corp
  • Hanna Wallach, Microsoft Research New York City
  • Arkaitz Zubiaga, University of Warwick
  • Additional program committee members to be added shortly


Event Location
Brown Institute for Media Innovation
Pulitzer Hall, Columbia University
2945 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

Hotel Recommendations
1) Aloft Harlem, 2296 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
2) NYLO New York City, 2178 Broadway
3) Hudson Hotel, 356 W 58th Street
For the best price, request the Columbia Negotiated Rate.