Competing narratives about the impact of fake news on political participation, entrenchment of political views, the ubiquity of media environments, and anxiety in news and media consumption raise a number of interrelated tensions surrounding how new technologies, news reporting and consumption, and political events interact and are socially processed. Significant scholarship has explored how digital technologies have impacted journalism and the nature of news consumption overall, yet work that addresses push notifications or the interactions of personalization, automation, and social factors relative to digital journalism is nascent, particularly relative to issues of media anxiety, deception, and manipulation. This presentation will highlight key experiments and findings from a multi-year, collaborative empirical project, Pushing News Agendas, which draws upon computational linguistics and sentiment analysis; in this talk, Madelyn will discuss how: a) push notifications and social distribution of “breaking news” differ from traditional news reporting; b) partisanship affects editorial decisions, distribution patterns, and polarization of topics; c) personalization of push notifications produces echo chamber effects; and d) current and emerging practices stem from complex governance arrangements around the fourth estate.
Madelyn Rose Sanfilippo is a postdoctoral research associate at CITP. She is broadly interested in legal, social, and political issues surrounding information and information technology access, applying a social informatics perspective. Her research empirically explores governance of sociotechnical systems, as well as outcomes, inequality, and consequences within these systems, through mixed method research design. Madelyn is also currently collaborating on a large scale project, funded by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, to examine how push notifications and personalized distribution and consumption of news manipulate readers and contributes to media anxiety, as well as what the implications of these changes in digital journalism may be for an informed electorate. Madelyn’s work is informed by her interdisciplinary background, as she studied political science, international studies, spanish, and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison as an undergraduate and completed her masters and doctoral studies in information science at Indiana University, Bloomington’s School of Informatics and Computing. Madelyn was also previously a postdoctoral research scholar at the Information Law Institute at New York University’s School of Law, where she studied knowledge commons governance, as well as social consequences and governance of artificial intelligence.
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