The Washington Post’s newly launched elections engineering team will establish a computational political journalism R&D lab in the newsroom this fall. Under the leadership of Jeremy Bowers, the team will collaborate with Nick Diakopoulos, an assistant professor in communication studies and computer science at Northwestern University, to experiment with algorithmic and computational journalism tools to support The Post’s political data efforts in advance of the 2020 election.
“We’re incredibly excited to kick off the R&D lab and create novel tools to benefit our readers and our reporters, working with one of the best political reporting teams in the business,” Bowers said. “Nick’s experience in data-driven storytelling and automated analysis puts him at the cutting edge of data science in journalism and we look forward to his contributions as we position The Post as a leader in computational political journalism.”
In addition to his role as assistant professor, Diakopoulos serves as director of the Computational Journalism Lab (CJL) at Northwestern where he works to better understand the efficiency and effectiveness of computational story-discovery tools in domains ranging from investigative and social journalism to computational fact-checking. He is also a Tow Fellow at Columbia University School of Journalism, and associate professor II at the University of Bergen Department of Information Science and Media Studies. His research is in computational and data journalism with emphases on algorithmic accountability and social computing in the news. He is the author of “Automating the News: How Algorithms are Rewriting the Media” from Harvard University Press, and the co-editor of “Data-Driven Storytelling,” from CRC Press. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, where he co-founded the program in computational journalism.