Neil Thurman

Professor of Communication
Department of Communication Studies and Media Research
LMU Munich

Neil Thurman

From the Blog

Readers aged 18–34 are spending nearly twice as much time with newspapers’ print editions than with their websites and apps. In 2016, the 18–34 year old British readers of eight UK national newspapers spent a total of 21.7 billion minutes reading the news brands’ print editions, but just 11.9 billion minutes using their websites and apps. This is one finding from my new study, co-authored with Richard Fletcher from the Reuters Institute at Oxford University.

Photo: Sjoerd Lammers.

Since Snapchat launched Snap Map in June, the feature has caused controversy, with parents, schools, and charities expressing concern about its use by children. However, Snap Map is just one of a range of apps that allows social network users to be monitored without their knowledge and with pin-point accuracy. Indeed some of these apps far exceed Snap Map in their surveillance capabilities, able to track individuals over time and across multiple social networks.

News writing has remained the exclusive domain of journalists until relatively recently. But with the arrival of so-called automated or “robo” journalism, this is no longer the case. Automated journalism is software that converts structured data into stories with limited or no human intervention beyond the initial programming. It has already been deployed by several large news organisations – including the Associated Press which uses the technology to write thousands of business stories every year. Research I conducted recently looks at the opportunities and limitations of automated journalism.