NewsQ design thinking activities are focused on three main outcomes:  (1) technical definitions, (2)“ideation” through data, and (3) creative prototypes. 

Technical definitions

In our mission to improve news ranking and recommendation systems, NewsQ asks journalists, researchers and technologists to use journalistic standards and civic frameworks to clarify how news should be defined and framed for online realms.

Since algorithms operate according to defined rules, NewsQ documents technical definitions around the principles and metrics of online news quality that can be more readily incorporated into algorithmic processing. Our current working definitions include:

  • Methodological definitions and metrics that are proposed in essays and papers, ranging from short, reflective blog pieces that clarify the inquiry around news quality for machine purposes to structured research designs about metrics that can help determine how to assess the state of online news. 
  • Potential news quality “signal” or indicator data definitions. These can be found in our signal documentation, as well as in contributions to the W3C Community Group. 

More about Technical Definitions can be found here.

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Ideation through Data 

At the same time, NewsQ uses our data collections to “ideate” or foster new ideas that help clarify what constitutes – and how to define – quality in news ranking and recommendation.

We collect two types of data to create opportunities for insight: 

  1. A database of signal data across 12,000+ information outlets
  2. Archived screen captures of news ranking and recommendations from various platforms and applications

This data is used to foster new ideas through :

  • Sharing Data to Improve Insight. A pilot of NewsQ’s database of signal data has been offered to invited researchers and analysts in order to inform their work on news quality; parameters for broader access are under development.
  • Panel Discussions among Journalists. An upcoming series of activities will bring together journalists and technologists to review the archived captures in order to develop practical guidelines for understanding what constitutes quality news online.

Find out more about “Ideation” Through Data here.

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Creative Prototypes 

NewsQ also facilitates solution prototypes to the news ranking and recommendation challenge among people with different interests and backgrounds. 

A final activity area for the project involves creating an ecosystem of cooperation that centers on advancing insights into the data. Examples of NewsQ creative prototyping activities include:

  • A limited number of seed grants for data projects that may surface journalistic standards for news ranking and recommendation systems. In addition to sharing their data back to the NewsQ project, grantees participate in collaborative events where they share their progress and have the opportunity for critical feedback.
  • NewsQ’s first “NewsRank for Social Good” Hackathon will take place in March 2020. Undergraduate and graduate students from the Atlanta area who collaborate in interdisciplinary teams will be invited to develop creative, technology-oriented solutions that improve the quality of online news. 

More about Creative Prototypes can be found here.