Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich

IKMZ - Department of Communication and Media Research

Media Change & Innovation Division

Andreasstrasse 15
CH-8050 Zurich
Phone +41 (0)44 635 20 92
Fax +41 (0)44 634 49 34

Algorithmic Journalism

Structural change in journalism under the influence of algorithms and algorithmic content production


PhD project Konstantin Dörr


Technology influences journalism in terms of news production as well as the future structure and organisation of the news industry. With algorithms editing, aggregating, publishing, and distributing content, processes of media production and consumption are increasingly being automated.


This project investigates the theoretical, economic and technological implications of automated news production in journalism, which is here called Algorithmic Journalism.


Starting from an institutional and integrated innovation–co-evolution–complexity perspective (Latzer  2013), which conceives media change as an innovation-driven, co-evolutionary process in a complex environment, marked by adaptive, non-linear system behaviour, Algorithmic Journalism is classified within the framework of algorithmic selection on the Internet (Latzer et al. 2014). 


A first part of this project focuses on the technological potential of algorithms as content creators and answers the question if they are able to perform functions of professional journalism on a technical level.


A business model analysis of service providers categorizes and assess the econmical implications of automated content generation and their impact on journalistic business models.


After the technological, theoretical, and economical localization (instiutionalization) of algorithms in news production, the project focues on the ethical challenges of algorithmic journalism on a social, professional, and organisational level. 


This research project is based on theoretical and empirical work on journalism studies, institutional theory, sociology of technology, innovation theory and media economics.



  • Caswell, David / Dörr, Konstantin (2017): Automated Journalism 2.0: Event-driven narratives. From simple descriptions to real stories. In: Journalism Practice [online first]. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080
  • Thurman, Neil / Dörr, Konstantin / Kunert, Jessica (2017): When Reporters get Hands-on with Robo-Writing: Professionals Consider Automated Journalism’s Capabilities and Consequences. In: Digital Journalism [online first]. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2017.1289819 [pdf]
  • Dörr, Konstantin (2017): Algorithmen, Big Data und ihre Rolle im Computational Journalism. In: Meier, Klaus/Neuberger, Christoph. Journalismusforschung. Stand und Perspektiven, 2., aktualisierte und erweiterte Auflage. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 245-264.
  • Dörr, Konstantin / Köberer, Nina / Haim, Mario (2017): Normative Qualitätsansprüche an algorithmischen Journalismus. In: Stapf, Ingrid/Prinzing, Marlis/Filipovic, Alexander. Gesellschaft ohne Diskurs? Digitaler Wandel und Journalismus aus medienethischer Perspektive. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 121-133.
  • Dörr, Konstantin / Hollnbuchner, Katharina (2016): Ethical Challenges of Algorithmic Journalism. In: Digital Journalism, Published online before print April 19, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2016.1167612. [more] [pdf]
  • Dörr, Konstantin (2015): Mapping the field of Algorithmic Journalism. In: Digital Journalism, Published online before print, November 3, 2015, doi: 10.1080/21670811.2015.1096748. [more] [pdf]



The Use of Algorithmic Journalism