Does Structured Journalism Work? Evaluating the Feasibility of Structure for Consumers and Reporters

Does the traditional news article still make sense as the primary unit of news in the age of the Internet and smartphone? That was the question I asked in my first blog post as an RJI Fellow in July 2015. My fellowship has focused on evaluating a proposed alternative unit of news: the structured story, a knowledge representation mechanism that enables the encoding of general news as structured events organized into narratives.

Structured stories are an extreme example of structured journalism, a broader movement that seeks to change the basis of journalism from unstructured text articles into a data-centric, networked vision of news. Such a vision might offer a sustainable path forward for newsrooms, news consumers, journalists and society in the challenging post-print media environment.

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