Lecture: curiosity and experimentation with Twitterbots and Computational Journalism

When I think of 2019, I think of many wonderful professional projects and ideas that we have realized or started. One of my favorite projects: the lecture Twitterbots and Computational Journalism as part of the B.A. communication studies at the University of Bamberg.

Together with Marie Kilg, journalist and content manager at Amazon Alexa, I built a practical exercise for students. The course imparts practical knowledge about automated media and trains the students‘ critical-reflective handling of algorithmic services.

Presentation code from groupwork to build twitterbots.
Students presenting their groupwork

Teaching-Learning background

Teaching any subject in a disruptive age means to prepare students for a time we do not know what it will look like. Journalism is no exception. But journalism rather plays a vital role in how the future is shaped. Therefore in education we need to help journalist students to activate their core competences and concentrate on them. These are enthusiasm and curiosity, learn to experiment and investigate and the ability for self-organized learning. We need to help students to gain self-confidence to be able to create their (professional) future. In the lecture presented in this paper we mixed using new software techniques in journalism, such as building twitterbots with various methods to discuss and reflect the algorithmic turn in media. We summarize our experience and give advise for further lectures. Ethical implications were addressed in ways that are serving serving the students as well as the public.

Presentation at the WJEC 2019: Teaching Journalism during a disruptive age

I talked about the lecture at the World Journalism Education Conference in Paris last year. You can also download the full paper (and all the other great work from my colleagues here:

  • Curiosity and Experimentation with Twitterbots and Automated Journalism – a Practical Course for Teaching Journalists. In: Marc-François Bernier, Pascal Guenee (Hrsg.): 5th World Journalism Education Congress Proceedings. Paris. World Journalism Education Congress (2020), S. 818-830. http://www.wjec.paris/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/ConferenceProceedings_WJEC19-1.pdf.
  • „Curiosity and experimentation with twitterbots and automated journalism – a practical course for teaching journalists“. Slides to download here: WJEC_TheresaKoerner_2019 (pdf).

I’d love to share experiences about teaching within a disruptive age!

More interesting teaching stuff and great ideas:

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