Frank Waddell Receives JMCQ 2019 Article of the Year Award
Frank Waddell, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Journalism assistant professor, has received the Journalism and Mass Communications Quarterly (JMCQ) 2019 Outstanding Article Award for “Can an Algorithm Reduce the Perceived Bias of News? Testing the Effect of Machine Attribution on News Readers’ Evaluations of Bias, Anthropomorphism, and Credibility.”
Waddell’s research explored whether or not news attributed to an automated author is perceived as less biased and more credible than news attributed to a human author. Results revealed that perceptions of bias are lessened when news is attributed to a human journalist and algorithm in tandem, with positive consequences for perceived news credibility.
JMCQ is the flagship journal of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the oldest refereed scholarly journal in mass communication.
Waddell’s research “advances theory and research in the emergent area of algorithm-based journalism,” according to comments from JMCQ board members. “[The article provides] clever methods, clear findings, is lucidly reported and makes a useful contribution to our understanding of news readers’ reactions to AI-driven media….As we move into the age of robot news, this article is significant in helping to decide if machine attribution increases the credibility of news sources.”
Waddell, whose research includes work related to automated news, the psychology of online comments, and the effects of social television, is also a Trust Scholar with UF Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology. For the Consortium, he is studying how sexist portrayals of journalism in popular films and television shows affect our trust of journalists in everyday life.