Algorithms are increasingly making decisions in society, and that was the topical focus of Dataharvest 2018. In cooperation with the German NGO Algorithmwatch, the Dataharvest team drafted a focused track about journalism covering the field. The track offered seven sessions addressing automated decision making and how to research it.
After the conference, Algorithmwatch asked Arena director Brigitte Alfter to gather and coordinate the first team of journalists and academics who, over the autumn of 2018, prepared the stocktaking report ”Automating Society”, launched in January 2019.
The purpose of preparing the report in a team effort rather than by one expert was twofold: To produce a genuinely European report, and by doing so to develop a European team of dedicated journalists knowing each other so well they would consider working on these topics in the future.
By 2020, Algorithmwatch is running the network and its own team coordinator and journalist are preparing a 2nd European report as well as ongoing journalistic coverage – with a European angle.