Curation and aggregation: Tools, techniques and research

Curation and aggregation are two methods of creating journalistic stories that integrate research, verification and writing into digital media.

The class presentation on research tools

Here are some readings about curation and aggregation:

Steve Buttry

Mindy McAdams: curation and journalists as curators


Checklist of key academic resources

Journalist’s resources: Studies

Examples of good curation

How to introduce a person/expert:
(From Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, Journalist’s Resource)

Daniel Schrag is the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and a professor of environmental science and engineering at Harvard University. While teaching an undergraduate course he calls “the climate energy challenge,” Schrag also directs the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and co-directs the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Schrag served on former President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST) from 2009 to 2016, and has worked on a range of issues in climate science, geochemistry, earth history, and energy technology. Examples of his research include a 2017 study on the potential impacts of solar geoengineering on extreme heat events, as well as a 2016 paper that looks at how policy decisions in the coming years will influence global climate, ecosystems and human societies for thousands of years into the future.

  • Link out of name to BEST profile page — a person’s own website, their profile page at their main workplace, etc. In this case, it’s his profile page as a faculty member at Harvard
  • Give proper titles, and link off to those entities.

A good example of curation about a particular study:

  • Note how the leaders of the study are introduced, contextually in a lede about the whole concept of social media and its impact on today’s journalists. The actual study is linked to, but then a short list of highlights is given. The author of the article took time to digest and “curate” the content for the reader — but gives the reader the link to the study for further information.

Another good example of a curated story about a study, this one about helicopter parents:

A curated story about emotional support animals:

Good curation from Quartz

Why the sunny outlook? After all, Facebook is facing a slew of regulatory and legal issues in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, as well as continuing worries about the company’s role in perpetuating fake news. It’s the subject of a probe by the US Federal Trade Commission. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning to testify before the US Congress, while the UK parliament is mad at him for sending deputies in his stead. Meanwhile, 37 US state attorneys wrote a letter to Zuckerberg pushing him for answers about Facebook’s protections (or lack thereof) on user data. And the lawsuits just keep coming.

From Journalist’s resource:

Aggregation of recent research about schools and what they are doing to prevent gun violence, plus abstracts.


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