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  3. Postdoctoral researcher in AI and Journalism

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Postdoctoral researcher in AI and Journalism

Journalism is going through challenging times, with the decline of trust in institutional journalism, the competitive pressure of free online news, and the …

2 maanden geleden


Nieuwe Achtergracht, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Vast contract
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2709 - € 4978 per maand


Journalism is going through challenging times, with the decline of trust in institutional journalism, the competitive pressure of free online news, and the emergence of decentralized gate-keeping through social media and news aggregators. Journalism has adapted to the digital ecosystem, where algorithms and AI direct audience traffic and help determine revenue, with differing degrees of success. Large national news companies, such as The Guardian and The New York Times, have been able to adapt and leverage technology to reach a global audience. For local (and regional) news providers it has been much more difficult to remain innovative and sustainable because of the inherently limited local market and a lack of resources. Moreover, many of the innovations powering the modern news ecosystem, such as automatic curation and news algorithms for personalized news delivery, are fuelling concerns about filter bubbles and polarization.

This postdoc position is part of a project to harness the possibilities afforded by AI to help local journalism cope with these challenges, while taking the journalistic norms and values that are central to its role in democratic societies as a central design principle. The project is an interdisciplinary, international cooperation between Professor Neil Thurman (LMU Munich), a renowned expert on the adoption and implications of computational journalism; Professor Helle Sjovaag (U of Stavanger), an expert on journalism and the media industry; Professor Natali Helberger (U of Amsterdam) an expert on media law and value sensitive design; Junior Professor Mario Haim (U of Leipzig), an expert in communication science and computational journalism; Dr Antske Fokkens (VU Amsterdam) an associate professor of computational linguistics; and Dr Wouter van Atteveldt, (VU Amsterdam) an associate professor of communication science and computational communication science.

Job description

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher.

Together with this team of PIs, the tasks of the postdoc will be to:

  • help identify the most promising applications of AI in the local journalistic process, in cooperation with a local journalism organization;
  • map the use of AI in journalism, with a focus on local journalism;
  • help preparing a funding application;
  • help preparing a journal publication in a high ranking academic journal.

Depending on the successful candidate’s preference, the postdoc can be based at: LMU Munich (with Neil Thurman), the University of Amsterdam (with Natali Helberger), the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (with Wouter van Atteveldt), or Leipzig University (with Mario Haim).


The successful candidate must have:

  • a degree and/or PhD in journalism, media studies, human-computer interaction, or other related discipline;
  • strong affinity with the subject matter;
  • some experience with ethnographic and qualitative research methods;
  • preferably: some experience of drafting funding applications;
  • good communication and writing skills;
  • good organization skills;
  • enthusiasm for and ideally experience of working in a highly interdisciplinary (computer science, journalism studies, communication science, and law) and international setting;
  • fluency in English and preferably another European language (German, Dutch, Norwegian);
  • the ability to work independently and yet be a team player.

Note: the position may involve travelling.


Our offer

A full-time, fixed term (12 months), position based at the University of Amsterdam (Institute for Information Law), the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, LMU Munich or Leipzig University. Starting October 2020.

If based at LMU Munich or Leipzig University salary scale E 13 TV-L (€3,837 to €5,622 gross per month – full-time equivalent - depending on experience).

If based at the University of Amsterdam or Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam salary scale 10-11 (€2.709 to €4.978 gross per month - full-time equivalent - depending on experience).

The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities applies. Secondary benefits at Dutch universities are attractive and include 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year allowance.

Additional information

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