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Business & Finance Series: Enterprise Spotlight

Cass receives Google funding to create innovative journalism tool 'JUICE'

The Centre for Creativity in Profession Practice has designed a new digital prototype to support creative thinking by journalists during the early development of news stories.


The prototype that resulted from user-centred design is called JUICE – the JoUrnalIst Creative Engine. JUICE is a simple Add-on Sidebar and Dialog Box in Google Docs that a journalist can invoke when developing news stories. The Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice received funding from Google’s Digital News Initiative.

Professor Neil Maiden, Director of the Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice, said, “JUICE emerged from involving journalists in the design of new digital tools for them. As a consequence, JUICE fits with how journalists work. Use of it can nudge journalists to be more creative, and improve their productivity at the same time”

The team behind JUICE interviewed experienced journalists and their research revealed six strategies that journalists reported as effective for developing creative news angles:

  1. Individuals: creatively explore different human angles in a news story based on the different people and roles associated with the story.
  2. Causal: creatively explore the background events that underpin a story in order to discover a new angle to the story from its background.
  3. Quirky: creatively explore unusual or comical information about a story as a means of using wit to report serious news.
  4. Quantifiable elements: creatively explore numerical and quantified information about a news story in order to back it up with evidence in new and useful ways.
  5. Ramifications: creatively explore information about the consequences of events and actions related to a news story in order to generate new and useful stories about future consequences.
  6. Data visualisations: creatively explore different data sets and visualisations in order to generate new and useful ways about how to display information in a news story to encourage human insight.

Each of these six strategies was then designed in the form of a computerised algorithm to search for, retrieve and present news information as recommendations to stimulate journalists to create new story angles that instantiate the strategy.

Professor Maiden added, “This Google-funded project has enabled us to deploy our advanced creative search and recommendations tools to a new sector – journalism. Initial feedback from it is exciting, and suggest a lot of potential for its uptake.”

Click here for information about Google's Digital News Initiative.

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