Keynote 1: The Past and Future of Social Media – A Journalist’s Perspective

Speaker: Professor Steve Schifferes. Steve Schifferes

Abstract: I will draw on the parallels between the current period and other periods of historic change in journalism to examine what is new in today’s world of social media and what represents continuity with past practices.  The talk will examine the changing relationship between the public and the press and how it is being reinterpreted in a digital age.  Finally, the talk will address the question of whether we are at the beginning or the end of a process of revolutionary change.

Bio: Professor Schifferes, Director of the Financial Journalism MA at City University London, has a wide-ranging background in business and finance journalism, both for television and online. Professor Schifferes was economics correspondent for BBC News Online.Previously he was a television producer for programmes including On the Record and the Money Programme (BBC) and Weekend World (LWT) as well as a documentary film maker (Breadline Britain, Fortune, and The Making of Modern London for LWT). Professor Schifferes was educated at Harvard and Warwick and has been a fellow at Columbia and Oxford. He is the principal investigator at City for the EU Social Sensor project.

Keynote 2: Traffic Prediction and Discovery of News via News Crowds

Speaker: Carlos Castillo. Carlos Castillo


Abstract: We consider the users who share a specific online news article on a social media platform. This group is the “news crowd” of the article, an analogy with the crowd of passers-by that gathers around any incident on a busy street. First, we study both the volume and the diversity of the social media conversations of this crowd around the news item, to produce improved predictions of its impact. Second, we follow the crowd during several days in order to find out other news which may be related to the original one.

This talk is based on joint work with Mohammed El-Haddad (Al Jazeera), Mounia Lalmas and Janette Lehmann(Yahoo!), Jürgen Pfeffer (CMU) and Matt Stempeck and Ethan Zuckerman (MIT Center for Civic Media).

Bio: Carlos Castillo is a Senior Scientist in the Social Computing group of the Qatar Computing Research Institute. He has influenced research fields on several topics including adversarial information retrieval and credibility and quality issues on social media. His current research interest is to apply web mining methods to applications in  the domain of on-line news and humanitarian crises. More about “ChaTo” on