The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University is due to receive $3 million (£1.9m) in funding from the Knight Foundation to continue and build on its research in news innovation.
The Tow Center's upcoming research will be focused around four key areas: algorithms and automated journalism, data and metrics, audience and engagement, and experimental journalism and practices.
Tow Center director Emily Bell told Journalism.co.uk the research will look into "cutting edge thinking in computer science and statistics and other computational data driven fields".
"If we look at that, we see how it's likely to be applied back to journalism, that's a really important area for us to develop.We know that bots and automated accounts which both generate and disseminate information can be extremely usefulEmily Bell, The Tow Center
"We know that bots and automated accounts which both generate and disseminate information can be extremely useful but can also create false patterns," she said.
The Tow Center has already been researching metrics and impact through a project called NewsLynx.
NewsLynx is running in partnership with six newsrooms, aiming to create a platform to assess the impact of investigative news stories.
Bell said the relationship between journalism and social platforms will also be a key research area for the Tow Center.
She pointed to crowdsourcing projects such as Guardian Witness, crowdfunding sites and other social platforms which she described as "the gateways of the free press".
"On one side you have these huge opportunities for working with audiences in very different ways," she explained, "and then at the same time you have news organisations saying we don't think it's really worth hosting comments on our site."
The Tow Center is also hiring Innovation Fellows to supervise each of the research areas highlighted by Bell.It is important to us that we're not just creating and publishing material but we're also trying to create interest around these areasEmily Bell, The Tow Center
The Center, which was set up in 2010, has received funding for its projects from the Knight Foundation in the past.
Knight Foundation's director of journalism Shazna Nessa said the work of the Tow Center "connected research to practice".
"I love the blend of the far out R&D (research and development) thinking, married with something more practical," she explained, "creating an environment for journalists then to be able to rethink how they approach their newsgathering."
Previous Tow Center research includes a project experimenting with sensor technology in journalism, using it to estimate how much land is lost in Louisiana for example.
As part of the report, the team also "took apart" the issues and ethical implications of using drone technology, among others.
"We want more journalistic experiments to come out of the new grant of research funding that we've got," said Bell, like the research into virtual reality and its applications in journalism currently being explored at the Center.
"It is important to us that we're not just creating and publishing material but we're also trying to create interest around these areas," she added.
Free daily newsletter
- Journalism 360 Challenge funds 11 projects that explore best practices for immersive storytelling in news
- Rhizome is working on an open-source tool to help archive digital content
- The Bay Area Video Coalition aims to make the process of digitising analogue video more accessible to the public
- One Liner aims to help newsrooms understand editorial analytics platforms
- Local podcasting gets a boost with new platform Satchel