News automation: The publishers’ treasure trove

We’ve been automating news since 2015 to fit with the business and journalism strategy of dozens and dozens of publishers. We have learnings to share.

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Key success factors when deploying automated content

Automation in the newsroom – many publishers talk about it, relatively few have any actual experience. Where do you start? How do you generate any real benefits? It may sound like a technical issue, but the tech is actually the most straight-forward part. This blog lays out some of the top success factors for newsrooms deploying automated content and explains how it’s all about improving journalism and growing business. 

How robots put newsrooms in control

When a publisher decides to deploy tech for automated content, the primary reason is generally a business one – the robots generate additional coverage which in turn drive advertising and reader revenues. However, introducing data driven robot journalism has a secondary effect: It constitutes a new editorial tool – in more ways than one.

Journalists with robot experience: "Not a threat!"

We recently received a question from two German researchers: Do journalists profit from the automated journalism or do they find themselves homeless a few years later? We reflected that this focus on the potential threat of automated content to reporters’ jobs and the quality of journalism is all but gone in Sweden. And that this may have something to do with the fact that here, almost all local media houses now use the technology every single day.

Robot journalism: Scraping the internet vs using structured data

There’s an important discussion going on in our industry around the use of robots to produce journalism. Having worked in this field for several years now, we’ve heard sceptics question how it’s possible to build algorithms which create consistently reliable and correct articles. This concern is valid when the underlying data is collected by scraping the internet. But when you build your automated content on structured data sets, the risk of error is minimal.  

Video: Cover all sports, always

Swedish local media group Mittmedia (some 20 news sites) decided to automate all the match reporting of all divisions of all sports. This frees up time for sports reporters to cover breaking sports news, do the deeper, human stories that drive engagement.
The result: In one year, Sports went from having no real impact on the reader revenue business, to driving 30–40% of all digital subscription sales.

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