News automation:
The publishers’ treasure trove

We’ve been automating editorial content since 2015 and we’ve documented it all. We’ve deployed news automation to fit with the business and journalism strategy of dozens and dozens of publishers. We have learnings to share.

This is our newsroom knowledge hub
– feel free to explore.

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Why volume is the real star of news automation

For the publishers we work with, there is one aspect of automated content that really stands out. One key value they leverage – namely the volume of texts the robots can produce. Time and again we see it. Media companies discovering the real benefit of news automation when they start using it to provide coverage where there previously was none. For sports e g, it means you can set up a publishing timeline (see image) for every league, every match, every reader – all generated automatically.

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When robots drive inclusive journalism

Update: The Q&A function won a third place in the Best New Technology or Digital Product category of the 2020 Global Media Awards.

Talking to a BBC journalist the other day, I was laying out the drivers behind newsroom automation at Swedish local media groups. We agreed it sounds somewhat contradictory that robots now play an active role in creating journalism that involves hundreds – thousands – of people that were rarely seen in local news stories before. I was talking specifically about our Sports robot’s Q&A function, which – we’re very happy to say – has been nominated in INMA’s 2020 Global Media Awards.

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Robot texts underpin regional football site

Klackspark uses United Robot’s sports robot for the blanket coverage of all matches down through division 6. For the 2019 season (Apr-Oct) the sports robot generated a total of 1.2 mi page views, 450,000 of which were logged-in.

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Aftonbladet use robot texts to expand Premier League coverage

“Speed and the ability to cover all matches in every round were key factors in this project,” says Sportbladet project manager Mattias Andersson.

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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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