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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.

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

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2022 – the year robot journalism heads into the mainstream

It's January and the annual Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions report from Reuters Institute lands on the news industry's virtual desks. Like previous years, the 2022 iteration – based on a survey of 246 media leaders across 52 countries – conveys a snapshot of an industry in constant change. From our point of view, this year marked a milestone. While AI in the newsroom has been discussed in the past few editions, the 2022 report for the first time mentions robot journalism specifically. This aligns with what we're seeing – over the past 12 months awareness of content automation as a newsroom tool has shot up. So let us provide a January 2022 snapshot of our corner of the business of journalism.

A growing number of publishers automate real estate coverage – here’s why

Imagine publishing an article every time a house is sold in any of the neighborhoods you cover. Complete with images and satellite maps. With robots in the newsroom, generating this volume of content is not an issue. And suddenly, you can reach individual readers in local communities with stories relevant just to them. Here, we’ll look at how this logic is helping news publishers drive journalism and business effects today.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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