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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.


Weather warnings at Advance Local: triple win for the newsroom

Because automated editorial content is created from verified, structured data, it can safely be automatically published – from reliable data comes reliable text. This reliability lies behind a number of values gained in the newsrooms of Advance Local who publish automated weather warnings. During a seminar at INMA Media Subscription Summit in New York, Advance Local VP Content Strategy Lamar Graham and Matt Dowling, Director of Breaking and Local News at NJ Advance Media explained how the newsrooms work with, and benefit from, the automated content.

Advance Local’s venture into the use of automated content began in 2022, and had nothing to do with extreme weather. The media group has ten local markets, one of which is Massachusetts. There, the newspaper the Republican in Springfield had for a long time been publishing a listing of all the homes sold in Hampton County in print, collated manually from a spreadsheet. When they started publishing the same content online, they realised it was converting readers into subscribers, “and that’s when a light bulb went off,” said Lamar Graham. If they could replicate this type of content across many more markets, it would potentially amplify the effect. But having reporters manually put together lists to achieve a few hundred pageviews was not viable. “But what if we could somehow automate this and hoover up a bunch of this data around the country and scale it – that might be worth something. This was our hypothesis,” said Graham. Researching options, Advance Local came across United Robots and discovered we had already done the data hoovering and had automated real estate content production for the US in place (albeit from Malmö, Sweden). Advance Local started testing the automated real estate content at in 2022, and rolled it out to all other markets bar one in 2023.


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