January 14th, 2020 • Featured
Journalism on autopilot: The upside and downside of computer-generated stories
Curt Conrad still remembers heading to bed at 4 a.m. on football Friday nights. With multiple games to cover, quotes to cull and stats to sort, football Friday inevitably led to sleepy Saturday. Not now. Conrad, a sports reporter with the all-digital Richland Source in Mansfield, Ohio, relies on automated journalism to cover brass tacks such as the final score, scoring plays by quarter, team records, basic stats and future schedules to generate game stories independently.
What’s the fallout from the radical downturn in the influence of newspapers? To be sure, a less informed populace. More stories generated from press releases. Fewer in-depth articles. Less enterprise coverage of local and regional news. I think there’s something else.