How May I Assist You?
Digital Studio|November 2020
Will robots replace journalists in the days to come?
Anisha Gakhar
Journalism is a creative profession. It involves the seamless amalgamation of human elements such as emotion, judgement, tone and expression.

However, there is a trend that has caught up across verticals—writing algorithms/ templates have been widely employed across newsrooms and media houses, to produce articles and thereby replace human journalists. In 2016, Wordsmith, one of the news-writing algorithms, wrote and published 1.5 billion news stories. This number is comparable to or may even exceed work written and published by human journalists.

Automation, though, is based on formulae and a precise set of rules, hence, is mainly used for stories based on statistics and numerical figures; sports recaps, weather, financial reports, real estate analysis, and earnings reviews are some examples. Automated journalism helps take over routine tasks, so that manpower is left to focus on creative complex tasks. It also allows efficiency and cost-cutting, alleviating some financial burden that many news organisations face. However, automated journalism is also perceived as a threat to the authorship and quality of news and the uncertainty of employment within the industry.

Robotic journalism facilitates generation of news articles by computer programs. Through artificial intelligence (AI) software, stories are produced automatically by computers rather than human reporters. These programs interpret, organise, and present data in human-readable ways. Typically, the process involves an algorithm that scans large amounts of provided data, selects from an assortment of pre-programmed article structures, orders key points, and inserts details such as names, places, amounts, rankings, statistics, and other figures. The output can also be customised to fit a certain voice, tone, or style.

AI can also help journalists analyse large quantities of data and detect trends based on multiple sources of information varying from conventional open sources to new sources. Many of the largest and most reputable news outlets in the world are using robotics and AI in their TV studios, where robotic camera systems are replacing human crews. The trend began in the 1990s, and the entire live production chain at broadcast stations and networks are increasingly being automated ever since.

The search, processing and analysis of data is the most useful application of algorithms in journalism. The benefit of withdrawing relevant data from a database is that it makes a journalist’s job of finding correlations and causations, easy. For example, news organisations are using applications that auto-detect the faces of sports players or members of a political party by their photos. This face-recognition technique is especially useful, when it is humanly impossible to remember and recognise a large number of people and their names, which is required in any news business. That being said, the processing and analysis of data is not enough. It is important to represent and interpret the data appropriately, given the large amount of data accessible today.

AN INTERESTING EXAMPLE

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM DIGITAL STUDIOView All

INTERSECTING TECH

Convergence India 2021 is back with its phygital version

5 mins read
Digital Studio
March 2021

Sony's OLED reference monitors honoured with Emmy Award

Sony Electronics has been named a recipient of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ (NATAS) 72nd Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Award.

1 min read
Digital Studio
March 2021

NewTek introduces ProTek; product support tailored to customer needs

NewTek, provider of IP-based video technology, has announced the introduction of ProTek, a new tiered support program that allows customers to choose between four distinct levels of coverage, to include; Basic, Standard, High, and Ultra. Each tier incorporates support elements under Warranty, Software Maintenance, Technical Support, and Extended Services.

1 min read
Digital Studio
March 2021

Vizrt Newsroom provides journalists to full-power content creation tools

Vizrt, a provider of software-defined visual storytelling tools (#SDVS) for media content creators, has announced Vizrt Newsroom, one of five software Solution Suites made available exclusively through Flexible Access.

1 min read
Digital Studio
March 2021

Triveni Digital brings localised NextGen TV content to IEEE BTS PULSE

Triveni Digital announced that the company’s SVP of emergent technology development, Mark Corl, presented on how single-frequency networks (SFNs) are empowering ATSC 3.0 broadcasters at the IEEE BTS PULSE virtual conference.

1 min read
Digital Studio
March 2021

SECURITY SYLLABUS

With cyber threats on the rise, security becomes more imperative than ever before

7 mins read
Digital Studio
March 2021

Media Production & Technology Show postponed until May 2022

After carefully monitoring the progress of the vaccine roll out in the UK and abroad, the organisers of the Media Production & Technology Show have announced that the event has been postponed until 2022. It now will take place from 11th to 12th May, 2022, at Olympia and for the first time will be held in the National Hall.

1 min read
Digital Studio
March 2021

Dolby to be honoured at the upcoming Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has announced that Dolby will be honoured with a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award for its contributions to Dynamic Metadata for optimal high-dynamic-range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) color volume mapping, at the upcoming 72nd Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards.

1 min read
Digital Studio
March 2021

Kolkata Knight Riders Selects LiveU Solo For Digital Content In IPL 2020

With COVID-19 changing the entire dynamics of sports, the Indian Premier League (IPL2020) was held without spectators for the first time in history.

1 min read
Digital Studio
March 2021

The World In Your Palm

Live event production has undergone a facelift in the wake of the new normal

6 mins read
Digital Studio
March 2021