With the rise of robo-reporters, what is the outlook for jobs in journalism?

by Grace

As more news stories are written using algorithms that compile data and format it for publication, what is the outlook for careers in journalism?  Or for many other writing jobs?

While journalism students have a right to be concerned, this particular technological disruption could be a positive step for those reporters willing to step up to the challenge.

… the use of algorithms on routine news tasks frees up professional reporters to make phone calls, do actual interviews, or dig through sophisticated reports and complex data, instead of compiling basic information such as dates, times and locations.

“It lightens the load for everybody involved,” he said.

Reporters currently involved in writing basic, mundane news stories may find themselves out of work.  Overall, the total number of workers in this industry may decline, perhaps partly offset by the rising number of computer scientists needed to create these programs.

Narrative Science, a pioneer in robo-writing, recently announced plans to expand into other business areas.  The idea is to turn data into insight.

As an example, think of customized end-of-day portfolio summaries instantly produced for upper management and investors, audiences that may want to see the same figures in different formats. Furthermore, rapidly generated texts can be produced at scale, such as individual portfolio summaries for firms with a long client list. Other examples included investment research, in one case producing 35,000 reports per month for a company that previously struggled to manually produce 10. The takeaway: “If you have data, we can tell a story.”

Narrative Science uses Quill, an “artificial intelligence engine” that “discovers” ideas.

Businesses Need Insight, Not Just Numbers

Quill gives you the power to move beyond the numbers and leverage true insight. Quill is an artificial intelligence engine that generates, evaluates and gives voice to ideas as it discovers them in the data.

Let Quill Do the Writing for You

Receive Data
Quill imports your data and builds an appropriate narrative structure to meet the goals of your audience.

Create Story
Using complex Artificial Intelligence algorithms, Quill extracts and organizes key facts and insights and transforms them into stories, at scale.

Deliver Insight
Quill uses data to answer important questions, provide advice and deliver powerful insight in a precise, clear narrative.

According to the BLS, the job outlook for reporters, writers, and editors is average or below average.

Related:  For a journalism job, consider majoring in economics or math (Cost of College)

3 Comments to “With the rise of robo-reporters, what is the outlook for jobs in journalism?”

  1. I didn’t realize journalists were even writing those kinds of routine reports. I thought that sort of thing was done by business analysts


  2. Wait, if you’re referring to the business reports that are a new venture for Narrative Science, those are not prepared by journalists. The investment professionals are definitely involved, with compliance and communications staff typically playing a role. It appears that Quill will be now be able to create the narrative that has been a human’s domain.


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