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Jun 16
2017

Journalism Now Automated

Posted by: Steve Marr

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I have written in previous blogs about how many tasks are becoming automated and having a profound effect in the workplace and society. Last fall the Washington Post published an article about how many political races were reported using automated technology (http://wapo.st/2pIO47B  ). The article is worth reading. In summary, it reports than an algorithm has been created to generate stories from Internet content and produce it in written form. An editor or writer may easily add analysis. A program like this, while in its infancy, eliminates the need for low-level research assistants and basic writers.  It means that automation is affecting an area where you think it wouldn't have any influence.  A key principle to keep in mind is that in business if something can be automated, it likely will.

 

I have also written about the difficulty that local newspapers are having competing in today’s marketplace.  As readership shrinks, along with advertising revenue, the surviving papers are going to have to adjust and cut costs any way they can. As this tool becomes refined; lower level staff positions, which were traditionally entry points for young journalists, will disappear.

In every field of employment we need to be keenly aware of how easily many jobs may be automated in the future.  The wise person will grasp what cannot be automated when it comes to serving customers and capitalize on those features.  While I thought that writing and journalism was one area that would be immune from automation, I was wrong.  

King Solomon wrote, "How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:22, 2NLT) In most fields change is happening rapidly, and it will affect your job. We need to look forward to understand changes and react before our positions disappear.

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