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StoryBot: Automated workflows in news production towards robot-assisted journalism

Storybot - About

“Robot journalism” (a.k.a. “computational journalism”, “algorithmic news”) represents a shift towards the automation of journalistic tasks related to news reporting, writing, curation, and data analysis. Exploiting the abundance of news sources on the web, this technology offers new means to better create content on a massive scale and cover events more quickly than a human alone ever could. Yet, however far StoryBot may advance, we are under no illusions that the whole news production process can be automated: We know that the primary tasks of collecting information from sources, verifying, writing, editing and publishing news is bound to always begin and end with human beings.

StoryBot aims to develop a news bot that will assist professionals in performing certain essential but repetitive information-gathering and sourcing tasks, and synthesize them into a single application without the need to change working environment or use different tools for each task. Apart from the creative parts of writing and editing a story, the StoryBot process will be highly automated to increase speed of production, reducing additional intervention and effort by journalists. In this way, journalists can access a set of ready-made sources on a subject of interest that have been verified and categorized, and which they can use to write, edit and publish a story.

What we do

StoryBot is to create a software solution that can streamline the tasks of editorial planning, content aggregation, writing, editing and publishing into a logical and efficient sequential procedure.

What we aim for

StoryBot will act like the journalist’s personal assistant, charged with finding and organizing relevant and credible news articles so that journalists can dedicate as much time as possible to tasks that only humans can do.

Our Expectations

StoryBot will deliver to the journalist a synthesis of news items that can be used as a basis for the editorial office to produce its own news story, by digging further into relevant topics, combining facts and adding more explanation and narration.

Impact

StoryBot will address the need of journalists to quickly identify, process and publish breaking news and emerging stories. It will help to mitigate information overload by minimizing the time needed to search for credible online sources, and having the news content already categorized so that the journalists can focus on the writing and editing. In the longer term, we aim to become an integral part of an enterprise’s news production process. Organizations can gain competitive advantage by utilizing StoryBot to collect, verify, categorize, automatically create and publish content in different channels.

Consortium

Consortium members come from the academia and the news media area. Currently the installations http://cna.storybot.eu and http://worldcrunch.storybot.eu have been set up to allow CNA and WorldCrunch to assist the platform.