The Death of the Author, the Rise of the Robo-Journalist

Authorship, bylines, and full disclosure in automated journalism

Authored by: Tal Montal , Zvi Reich

The Routledge Handbook of Developments in Digital Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138283053
eBook ISBN: 9781315270449
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315270449-5

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Abstract

The rise in recent years of “automated journalism” (Carlson, 2015; Weeks, 2014) or “robot journalism” (Clerwall, 2014; Van Dalen, 2012) is based on a new and exceptional use of algorithms, artificial intelligence software platforms, and natural language generation techniques. These algorithms are able to generate textual and visual journalistic content automatically and (to some extent) autonomously, and their output “can be fully customized to fit a customer’s voice, style and tone” (Ghuman and Kumari, 2013: 205). Automated journalism allows media organizations to address the areas of interest of their “long-tail” readers with virtually no additional marginal costs. Presented as a promise to release human journalists from routine reporting, it allows them to focus on more complex tasks, in light of the financial difficulties these organizations are experiencing.

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