Fear not, journalists: Roboreporters are not coming for your jobs, at least not yet.
That’s the takeaway from a new report from Alexander Fanta at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, who took a look at how 15 news agencies in Europe have implemented automation in their organizations. While the news agencies have been drawn to the the efficiencies of the technology, organizations still have a lot of work to do with realizing that promise. Fanta’s conclusion: “So far, automation is limited in its scope and complexity,” as he writes in the report.
Here are a few of his standout findings:
— Automation’s role is growing, but still limited. Big news agencies like AP, Reuters, and AFP are producing thousands of algorithm-aided stories month, particularly in finance and sports. But adoption is still uneven. Organizations such as Spain’s Efe and Ansa in Italy are still reluctant to make the necessary investments in the tech, citing the uncertain payoff in investment in the tech.
Most people don’t look at any news, or at one news site; using social media a lot (even without the intention of looking for news) means that sometimes you’ll end up clicking a news link — so heavy social media users, on average, are consuming a wider media diet than those who do not use social media.