The Associated Press announced in an advisory to customers today that the majority of U.S. corporate earnings stories for our business news report will eventually be produced using automation technology.
Here, Lou Ferrara, the AP managing editor who oversees business news, explains how this leap forward takes advantage of new technologies to free journalists to spend more time on things like beat reporting and source development while increasing, by a factor of more than 10, the volume of earnings reports for customers.
Why is the AP doing this?
Like all media companies, AP is constantly reviewing what content it needs to provide to customers and the best use of its reporting resources. At the same time, we analyze the value of the content we produce in the marketplace.
For many years, we have been spending a lot of time crunching numbers and rewriting information from companies to publish approximately 300 earnings reports each quarter. We discovered that automation technology, from a company called Automated Insights, paired with data from Zacks Investment Research, would allow us to automate short stories – 150 to 300 words — about the earnings of companies in roughly the same time that it took our reporters.