Machines and humans in the Reuters newsroom
Reg Chua, executive editor of editorial operations, data and innovation at Reuters, writes about how its journalists are using more technology for stories.
Chua writes, “In newsrooms, machines do some things very well – they analyze and sift through data tirelessly, and at speed and on demand. Humans, on the other hand, are good are asking the right questions, bringing news judgment to bear, and understanding context. Or to put it the opposite way – and very generally – machines write bad stories and journalists struggle with mounds of data.
“So that’s why Reuters is building a ‘cybernetic newsroom’ – marrying the best of machine capability and human judgment to drive better journalism, rather than asking one to be a second-rate version of the other.
“As the latest stage in this journey, we’re developing an in-house tool called Lynx Insight that can augment human journalism by identifying trends, anomalies, key facts and suggesting new stories reporters should write. The platform uses automated data-sifting on a vast scale, alongside algorithms programmed by Reuters journalists, to go beyond simple rote reporting into proactively offering fresh, data-driven angles that our staff can pursue.
“Through Lynx Insight, we’re placing a bet that the future of automation in the newsroom is less around using machines to write stories than in using machines to mine data, find insights, and present them to journalists. This leverages the smarts of our newsroom, both in asking the right questions of the machines and in evaluating the answers that come back, to drive even better journalism, and much more quickly.”
Read more here.