Articles about "Associated Press"


C-3PO, R2-D2

AP’s robot-written stories have arrived

AP earnings-report stories written with automation technology have begun to appear. Earnings reports for Hasbro Inc., Honeywell International Inc. and GE, among others, bear the legend “This story was generated automatically by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research.”

AP announced at the end of June that it would start using the technology to produce significantly more earnings report stories.

Reached by phone, AP Managing Editor Lou Ferrara said the stories began to appear around the middle of July, and all the ones you’re seeing right now have been checked by human eyes, as was the plan. “The tap isn’t fully open yet,” he said. Some stories were published just as Automated Insights filed them, others have had a few “bugs here and there,” Ferrara said.… Read more

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How Jim Brady plans to make money in local

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Was SI’s LeBron James scoop legit? Sam Kirkland rounds up some thinkination from thinkinators and notes that SND’s Rob Schneider said the NYT’s celebrated sports section front on Saturday was inaccurate — James hadn’t signed at the time. (Poynter) | The “item did move on the sports AP wire, exactly as presented,” Margaret Sullivan writes. “I guess I can see his point, but it’s too literal,” Benjamin Hoffman, who designed the page, told her. (NYT) | James decided to go to SI rather than ESPN because 2010′s “The Decision” “upset America’s collective stomach and spoiled his reputation as a basketball god,” Robert Weintraub writes. “The average fan could read his moving, sincere announcement on SI.com and subconsciously think, Maybe it was ESPN’s fault, not LeBron’s, all along.” (CJR) | The “trade rumor — shorthand here for any offseason transaction news — has become the dominant form of NBA journalism.” (Grantland)
  2. How Jim Brady plans to make money in local: His Philly news startup Brother.ly will use a “mix of advertising, events and memberships,” Joe Pompeo reports.
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Britain NSA Surveillance

Obama administration knew in advance about destruction of Guardian’s hard drives

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories. Want more roundups? We got ‘em! From Sam Kirkland: “Why are so many news organizations still worried about retweets by staffers?” From Kristen Hare: “Chinese journalists get a warning; press freedoms halt in South Sudan.”

  1. Obama administration knew British government planned to force Guardian to destroy hard drives with Snowden docs: AP scores emails with a FOIA request. “‘Good news, at least on this front,’ the current NSA deputy director, Richard Ledgett, said at the end of a short, censored email to then-NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander and others. The subject of that July 19, 2013, email was: ‘Guardian data being destroyed.’” (AP) | FLASHBACK: Video of Guardian editors destroying hard drives while technicians from the Brtitish intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) watched.
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Retweets are endorsements at NPR and AP, but not at NYT

NPR is still worried that retweets can easily be misconstrued as endorsements, according to a memo from standards and practices supervising editor Mark Memmott obtained by Jim Romenesko.

According to Memmott, “despite what many say, retweets should be viewed AS endorsements.” He quoted from NPR’s ethics handbook:

“Tweet and retweet as if what you’re saying or passing along is information that you would put on the air or in a ‘traditional’ NPR.org news story. If it needs context, attribution, clarification or ‘knocking down,’ provide it.”

The reiterated policy of treating every retweet as a message that could be dangerously misconstrued comes in light of an education blogger lamenting on an official NPR account that “only the white guys get back to me” on deadline.… Read more

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AP on robot reporters: ‘I can’t have journalists spending a ton of time data processing’

AP’s plan to automate stories about earnings reports is designed to make life easier for human journalists, not to replace them, AP Managing Editor Lou Ferrara said.

Twitter jokes about our new robot journalist overlords notwithstanding, automation technology isn’t coming for the stories most reporters are writing; in fact, the majority of AP’s software-generated business stories will be stories that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. AP anticipates moving 4,400 stories per quarter with the new technology, up from 300 per quarter before.

Ferrara, a member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board, said “several dozen reporters” will be impacted by automation because covering most business beats — retail, energy, airlines, you name it — requires covering quarterly earning statements throughout the year. But the new technology doesn’t mean humans won’t still participate in the process.… Read more

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‘Retro’ email newsletters are ‘taking off’; Facebook blasted for News Feed study

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day):

— “Newsletters are clicking because readers have grown tired of the endless stream of information on the Internet,” David Carr of The New York Times writes, “and having something finite and recognizable show up in your inbox can impose order on all that chaos.”

— “With great data comes great responsibility,” Max Nisen explains at Quartz. Facebook is in hot water over a study that “skewed the positive or negative emotional content that appeared in the news feeds of nearly 700,000 users over the course of a week.”

— The Associated Press is embracing software-generated business stories, enabling it to produce 4,400 robo-stories rather than 300 human-written ones, Andrew Beaujon reports at Poynter.… Read more

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Glen Taylor’s plans for Star Tribune, NPR’s new approach to diversity

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. AP hires robots: The news co-op will use automation technology from Automated Insights to produce more than 4,000 earnings-reports stories (it now produces about 300). No job cuts: “If anything, we are doubling down on the journalism we will do around earnings reports and business coverage,” AP’s Lou Ferrara says. (Poynter) || Related: “Can a robot-journalist win a Pulitzer Prize?” Laugh it up while you can, humans. (HuffPost)
  2. Glen Taylor plans to appoint his daughter to the Star Tribune’s board: Deal is “on the verge of closing.” He tells Curt Brown, “Most business guys are saying about the newspaper thing: ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it,’ and that’s why I’m doing it.” (The Star Tribune)
  3. NY1 will stop using the term “illegal immigrant”: “Instead, staff are encouraged to indicate that an individual is ‘here illegally,’ with ‘undocumented immigrant’ as a permissible fallback.” (Capital)
  4. Twitter says JAV can stay: During its broadcast of Jose Antonio Vargas‘ film “Documented” last night, CNN polled people with a tweet: “Do you think Jose should be deported?” 63 percent of people said he should stay.
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3d robot. Advanced service

AP will use robots to write some business stories

AP will announce Monday that it plans to use automation technology from a company called Automated Insights to produce stories about earnings reports. The software means that “instead of providing 300 stories manually, we can provide up to 4,400 automatically for companies throughout the United States each quarter,” AP Managing Editor Lou Ferrara writes in a Q&A.

That does not mean job cuts or less coverage, Ferrara writes: “If anything, we are doubling down on the journalism we will do around earnings reports and business coverage.” Instead, he writes, “our journalists will focus on reporting and writing stories about what the numbers mean and what gets said in earnings calls on the day of the release, identifying trends and finding exclusive stories we can publish at the time of the earnings reports.”

The data for the stories will come from Zacks Investment Research.… Read more

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AP changes format for baseball stories

Associated Press

The Associated Press will offer shorter and speedier coverage of baseball games, with 300-word stories and bulleted points, the AP’s Paul Colford wrote Monday in a press release.

Starting July 28, we’ll launch a new format that presents the game story in a faster, more accessible and more customizable package. Instead of a traditional 600-word game story, our coverage will feature 300 words about the game and then up to five bullet points that highlight mini storylines, injuries, key plays and what’s coming next for a team.

The change will make stories faster to read, faster to publish and more customizable for newsrooms. Unique content will be more easily highlighted and communicated. Editors can choose to use the 300-word story, or break off the bullet points for websites.

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AP called kids ‘detainees’ because ‘We did not want to sugar-coat the facts’

The Guardian

Guardian assistant news editor Erin McCann says she “was apoplectic” when she saw AP’s captions for a story on immigrant children in Border Patrol facilities. It was a “disturbing, slanted and nearly unethical choice to call the young people held in these facilities not children but something else: ‘detainees,’” she writes.

Children color at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas, on June 18. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool)

“I am so angered by this because the language journalists use here matters,” McCann writes. “We are about to have a national debate about what to do with these children, and AP has already begun framing them as ‘the enemy.’”

Many news outlets preserved the term “detainees” in captions, McCann notes: “Either they didn’t notice, in which case they’re bad (or, ok, overworked, busy, multi-tasking) journalists, or they didn’t care, in which case they’re really bad journalists.”

McCann’s challenge to AP’s style comes a little more than a year after the news co-op changed its style on the term “illegal immigrant.” At the time, Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll told Poynter the change came in part because of ongoing work at AP dedicated to “ridding the Stylebook of labels.”

The use of such labels, she said, “ends up pigeonholing people or creating long descriptive titles where you use some main event in someone’s life to become the modifier before their name.”

McCann didn’t ask AP for comment on her opinion piece, a decision Paul Colford, AP’s director of media relations, called “Unfortunate” in an email to Poynter.… Read more

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