June 30, 2016

The Associated Press will begin using an automated writing service to cover more than 10,000 minor league baseball games annually, the news cooperative announced Thursday.

The Associated Press, which routinely covered some minor league stories through the 2006 season, will produce the stories using technology from Automated Insights and data from MLB Advanced Media, which is the official stat-keeper of the minor leagues:

Automated game stories are now available for all Triple-A, Double-A and Class A games, covering 142 MLB-affiliated teams and 13 leagues. The stories also will appear on MiLB.com, the official website of Minor League Baseball, and the official sites of the teams being covered.

The Associated Press has been using automated writing in some form since July 2014, when it began using technology from Automated Insights to produce earnings report stories. The AP now uses automation to produce more than 3,500 earnings reports stories about U.S. companies every quarter. In 2015, The Associated Press announced that it would begin using automation to produce NCAA game stories and hired its first Automation Editor, Justin Myers.

Automation is beginning to get a foothold elsewhere in the news industry, too. In April, Bloomberg editor in chief John Micklethwait announced the creation of a 10-person team to determine how automation could be used throughout the newsroom. Several other news organizations, including The New York Times, ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times have also experimented with forays into automated journalism.

Correction: A previous version of this story said The Associated Press had not covered minor league baseball before. In fact, it routinely covered some minor league games through 2006. We apologize for the error.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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