Dear colleagues, we are being replaced

Now that sounds more dramatic than it might be, plus a robot would never come up with that title. However automated storytelling is gaining ground. The Washington Post recently announced an expansion in their use of Heliograf, which is an automated storytelling technology.

From now on the Heliograf technology is writing articles on the results of high school football games in the DC-area. By using automated storytelling, The Post is able to cover all games. Something they would not do if they had to put in human labor, prioritizing other stories.

Napoli (2014) states in his research on automation in media industries that the rise of algorithms as content creators is not to say that we (human) journalists are being pushed out of the newsroom. According to the scholar, our role in the creation of content changes from a direct to an indirect role (Napoli, 2).

Scott Gillespie, Chief Technology Officer at The Washington Post argues that by giving room to automated storytelling, journalists have more time “to do in-depth reporting”. The question that comes up: do we want to have an indirect role? In my opinion humans should not be placed on a sidetrack in something so vital as independent journalism, especially these days.

Curious if a (damn) robot writes better than you do? Check this article to find out:  

Wilson at Yorktown 


Napoli, Philip N (2014). On Automation in Media Industries: Integrating Algorithmic Media Production into Media Industries Scholarship. Rutgers University. 1-5. Online.

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