Expensive manpower and excessive resources required to manually create and update data-based articles in real time
The process of Journalism involves investigation (research, data processing), content production (writing, editing) and distribution. In online data-based journalism, the investigation aspect is often covered by data received periodically and the distribution is done through digital publications. Content production is an important but laborious part of the process which is still being done manually in a lot of publishing houses.
Our client too was one such company that had its in-house editorial team working on every article being published. This restricted their pace and also the volume and quality of published content. The manual process was not built for speed, scale or accuracy. It was also holding up periodic updates in the articles to align with the data in real-time. In the digital world fewer articles and updates mean lesser traffic and bad SEO for the website. The client was looking for an AI-powered alternative to replace this manual approach towards content production.
- The manual approach made excessive use of resources which cost the company
- The limited availability of writers and editors led to significant delays and hold-ups in the publishing process
- Data-based journalism is especially subject to inaccuracies in writing and processing information when done manually
- The traditional approach impacted the limited real-time updates to online articles thereby impacting the speed and scale of publishing content
- This affected the website’s SEO and traffic to the web pages
- Time and effort invested by journalists in the writing of these articles could have been used to write articles which cannot be automated or written by AI
Robotizing data-based journalism to increase output quantity and publish efficient content at scale in near real-time speed
The company began exploring AI alternatives for content production to benefit from economies of scale. Phrazor was one among the options they considered and it emerged as the solution for their writing automation needs. Phrazor reports have been configured and implemented in phases across several use cases namely Bullion Prices, Stock Updates, Sports and Elections Coverage.
1. Bullion Prices
This was the first use case wherein Phrazor produced auto-written, analytical articles covering various data points in graphs and the narrative for the bullion markets. These articles cover various updates on a daily basis related to the Indian Spot Gold/Silver rate, MCX values and Global values. These articles are now being generated in both English and Hindi and cover city-wise rates for 37 cities in India.
2. Stock Updates
In Phrazor all it took was configuring a single report and that was scaled to 30 stocks. Phrazor auto-writes daily stock updates for each company in the Sensex 30. These updates include the stock price, company financials and the stock’s performance when compared with peers.
These articles are auto-updated with the latest data 6 times a day. In all, a total of 180 articles are written by Phrazor supported by interactive charts. This output would otherwise take close to 20-30 journalists/analysts to devote time and human effort everyday. The accuracy of updates across articles is streamlined with Phrazor web scraping the data directly from online sources and APIs provided by the client.
Phrazor has also enabled social sharing of the articles. The output of the article is in XML format which is compatible with the firm’s CMS system. With this solution the publishing house is saving not only on the content resources but is also cutting back the work of the design and development team who would otherwise receive the article in a text format which would need conversion for the web.
3. Sports Coverage
The IPL 2020 season began during the lockdown with zero in-stadium viewers, compelling the format to take the digital route. Viewers were glued to television channels, OTT platforms, and News sites for live coverage, commentary and updates. Automating IPL commentary for live matches was the second use case. The goal was to capture play-by-play data in the updates published on the live feed.
Phrazor auto-generated 1 article every 5 overs indicating the no of runs scored and number of wickets taken. This amounted to 8 articles per match and with 60 matches, Phrazor wrote 480 articles real-time and each one was published prior to the start of the next over. In Sports timing matters on and off the field.
4. Elections Coverage
During the Bihar state elections the client extended the Phrazor solution to a use case which required writing updates for each of the 247 constituencies. The report was configured once on Phrazor and captured data related to previous elections, contesting candidates and parties, and demographics related to diversity namely, gender/age of participants and voters. Using Phrazor the client created a repository of 247 articles with an average word count of 200-250 words per article.
- The automated/robotized processes established by Phrazor help the publishing team to provide instant and accurate information to readers. This has reduced the client’s dependency and costs involved with a vast number of journalists otherwise required to create large volumes of content.
- Phrazor’s Natural Language Generation technology is a time and cost-saving solution providing content freshness, content length and updated content to boost SEO ranking.
- The use of keywords in news articles optimizes online reach by connecting searchers to the site.
- Phrazor provides the opportunity to scale publishing and reporting in each of the use cases and also helps widen the scope of use cases.
- Phrazor’s multilingual capabilities also help expand the audience base of the website.
- Data-based automated analysis and writing within Phrazor allows for personalized reporting at scale.
- The client is encouraged to use data journalism in more aspects of online publishing with Phrazor’s ability to formulate insights from available data into publishable structured stories
- The client has a competitive edge with Phrazor to produce hyper-localised content such as city-wise bullion prices, constituency-wise election coverage. This helps online platforms stay more relevant and updated.
Our client is one of the biggest media companies across Indian states and media platforms. It owns a leading (by circulation) newspaper in India. The company also has a number of sister publications in English and Hindi languages, designed to cater to niche audiences both in print and digital formats.
The group is a well-diversified media conglomerate that believes in keeping up with the times and trends being seen in media and technology to deliver efficient and quality content to its audiences.