(Editor’s Note: On the day this blog was posted nine polls on the 2016 presidential election were released. Three were revealed the day before.)
On a weekly basis in the United States, pollsters tied to some university, media group or political agenda release their “scientific” take on the 2016 presidential campaign.
Not long after, the airwaves are filled with chatty pundits who will spend the better part of the day deciphering the poll results.
Later in the week, a different set of pundits will talk about how bad political polling has become in the U.S. and lament the credibility of the surveys and their results.
And this will be repeated the following week.
Recent news that the Associated Press will begin using computers to generate stories on sporting events was received in the journalism community like a high-and-tight fastball.
This wasn’t just a courtesy brush back. It was meant to send a clear message — we are replacing you.
Count me among those unsuspecting (former) sportswriters who was knocked to the dirt only to get back up ready to defend my honor. Where’s the integrity in the news game?
AP has made it clear it doesn’t need humans for these basic jobs anymore. It’s hired Automated Insights, a company it invests in, that has given the wire service a sophisticated algorithm using the English language and statistics to fashion text. The company’s defense is that it can keep tabs on thousands of college and high school games without the burden of staffing.
AP also has let bots, using Wordsmith, write basic business stories, such as those announcing quarterly earnings. Meanwhile, Narrative Science writes business copy for a number of business publications and the Los Angeles Times.
Kevin Smith, left, and Doug Haddix
With its hallmark Kiplinger Fellowship behind us, the program’s staff now steps into summer and ushers in the season of professional media conferences and conventions.
In the coming months, Director Doug Haddix and Deputy Director Kevin Smith will travel coast to coast and be in front of nearly 1,000 journalists, offering our quality brand of continuing education for professionals.
At the core of this travel is the mission of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism: the professional development of journalists in digital and social media.
While the Kiplinger Fellowship garners the most attention, a large part of the Kiplinger brand is on display at various conferences around the nation. Working one session at a time, Kiplinger can boast by year’s end of being involved in training nearly 1,500 journalists.