Sunday, June 07, 2009

Game stories by computer program

Students at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism may have just invented another nail for the coffin for sports beat writers. Students there are perfecting "machine generated sports stories" (MGSS), a tool that produces computer-generated sports stories using play-by-play data, box scores and other information. According to the release, the tool "can't replace the sports writer who watches a game, gets quotes from players and does analysis." Many sportswriters in legacy media, however, have been replaced -- so they're moving to independent media online. A post on NewspaperShift (PBS) discusses initiatives by some former newspaper journalists to start their own Web cooperatives, bringing together journalists in different cities to offer full coverage of teams and leagues on a single site. The trick, of course, will be in whether such a model can draw enough advertising dollars.

1 comment:

sportsbabel said...

A partner and I built a system like this 5 years ago....they are surprisingly easy to create. A different perspective on the matter is to suggest that it now liberates sports writers to write the kind of prose that had been blanched out of the boilerplate text process these last decades. Whether or not it will pay is another matter.