Eat The Press

Business information service Thomson Financial has found a way to eliminate that cumbersome middleman from reporting: The reporter. Turns out it's been using computers to create stories since March and plans to roll out the expanded, people-free version soon. According to the FT, the replacement computers "work so fast that an earnings story can be released within 0.3 seconds of the company making results public... By using previous results in Thomson's database, the computer stories say whether a company has done better or worse than expected."

Said Thomson senior vice-president of strategy Matthew Burkley: "This means we can free up reporters so they have more time to think." (The awkward, unspoken elephant in the room here: thinking takes more than 0.3 seconds). This is the best part though: apparently the stories were pretty standardized so Burkley said that "We might try and write a few more adjectives into the program." Mad-libs journalism, whee! "The earnings were higher than those from the last quarter, which were somewhat squishy."

And check this out: "Reuters said it automatically generated some stories, while Bloomberg said it did not." Wow.

Said the FT in its understatedly tart editorial on the matter: Thomson Financial can release an earnings story within 0.3 seconds of
the results being made public. Editorials are simpler, having a lower
fact content, and we can produce them in a mere 0.2 seconds. And what
could be more valuable than timely comment?" In unrelated news, the Huffington Post has just come up with a computer program to overwrite blog posts with phrases like "understatedly tart."

Media Blogroll

Chatter

Romenesko Gawker TVNewser Wonkette Crooks & Liars CJR Daily Drudge Dealbreaker Dealbook Defamer Deadline Hollywood Daily Mickey Kaus Jeff Jarvis Radosh James Wolcott IWantMedia The Slot Bloggermann Jake Tapper Blogging Baghdad Russert Watch Jossip Mediabistro The Media Mob at the NY Observer The Transom FishbowlNY FishbowlDC FishbowlLA GalleyCat Reference Tone Panopticist The Minor Fall, The Major Lift Penguins On the Equator Gelf Magazine- Gelflog Animal (New York) White House Press Briefings Altercation
Page Six Liz & Cindy NYDN Gossip Intelligencer Reliable Source Patrick McMullan

Analysis

Jack Shafer Howard Kurtz WWD Memo Pad NYO Off The Record Broadsheet Gail Shister Keith Kelly NYT Business/Media Jay Rosen’s PressThink Fine on Media Simon Dumenco’s Media Guy Jon Friedman Media Matters The Guardian (Media) NRO Media Blog Columbia Journalism Review On The Media The Public Eye The Daily Nightly Today’s Papers Regret the Error Dan Froomkin David Folkenflik

Commentary

Slate Salon New York Magazine The New Yorker The New York Review of Books The New Republic The Nation Harper’s The Atlantic Monthly The Virginia Quarterly Review Vanity Fair Esquire n+1 The Believer

News

The New York Times The Washington Post The New York Observer The LA Times Time Newsweek US News & World Report Wall Street Journal Editor & Publisher NY Daily News NY Post USA Today NY Sun Times of London Financial Times The Smoking Gun McClatchy
NBC ABC CBS CNN Fox News MSNBC NPR Air America BBC C-SPAN Al Jazeera
AdAge Broadcasting & Cable MediaPost MediaWeek Variety Entertainment Weekly Folio:
HuffPo Home