by Andrew Cochran

The Guardian Australia has published its first news story prepared by an automated system. The paper calls the AI-enabled tool ReporterMate and gives it a byline.

A footer note says ‘this story was generated by ReporterMate, an experimental automated news reporting system,’ and gives an email address to report ‘errors or bugs’.

ReporterMate joins others in the autoscribe co-hort, including Heliograph at the Washington Post, RADAR at the Press Association/URBS media, and Wordsmith at Automated Insights, a natural language processing vendor that includes Associated Press as one of its clients. Similar systems operate at Reuters, Bloomberg, AFP, Mittmedia, and Toutiao, among others.

However, the ReporterMate story, about political contributions, departs from the convention for other autoscribes. They typically use a template-like structure within which thousands of individual reports may be produced, for example about financial results or sports scores. This story is one-of-a-kind.

The Labor party also declared $33.2m in “other receipts”, which includes money received from investments, but also includes money from party fundraisers where people pay for event tickets in lieu of donations.


There is no convention for naming autoscribe systems or whether they are named at all. Nor have any standard practices emerged about publicly identifying their authorship.

Here’s the full report by ReporterMateIn a related piece, Guardian developer Nick Evershed talks about why he created the system.