Robot news curator NewsCred launches human editorial team

NewsCred, a tech-intensive news aggregator, is an up-and-coming player in the media industry thanks to licensing agreements with elite publishers like the Economist and Bloomberg. The company relies on these partnership deals and its own algorithms to ship stories to hundreds of publishers and brands like Pepsi and Overstock that are looking for quality content.
NewsCred has long relied on automated curation tools to find and deliver relevant content to its clients, but now the company is adding something more to its journalism — humans. This morning, the company announced a new service named Editorial Curation that lets NewsCred clients buy hands-on human help for their story collection.
Senior editor, Claire Lambrecht, explained that the new service is composed of eight journalists with newsroom experience at places like the New York Times and Slate. She added that, while NewsCred has used humans to aid its robot curation for a while now, this is the first time humans have been offered as a stand-alone service. The idea here is that clients who buy access to NewsCred’s fire hose of news stories can now have a personal editor who has real-life newsroom judgment — such as what type of story should be at the top of a page and for how long.
She says that NewsCred’s automated “semantics can get the ball to 5-yard line but that [human] curation is the touchdown” for clients that want create a complete content experience. Lambrecht said that some clients are buying the human curation in five hour blocks, while others are paying to use it around the clock. NewsCred would not disclose exactly how much a human editor costs but did say that the price varies depending on how much editorial support a client wants; for instance, a brand might pay more for NewsCred to compile special photo features while another might simply want to pay an editor to ensure negative stories don’t surface (Pepsi, for instance, is probably not keen about reports on the New York mayor’s efforts to ban glutton-sized sodas).
The NewsCred announcement coincides with a shifting perspective on automated news. While some feared that the arrival of robot story writers and editors would phase out journalists, the human touch now appears to be back in fashion. For example, the founder of two popular aggregated news sites, Techmeme and Mediagazer, recently talked about the power of human news judgment and the editorial influence of the New York Times.
To get a better idea of how NewsCred works in practice, here’s an earlier write up of how the New York Daily News used it to create a separate news vertical to target the city’s large South Asian community.
(Image by F.Schmidt via Shutterstock)