Michael Schoepperl
Journalist und Inhaber von mbp - Agentur
für Kommunikation und Medienberatung
Berlin. You can email me


The Guardian experiments with a robot-generated newspaper with The Long Good ReadGuardian developer Dan Catt made a script running on Google App Engine that calls the Guardian’s API for each new item it sees to find out more about it. It rejects things like Galleries, Podcasts, Videos and such like right away. It also gets rid of the “Live Blogs” at this stage. Then does a word count rejecting anything under 1,000 words. Any article that gets past those filters would get queued and blogged.

The technology was then paired up with semi-automated on-demand printing technology from The Newspaper Club to create layouts ready for print. Tom Taylor, who automated the process was interviewed:

It’s a human-robot workflow that makes putting together a customized newspaper a quick process. The Long Good Read is sent to the printer on Friday and delivered fresh on Monday, Taylor said. “It becomes possible to make a paper in an hour that you can put in a coffee shop and have 500 copies.”

I developed an interest in supporting independent journalists in a way that leverages their work to the greatest extent possible, all in support of the public interest. And, I want to find ways to convert mainstream readers into engaged citizens. I think there’s more that can be done in this space, and I’m eager to explore the possibilities.