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SpeechTEK 2019: Voice in the Newsroom

"We don’t have solutions yet, but we have the roadmap on how we’re going to get to the solutions," says Navya Nayaki Yelloji, product manager of voice platforms at Gannett. She may have just coined the official motto for speech technology in media.

What exactly are the problems that Yelloji is looking for the solutions to? Here are the main challenges she says she encounters:

  • Newsroom Resources
  • Revenue 
  • Content creation 
  • Audience preference and follow-up questions to the news

That leaves audiences wondering what the roadmap to solving these problems looks like. For Yelloji and the Gannett team, it looks like this:

  1. Limit scope to national news and then explore local news
  2. Be vigilant about business models
  3. Content is king, focus on delivering the best possible content
  4. Emerging patterns to article selection and audience questions

We all know newsrooms are understaffed and often overworked. That's why Yelloji says her team has decided to focus on national news, and experiment with local news when resources allow.

While news and revenue is a tricky topic in general, it's especially tricky for the emerging voice channel. Yelloji not only admits that they haven't quite figured this one out yet, and turned the question of how to solve it over to the audience. Several people thought personalizations were going to be the key. Creating services for people interested in specific topics or news from a specific region might be something people are willing to pay for. 

 

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