My JOMC 153 instructor was telling the truth. Before my graduation date, robots are writing stories instead of reporters. According to The Verge, the automated system now used by the Associated Press has fewer errors than human written stories. And, perhaps more surprising, apparently no jobs have been lost as result of the system being implemented.
According to The Verge, the automated writing system is able to write simple reports, which frees the reporter to focus on more in-depth stories. This is what is really enjoyable about reporting to me. The ability to focus on the big picture and spend more time on investigative and analytic stories will result in better reporting and news. And, as of now, I see no real threat to the jobs of reporters. News is is based on the groundwork of reporting, not on how it is written. Without the reporter in the field gathering facts, the program would not be able to write the story.
The use of automated writing systems could eventually create a greater emphasis on actual reporting skills in journalism schools. Less time will be spent on writing, and more will be spent on investigating and critical thinking. I think this would only improve the quality of news.