Best-selling Ligurian daily Il Secolo XIX is not only one of the oldest newspapers in Italy, it’s also one of the most forward-thinking, having been pioneers in color printing, integrated newsrooms, multi-channel digital presence, and social media engagement. But all newspapers face a serious challenge today. Print readerships – and revenues – are contracting amid an explosion in digital sources of news and information. To sustain and grow their loyal readership, Il Secolo XIX wanted to explore new ways to produce cost-effective high-quality journalism with the help of artificial intelligence. The goal: to grow digital traffic, reader loyalty, and company revenues – while maintaining the very highest standards of journalistic excellence.
Strategy and solution
The latest addition – The intelligent assistant
We helped Il Secolo XIX embed an AI-powered digital assistant into their newsroom. Using advanced machine learning techniques, we trained algorithms powerful enough to analyze and classify the paper’s content in real time. Now, when a journalist starts a story, the assistant continuously checks the text for data consistency, suggested links to other sources, and spelling, as well as ensuring the syntax is suitable for each story. By offering them prompts to other content it thinks will be relevant, whether from previous stories or external resources, the assistant gives journalists a completely new way to check sources, develop background understanding, and add extra content they might have otherwise missed. The result: After just six months, the entire newsroom was using the assistant to increase their productivity, boost the quality and accuracy of their journalism, make new connections between stories, and create rich and consistent digital content. And with this premium content came new opportunities to grow revenues through print and digital subscriptions.
Scooping the competition with AI
By strengthening Il Secolo XIX's reputation for leading-edge high-quality journalism, the intelligent assistant is helping their journalists build loyalty – and willingness to pay for content – among today's ever more choosy and demanding news audiences. After just six months, the entire newsroom was using the assistant to increase their productivity, boost the quality and accuracy of their journalism, make new connections between stories, and create rich and consistent digital content. And with this premium content comes new opportunities to grow revenues through print and digital subscriptions. It's not just making Il Secolo XIX's journalists' jobs easier – it's changing our core understanding of how quality content gets created.