Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Review | Open Access

Automated Journalism: A Meta-Analysis of Readers’ Perceptions of Human-Written in Comparison to Automated News

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Abstract:  This meta-analysis summarizes evidence on how readers perceive the credibility, quality, and readability of automated news in comparison to human-written news. Overall, the results, which are based on experimental and descriptive evidence from 12 studies with a total of 4,473 participants, showed no difference in readers’ perceptions of credibility, a small advantage for human-written news in terms of quality, and a huge advantage for human-written news with respect to readability. Experimental comparisons further suggest that participants provided higher ratings for credibility, quality, and readability simply when they were told that they were reading a human-written article. These findings may lead news organizations to refrain from disclosing that a story was automatically generated, and thus underscore ethical challenges that arise from automated journalism.

Keywords:  automated news; computational journalism; credibility; journalism; meta-analysis; perception; quality; review; robot journalism



© Andreas Graefe, Nina Bohlken. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.