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The Washington Post leverages automated storytelling to cover high school football

The Washington Post is expanding its use of Heliograf, its in-house automated storytelling technology, enabling The Post to cover all Washington, D.C.-area high school football games every week.

“Heliograf is creating a new model for hyperlocal coverage,” said Jeremy Gilbert, The Post’s director of strategic initiatives. “In the past, it would not have been possible for The Post to staff more than a handful of the most significant games each week. Now, we’ll be able to cover any game that we have data for, giving the teams and fans near-instant coverage to read and share.”

Each game story will draw from scoring plays, individual player statistics and quarterly score changes, along with The Post’s own weekly Top 20 regional rankings. The stories will be automatically updated each week using box-score data submitted by high school football coaches, and shared on The Post’s Twitter account for high school sports: @WashPostHS. See a story here and a tweet below:

“Technology like Heliograf can be transformative for a newsroom, greatly expanding the breadth of coverage and allowing journalists to focus more on in-depth reporting,” said Scot Gillespie, Chief Technology Officer at The Post. “This thinking permeates across all of the products that are part of Arc Publishing, ensuring the tools we build will help newsrooms be more productive, tell more stories and reach a broader audience.”

The Post has plans to add Heliograf-written stories about individual players and teams as the season goes on and will use the technology to cover even more sports in 2018. Schools and coaches looking to submit data from their games can contact The Post’s team at

Heliograf is available to Arc Publishing clients.

About The Washington Post’s Arc Publishing

Arc Publishing ( is a state-of-the-art digital platform and suite of tools that’s engineered to meet the needs of modern publishers. Built by engineers and designers at The Washington Post, Arc technology solves complex publishing needs, including video, mobile web and apps, syndication to distributed platforms, automatic content testing, data mining and monetization. Arc has powered the digital transformation of clients both large and small across the globe. At its core, Arc is about speed and innovation: for readers, the newsroom, advertisers and developers.