SIPA Member Profile: Henderson Has It All Covered With NewsRx

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SIPA: Summarize NewsRx for us.
C.W. Henderson: NewsRx was founded 32 years ago and has offices in Atlanta and New Haven. It is an acronym for news script (script theory in artificial intelligence), although some think news script refers to news prescription or news about pharma. Many SIPA and SIIA members may not have heard of us, but likely they have read news from one of our 194 newsweeklies, since our articles have been downloaded more than a billion times. We are the world's largest producer of professional news and write more than 10,000 original articles each day. Our two largest content areas are financial research and life sciences.

You've also been called the world's largest producer of health news.
Yes, our first subjects were AIDS, vaccines, and cancer when we started in 1984. We became the first and only company to report news on all peer-reviewed research and new discoveries worldwide. In 1999, NewsRx began using its artificial intelligence writing technology, and today that system has an output of more than three million unique articles a year. More recently, we've created automatic book and report-writing technology. We have several patents pending for our artificial intelligence and financial data systems, especially relating to our BUTTER platform (Better Understanding Through Technology and Emerging Research).

What are your products?
Newsweeklies, books, technology solutions, and software and information products. We also publish the New Discovery Index (NDI) which provides worldwide data on all new discoveries.

What are your delivery channels?
Aggregators, site licenses, subscribers.

Who are some of your clients?
U.S. government agencies, colleges, and companies like Sanofi, Gilead, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, ProQuest, Westlaw, and Cengage. Many of these current clients have been with us for more than 20 years.

What has changed in your technology in the last 10 years?
In terms of content, we expanded from only health and medical topics to covering all professional news topics. We also created an improved system to access our 11.2 million-article database, crucial considering the amount of new content we create daily. Part of this new technology impacts the way research is done. For every search done on our platform, we create customized filters to help you better understand what companies and institutions are being mentioned, what related keywords appear most often, the different regions the content originates from, etc. Instead of needing to dig through results and ultimately play a guessing game at what you'll find, we tell you.

What about beyond the search results?
We've added customization features that allow anyone to create a report on any topic within minutes. Think of this as a custom newsletter creation tool, complete with an index specifically created for each and every report. We've also just completed a new application of our AI—30 minutes after the stock markets close, we produce 5,000 articles reporting on all market movements, broken down by sectors, industries and companies. We collate all filings information for a company into one article, including patent applications and approvals, trademarks, SEC filings and company news announcements.

What motivated you to start your company?
The company started at the suggestion of the director's office at the CDC in Atlanta. They wanted wider distribution and discovery for news about AIDS. That's a big request and was originally accomplished with our AIDS Weekly newsletter, but soon we began working on an artificial intelligence and automated journalism system. This was done to allow articles to be produced more quickly and accurately. We wanted to cover more news and worldwide discoveries, and we felt the only way to do that effectively was to use algorithms.

What are NewsRx's strongest assets?
Customers, staff, intellectual property and technology. We have been doing automated journalism for 16 years now—what others say they will be able to do in the future. We ask our team if something is possible, and they always say "yes, anything is possible." We then figure out how. Our new in-house sales and business development office opened this year in New Haven. Kalani Rosell, our vice president and publisher, heads this office. It also provides human resources development and houses a group of our interns from nearby Yale.

What does the future hold?
The BUTTER platform brings together our award-winning content with the ability to quickly and efficiently find answers to your questions and stay abreast of professional news happening anywhere in the world. Our content plus technology allows people to spend less time blindly searching and more time critically thinking. Our future lies in helping people to make better, more informed and innovative decisions.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…