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The Catalyst introduces AI journalist Cora Quantum

Joe Hamilton



Cora Quantum image generated by DALL E

From its inception, the Catalyst has been an experiment in local news. We’ve embraced a digital-only distribution model, focused exclusively on hyperlocal content and maintained a positive, aspirational voice. We’ve introduced modern content features like The Hustle and Influencers, and incorporated audio and video in many of our original series. We created Zaps for quick, short stories, and the Spark Plug to share social media gems. We honor our community’s past with Vintage St. Pete and protect our present by moderating trolls out of our comments section. Of course, we’ve also let go of a few things that didn’t work.

Overall, we’re proud of the results of our experiment thus far and hope you are too.

Our next step in serving you – delivering more important local news – is Cora Quantum, our new AI journalist. Cora will cover the space between Zaps and Catalyst journalism.

What Does That Space Look Like?

First, let’s define Catalyst journalism.

Catalyst journalism is proper, traditional journalism in a compact, efficient format. This means we don’t just re-write press releases to get a social media post out first. We take the time to contact the subjects of our stories, seeking important nuances and deeper insights directly from the source. This commitment to quality journalism will remain unchanged.

However, because we invest hours into each piece, our small-but-mighty staff can only cover a limited number of stories. That’s where Cora will enhance our efforts. She’ll cover the stories that are too complex for a Zap but that our human journalists are unable to attend to. Cora will enable the Catalyst to produce more stories and provide more comprehensive coverage of our wonderful community.

Cora is just the beginning.

AI Will Amplify the Power of Local Journalists

In the coming weeks, we’ll announce new partnerships and initiatives to leverage existing AI tools and build some of our own. Our mission is to innovate so that local journalists can more easily do their work – and do it at a high level.

We believe AI will not only save time but also reduce the financial strain on small news businesses. The savings generated can be redirected toward improving other areas of the news operation, such as investigative journalism, community engagement and technological upgrades. Most importantly, additional content production capabilities mean we can shine more light on more parts of the community.

Maintaining Quality and Integrity

The Catalyst understands the importance of maintaining high journalistic standards. Therefore, all content produced by Cora Quantum will undergo the same rigorous editing process as human-generated articles. This ensures that the information presented to readers is accurate, well-written and trustworthy.

Moreover, the human touch in editing guarantees that the nuances and context of local news are preserved. While Cora Quantum can process data and generate articles quickly, our experienced editorial team will ensure that each piece aligns with our standards and values.

Embracing Innovation for Effective Journalism

Cora Quantum is a testament to the Catalyst‘s commitment to innovation and adaptability in the rapidly changing local media landscape. She represents an exciting new chapter for the Catalyst and a first test case as we prepare to launch Cityverse.

As a civic media platform, Cityverse will be a powerful aggregator of local data. Data such as high school sports scores, crime reports, property transactions and economic indicators are all inputs for AI to transform into useful content. That output, combined with Catalyst journalism and user-generated content, can rebuild the connectedness that kept our community aligned before the scattering of attention to national “Big Social” platforms.

We appreciate you reading, commenting and being our partner as we learn and evolve.

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  1. Avatar

    Richard Courson

    May 24, 2024at8:17 am

    So You didn’t like my comment?

    Richard Courson

  2. Avatar

    Richard Courson

    May 24, 2024at8:04 am

    Yes, it’s a sad day for humanity.

  3. Avatar

    Brian Hartz

    May 23, 2024at11:36 am

    Sad day for human journalists. Glad I got out of the news business when I did. The AI takeover of the media industry has begun in earnest.

  4. Avatar

    Ron Ogdem

    May 23, 2024at8:42 am

    Please identify as such everything that a robot writes. That way I can reject it. If it gets to the point where more than half of all the writing on this page is robot-generated, I will have to stop any contact with it. Too bad.

  5. Avatar


    May 22, 2024at3:36 pm

    Excellent!!!! Chart the course Joe.

  6. Avatar


    May 22, 2024at9:01 am

    Ditto to TC!

  7. Avatar

    Maureen Rubini Quinlan

    May 21, 2024at4:08 pm


    Paid Subscriber and happy to pay!
    Thanks for all you do!

  8. Avatar


    May 21, 2024at3:28 pm

    I hope any article written by AI or enhanced by AI be marked as such.

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