Airtable for Newsrooms

I typically don’t write a lot of shows and tells, but this one seemed like a lot of fun to share. If I were building a collaborative newsroom solution, Airtable is certainly a contending platform, and a good deal of the requirements would be met for customers needing this workflow. This is an actual project and is already in a form ready to deploy.

Airtable and AP Newswire

This solution creates a sustained and near-real-time parity between select AP news content and arbitrary Airtable tables consisting of news content categories. The target categories could be logical views or physical tables, and users are free to manipulate these assets to easily move the feed data to other systems.


Maximum flexibility is afforded the users of this integration system by surfacing configuration items as a collection of feed attributes. The attributes include query parameters that AP’s API can use to filter news content. The configuration table includes the ability to designate active queries as well as headline limits to avoid overheating the AP API. Other settings allow for paid content to flow through the feeds; AP has various licensing and media attachments that require its customers to purchase story enhancements.

Two types of feeds are supported; query strings, and product IDs.

  • Query Strings queries are simple search queries that users may configure in accordance with AP search capabilities. It’s no different than searching the AP service for stories.
  • Product ID queries are based on a specific pre-defined query in the AP dashboard. Any feed that has a product ID may be replicated in the Airtable Newsroom.

Feeds are updated using an Airtable Automation that runs every 15-minutes or every hour. To conserve automation runs and avoid overstepping Airtable and AP Newswire quotas, the updates may be automatically suspended during the night.

Query Results

The Master Feed table contains the results of query updates created as a collection of top news stories defined by each Query String configured.


This table is maintained in a fresh state in accordance with the configured update pace. New items are added to the table when discovered, and updated news items are overwritten with the latest version of feed from AP. The version # is also tracked for editorial benefit.

Any editorial activity that has occurred in a feed item is preserved when a new feed version update occurs.

Default View

The layout of the Master Feed table is arbitrary as Airtable supports user configuration of this table using its Views feature. This example is the default view.

Custom Views

Airtable provides a powerful ability to shape the data as users may require, and all without writing complex queries or code. This example View applies a filter across all feeds to create a result set that includes only items that have occurred in the Dateline City of Philadelphia.

This is an example of all stories with more than or equal to 2 revisions.

View possibilities are infinite and easily configured and sustained automatically thanks to Airtable.

Editorial View

This view is an example of how a user would place a specific story into the production workflow. By simply changing the state of the item from Idle to Production, the story falls into a work-in-progress view.

Story Content

The story content is not shown in the default Master Feed, but it is accessible there. Once a story is in Pre-Production, a different view is used to expose the editorial fields and process in a more productive light. This example shows a recent news feed story about the new Governor and Airtable’s ability to support rich-text editing, linking, etc in the content field.

Advanced Features

More advanced features are in development, including these key items.

  1. Ability to highlight a block of text and determine the length of time that a specific on-air talent will perform it.
  2. The ability to avoid manual activities such as copy/paste.
  3. The ability to automatically copy the story content into an editing field. (AP requires rewrites on everything)
  4. The ability to automatically rewrite the story using AI.
  5. The ability to find similar stories using AI.

This solution is available under a professional services arrangement with AirOps Consulting.


This is amazing! Thanks for sharing, Bill. And of course, Cherry and her team at AirOps Consulting are great.

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