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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Reporting Machine  
  A robotic roving reporter.  

The buzzing, super-alert obnoxiously persistent reporting machine said, "Is it true, Dr. Egon Superb, that you're going to try to enter your office today?"

There should have been some way to keep reporting machines out of one's house, Dr. Superb reflected. However, there was not...

From The Simulacra, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by 1964 in Ace
Additional resources -

Here's another descriptive passage:

After breakfast when he walked outside to his wheel he found a second reporting machine lying in wait for him...

It rolled toward him, blocking his way. "How do you feel, sir?"

Reporting machines could also talk directly to their audience:

"It is interesting," one of the reporting machines was murmuring, for the benefit of its TV audience...

"But for the present, we can only..." The newscaster rattled excitedly on, as all over the USEA the mechanical reporting machines coasted about in the areas of conflict, gathering data for him.

Dick provides this passage to let the reader know what he thinks about mechanical news media:

The reporting machines extended their hose-like receptors, sucking in data rapidly.

The idea of a reporting machine is a continuing theme for PKD; see also the autonomic interviewer from The Zap Gun (1965).

Dick was fascinated by the idea of a completely automated news production service; see homeopapes (short for homeostatic newspaper). In If There Was No Benny Cemoli, Dick refers to "news receptors" used by the fully automated news services for gathering news.

For a real-life implementation of this idea see this article on the roving robotic reporter.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Simulacra
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to The Simulacra
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Reporting Machine-related news articles:
  - Paparazzi Bots Get The Picture

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