‘The upcoming shift may well spell the end of PSM as we know it. But it could also be the start of a new era in which PSM organizations are more than ever called upon to act as curators of shared experiences. In a decentralized networked society, trust and ethical data use will be the most precious currencies.’

Special notice goes to public service media organizations in a sweeping study about implications of AI in journalism by the EUROPEAN BROADCASTING UNION. The 146-page report concludes that, while only some areas in journalism will be automated, ‘virtually all jobs will undergo some degree of change. Newsroom staff will need a better grip on the technology’

PSMs can use AI resources to distinguish themselves better in the market ahead, the authors say. They see opportunities for increased efforts in the following:

  • Relevance – using AI-aided data journalism to find public interest stories and then enabling better matching to individual interests using AI-aided personalization.
  • Accountability – holding algorithms to account, treating them as a new kind of power. Understanding and interrogating how they work and are being used, especially in areas impacting personal outcomes and rights.
  • Verification – mounting initiatives for ‘defending factuality and trust,’ particularly in the face of new threats such as deep fakes.
  • Serving audiences – applying automated translation to reach audiences in other languages using natural language processing.

The report includes case studies of PSM and private-sector uses. It includes several explainers.

The narrative is in seven sections:

  1. It’s time to catch up
  2. AI is a handy new tool: use it!
  3. Don’t think you know the audience
  4. Content only has an impact when its found
  5. Find the new public service in an era of AI
  6. Imagine yourself in a better future
  7. Closing


  • Atte Jaaskelainen – Professor of Practice at LUT University, Finland and former Director of News and Current Affairs at YLE, Finland.
  • Maike Olij – Journalism consultant and media innovator


News Report 2019: The Next Newsroom