The present and potential of AI in journalism | KNIGHT FOUNDATION

“Augmented reporting” is currently the favoured use of AI in journalism, says a report for the Knight Foundation. The category includes

  • interrogating very large data sets,
  • monitoring social media to detect breaking news, and
  • scraping information from websites, such as COVID-19 data from public health agencies.

Other ways newsrooms are using AI, in order of their reported use, are

  • saving costs by automating tasks such as transcription
  • increasing revenue in ways such as smart paywalls or digitizing archives
  • adding engagement opportunities by collecting related material
  • internal monitoring, noting trends in reporting, for example, to determine balance
  • real-time results

Researchers examined 130 projects over the past three years. The complete list is included via a link in the report. The study goes on to identify potential uses of AI-assisted methods for local news.

Software designed to automatically tag pictures may not be necessary for news organizations who don’t process thousands of images per day, but we estimated that  44 of the 130 projects surveyed could be adapted for smaller-scale use.

The authors


The present and potential of AI in journalism
KNIGHT FOUNDATION | May 12, 2021 | by John Keefe, Youyou Zhou, and Jeremy B. Merrill

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