Artificial Intelligence: the Key to Overcome Journalism Challenges

Artificial intelligence - cfamedia

In the just concluded 11th Global Investigative Journalism Conference, held in Hamburg, Germany, journalists were urged, to embrace AI, (Artificial Intelligence), to overcome the challenges encountered by the media today.

With the conference session, centered on, ‘challenges ahead, for the media industry’, data privacy and ownership, new business models were the highlights of the day.

Marina Walker Guevara, Director, Strategic Initiatives, at International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, (ICIJ), affirmed that, the hype around Artificial Intelligence, should be leveraged such that journalists ought to jump on the moving train, while stating that, the media needs to explore this technological tool, to solve challenges, especially, the ones around big data.

Guevara noted that it would be quite difficult for the media to operate, at maximum level, without the aid of technology.

The work of the media is time bound and things must be done, with the snap of the finger.

The question now is, how can this challenge be overcome, with technology, coupled with the millions of images, audios and files flying around the digital space, how can journalists make meaning from them?

“AI is not magic, it isn’t perfect, it is a process and it needs us to be proactive because, there are problems that need simpler solutions, not only AI and we need to be able, to identify this”, stressed Guevara.

She further mentioned that AI can transform journalism, if only they get to be literate about it, then, this will facilitate their work.

Also speaking at the Investigative Journalism Conference, Catherine Gicheru, a veteran investigative journalist quipped, “one of the biggest challenges, in terms of sustainability, is, getting to understand your audience, intimately and getting them to work with you, but in this, I also, find huge and new opportunities, which I think will help us, do the kind of work that we want to do”.

She stressed that, with the right strategies, opportunities will come out of these challenges, while stating that, currently, quite a number of initiatives, where different News organisations, are trying to find ways, of keeping themselves alive, without, necessarily, depending on donor funding, or, advertisements.

“It is important, to understand our audiences, but, also, finding how we can collaborate, internally, as journalists, for example, when it comes to using new models that, we are talking about, for example, AI”, she emphasised.

“Going forward, from the perspective of where we are, we will do these things, at a different pace, but in a way that makes sense, to our audiences. We need to be able, to work, collaboratively, internally, within the continent, as well as, externally, to try and come up, with content that will enhance trust”, added Gicheru.

Dr. Carsten Brosda, Minister of Culture and Media, of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, ended the session, with this footnote:

“If journalism doesn’t work, democracy doesn’t work, so, we need journalism, in order, for democracy to work. This is, one of the main tasks that, we have, all over the world.”

The four-day investigative journalism conference had over 1,600 journalists, from 130 countries.

Featured Image: Trendsmap

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