Generative AI, Newsroom Automation, and the Configuration of News in Transformation

TANG Shih-che
Professor, Department of Communication. National Chung Cheng University.


Generative AI technology is accelerating the automation of the newsroom. As a result, the configuration of news is undergoing massive transformation. With intelligent technologies being employed in various aspects of news production, journalism is on the verge of epochal transformations both in terms of the ecology of the industry and its social undertaking. The article explores the inevitable changes that generative AI would bring to news gathering, processing and circulation, and what digitalization means to the crafting of journalistic professionalism over the years. Generative AI automates the newsroom in content generation, data analysis and insights, editorial assistance, and audience engagement management. Its impacts on journalism include greater reliance on algorithms in the editorial gatekeeping in coping with the growing flexible and fractured news diffusion. Newsbot substitutes for low-end menial labor in the newsroom, which casts a new light on what constitutes the core competency of journalism. Generative AI also augments individuation in managing the diffusion and audience response of news. With the risks and opportunities that generative AI brings along, the article suggests three ethical concerns. The first is the issue of algorithmic bias that generative AI duplicates. The second is that the AI-generated disinformation underlines the issues of organizational transparency and accountability of news production. The third concerns the issue of attributing proprietary control when data used by artificial intelligence for training is in concern. The article concludes by arguing that while news-making embraces generative AI, it begs the question of how this technology can be brought under human oversight to maintain reliable and responsible journalism.

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