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The Impact of AI Journalism

Welcome to the latest PRmoment Podcast. Today we’re talking about The Impact of AI PR and Journalism. There’s lots going on in this area and today we’re going to have a chat about what those changes might look like.

Themes we will no doubt discuss include:

  • How newsrooms are likely to change

  • How in-house and agency PR teams will change in their engagement with journalists

  • Likely changes to the publishing model bought about by AI

  • Whether new AI technology will create better journalism or whether the future of journalism and a free press is under threat?

On the show to chat with us about these themes is Jane Wakefield, a former senior tech journalist at the BBC where she covered stories on some of the biggest tech firms, made documentaries for TV and radio and presented World Service programs. She is now a freelance writer, podcaster (UKTN), and media trainer. Also joining us is Aaron Kwittken, founder and CEO of PRophet.

Before we start if you haven't taken a look already, the final entry deadline for The Creative Moment Awards is Friday 30th June.

Thanks to the PRmoment Podcast sponsors, The PRCA.

3 mins Should we be worried or excited about the impact of AI on journalism?

“Chief amongst the worries is the way AI can spread misinformation on a scale we’ve never seen before.” Jane Wakefield

“Generative AI at the moment isn’t a tool, it’s a toy…we’re going to move from toy to tool and we’re going to make that move quite soon” Aaron Kwittken

“The toothpaste is out of the tube. Now it’s a matter of how we manage it, how do we harness it and how do we use AI for good.” Aaron Kwittken

“As much as AI will probably enable disinformation it may well offer some incredible countermeasures” Aaron Kwittken

“As it (generative AI) improves this question of how we label the stories that are written by AI will have to be addressed by newsrooms around the world.” Jane Wakefield

“It (generative AI) is a hybrid way of generating content” Aaron Kwittken

“The 2 roles they (CNN) cannot fill fast enough are journalists who are experts in data visualisation and journalists who are just experts in very specific verticals” Aaron Kwittken

15 mins How will AI change journalism?

“I can’t wait for the first new organisation to have a private AI or walled garden AI, kind of like Adobe has done with their cloud…I imagine news organisations will have their own walled gardens so they’ll be able to have greater control over their large language models.” Aaron Kwittken

“I think journalists are the best prompters” Aaron Kwittken

19 mins What does society want from journalism?

“It used to be the case that the public were just consumers (of journalism) and didn’t question anything but that is long gone.” Jane Wakefield

“Over lockdown and Brexit, people started to question the mainstream media, ask whether it was following a specific agenda. People started to question what mainstream media was telling them.” Jane Wakefield

“I am concerned about the number of conspiracy theories that young people seem to believe…we’ve got this really complex cycle of news now. People aren’t getting the news the way they used to. They are certainly not sitting down and watching the TV.”
Jane Wakefield

“Young people aren’t really reading news other than through their social media feed”
Jane Wakefield

“We need good quality journalism more than ever”
Jane Wakefield

“We need public service campaign on teaching people to question a source, how do you know what’s true.” Aaron Kwittken

26 mins How will the public react to the increasing AI amount of AI in the news?

30 mins What are the implications of these changes in journalism for PR?

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