The Future of Journalism- AI & Possibilities

The future of journalistic accomplishments will depend on how journalists use data. Extracting value from seemingly omnipresent data requires a set of skills and cultural perspective that combines the best of computational rigor with the ability to tell stories.  

At Meradesh we see the opportunities to reverse the visible stagnation and, in the process, perhaps reinforce journalism itself. 

1) JAAS 

As the name goes, the synergy of tech and storytelling will be inspired by the success of the SAAS industry.  “Software as a service” is a licensing and delivery model, where users pay for on-demand access, applying this approach seems inevitable- and, we are not talking about paywalls.  

Journalism ventures will have to realize in absolute terms the enormous value of data and archived content they are sitting over. The value it holds for stakeholders participating in the knowledge economy- universities, legal startups, data science companies, businesses, hospitals, and even big tech giants. Successful news organizations in the near future will have blueprints in place to structure data, have them cleaned, packaged and made available for stakeholders on demand.  

2) AI as an Ally 

Computation journalist, Francesco Marconi believes that Journalism should evolve into ‘information science’ and AI will be the tool to achieve that. We believe there are merits to these expectations. AI combined with journalistic ethics and mission-mindedness will play a major role in stemming the misinformation aggression- whether it’s deliberate or otherwise. 

AI will play 3 influential roles:

A) Increase the Appetite for Data- AI will expand journalists’ ability to capture, store, process data and turn them into impactful stories and actionable insights.  

B) Create New Age Sources and Distribution Mechanisms– The explosion of IoTs, sensors, satellite data and API driven architectures in tandem with on-ground survey will reimagine the original definition of journalistic sources and coverage At the same time, NLP will enhance research, content creation and automated distribution- providing journalists the much-needed rapid dissemination prowess essential for digital engagement across different beats. 

C) The Advent of Computational Journalists- Editors will increasingly play the role of information officers and algorithmic QC. Journalists’ role will bring in context, new data sources, creative narration and advocate ‘Pathos’. 

3) Agility Over Legacy 

The future belongs to small newsrooms adept at running a variety of services conventionally executed at big newsrooms but far more cost-effective and quicker. Another reason for the smaller newsroom’s resilience is due to the increased accessibility to Machine Learning.  

Interfaces built on AI models will allow for greater content personalization that readers will find engaging. 

Smaller newsrooms can easily lean on AI for the following services 

  • Templated sports, market, real estate, and other stories. 
  • Reporting tools including transcription services, entity extraction from documents, claim/fact identification, social media event detection. 
  • Engagement enhancers- responding to reader’s questions using chat bot and question sorting systems. 
  • Dynamic paywalls and subscriber prediction algorithms. 
  • Recommendation engines. 
  • Photo searching and tagging systems. 
  • Homepage curation systems. 
  • Self-critique systems to monitor and highlight inherent bias in stories.