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Journalists believe AI is a threat to public journalism

The Australian Media Landscape Report says journalists are slow to use generative AI in newsrooms, but those who do don't think it stacks up professionally.



Australian news organisations are hesitant to use artificial intelligence in stories, but many journalists feel it could be a helpful tool for menial tasks. 


Medianet released its 2024 Australian Media Landscape Report on Tuesday, noting the trend towards generative artificial intelligence (AI).


Of the 844 respondents, the majority of journalists (74 per cent) had not used AI in their work over the last 12 months, citing concerns that it only used information that already exists online without the ability to investigate or scrutinise an issue.


Those who did use AI mainly worked in podcasting, the report found. Some 35 per cent believed generative AI was a threat to public journalism.


The most popular ways journalists and newsrooms used AI in 2023 included using it to analyse data, find ideas for stories or interview questions, or for transcribing or research. 


Some used AI to generate content, generally smaller items such as captions or timelines which they would then edit themselves. 


A handful suggested they had tried the technology in their journalism work but they did not think what was produced was of a standard good enough to use professionally. 


Other journalists suggested they had used AI for administrative tasks unrelated to media content, such as writing emails. 


Those who use AI said they still needed to fact-check all information provided.

Some findings from the report, based on 844 people questioned:


* 80 per cent say "informing the public" is the top factor driving journalists to cover stories in 2023


* 35 per cent believe generative AI is a threat to public journalism


* 66 per cent believe they are underpaid


* Only 58 per cent used X (formerly Twitter) compared with 69 per cent the year prior


SOURCE: Medianet 2024 Australian Media Landscape Report


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