Al Jazeera Journalism Review

Outside image
Artificial intelligence (AI) has many potential uses in the newsroom but its potential dangers are no less great. GPT Chat is one popular example of AI [Shutterstock]

AI in the newsroom - how it could work

AI is now our colleague in the newsroom and is poised to become even more helpful as it gets smarter and we see more opportunities - we look at all the potential uses and problems


There are already a few examples of how AI can be tuned to assist journalism. Almost all require a human hand to supervise, edit, refine and approve - which, currently, is a good thing.

This recent report by the World Association of News Publishers finds that “half of newsrooms already work with Generative AI tools”; that “content summaries are the most common use case” for AI in the newsroom; and lists some of the current uses of AI for journalism.

I am adding a few potential uses below. I guess that many of these ideas will soon find their way into the Content Management Systems we use daily. They will become an automated function; we will set parameters, “press a button”, and then AI will take over.


Read more:

What is ChatGPT and why is it important for journalists?

What happened when I asked ChatGPT to write my article



Of course, with ease of use come concerns, some obvious and some hard to see. If I made it sound like the famous Spiderman line, “With great power comes great responsibility”, I did it on purpose.


Real-time transcription

What is it: The use of GPT for transcribing audio and video recordings, interviews, live speeches, panel discussions and podcasts.

How it could be done: By connecting the GPT model to a source audio stream. It will process the recording and produce a text transcription of the spoken content. There needs to be some manual work to fix any inaccuracies that may have occurred due to speech recognition.

How it will help: It can help journalists focus on editorial work rather than spend time doing manual transcription. It can also help address accessibility issues by providing audiences with immediate and accurate transcriptions.

Potential problems: GPT may have problems accurately transcribing the nuances of different accents, languages or dialects.


Multilingual content

What is it: GPT can translate articles, news reports, scripts and subtitles into multiple languages.

How it could be done: Feed source articles to GPT and select a language it has been trained on. A journalist should manually post-process the translation to fix inaccuracies and make refinements.

How it will help: AI-powered multilingual content can greatly increase the reach and accessibility of news stories to wider audiences.

Potential problems: AI-generated translations may fail to recognise idiomatic expressions, ambiguous terms and regional dialects.


Text simplification

What is it: GPT models can simplify complex articles into more accessible language, catering to different reading levels.

How it could be done: By establishing guidelines before the process, essentially explaining to GPT the parameters for simplification, reading level, the editorial voice and house style.

How it will help: It will be easier for non-native speakers, people with reading difficulties or simply those with little time to spend on the news to access a brand’s journalism. It would also make news content discoverable by search engines and optimised for audience needs.

Potential problems: When a source text is simplified, there may be issues with accuracy, context and the possibility that AI could miss essential information. Also, potential problems in narrative, tone of voice and style.


Headline and summary generation

What is it: GPT models can generate multiple headlines for an article, allowing editors to select the most appropriate or engaging one to publish. They could also quickly draft a brief and concise summary of a lengthy article.

How it could be done: A GPT model would process an article and identify the key points, condensing them into a summary - this is a task that ChatGPT routinely does now. It can then put together relevant titles; the editor can ask it to format them to target specific audiences.

How it will help: Saving time in the newsroom and making journalism accessible to people who do not have much time to devote to news reading.

Potential problems: As with most automated features and editorial work, ensuring AI captures context correctly is essential. Also, there could be issues when summarising opinion pieces, where GPT could alter the writer's voice. 


Article drafting

What is it: GPT models can generate an initial draft based on given headlines or content briefs before a journalist edits and polishes it.

How it could be done: Some AI models are already compiling article drafts starting with a list of questions or Google SERP data (the questions listed below the search results as “People Also Ask” and are meant to expand the search parameters). In a newsroom, this could be a routine process that would create a starting point for editors to fact-check and verify before publishing.

How it will help: It could save time and allow journalists to focus on more complex tasks. Time and better training will certainly improve the quality of the first drafts. Also, GPT models, which “learn” as they go, will eventually better understand context and complexities.

Potential problems: The quality and trustworthiness of AI-generated text are not there yet. There are also all sorts of ethical implications, questions about biases and misinformation that may stem from a piece of journalism that a human journalist does not prepare. And then there’s the news brand's editorial voice and style that AI may have difficulty capturing.



What is it: ChatGPT can cross-reference claims and statements in articles with credible sources and databases to automatically fact-check content.

How it could be done: A GPT model can be trained with pre-processed data from multiple sources. Then it will compare text snippets of a story against the sources, looking for inconsistencies. It can highlight the issues and cite the evidence used to determine them.

How it will help: It will improve the accuracy of news stories and reduce the time and effort required to fact-check manually.

Potential problems: AI cannot always detect nuanced or subjective information, which may require further analysis.


Content recommendation

What is it: ChatGPT can help newsrooms curate and organise their content for their audience. It can also suggest relevant content to readers based on their interests and browsing history.

How it could be done: ChatGPT can analyse users' preferences, browsing history and engagement patterns to recommend relevant news articles. By understanding readers' interests, it can suggest articles based on their past reading habits, topics they follow and trending news stories.

How it will help: It will enhance audience engagement and satisfaction as readers discover content that is aligned with their interests. It will also help the discoverability of content that a reader may have missed otherwise.

Potential problems: The biggest drawback is that excessive personalisation may lead to “filter bubbles” - or “echo chambers” - where people are exposed only to content that aligns with their existing beliefs and not to diverse perspectives.


Sentiment analysis

What is it: GPT models can analyse articles for sentiment to provide insights into public opinion.

How it could be done: AI can learn to identify patterns to examine the overall sentiment of a news piece or a social media post as positive, neutral or negative. It can also take user interactions into consideration and make suggestions to the content writers.

How it will help: It would help newsrooms understand the opinions, reactions and preferences of the audience, help create more balanced pieces and address diverse perspectives.

Potential problems: As GPT models better understand emotions, biases and figurative language, the analysis will also get better. Right now, AI may not be able to detect sarcasm, irony or other nuances that can affect sentiment analysis.


Keyword extraction

What is it: ChatGPT can identify the most important keywords in news articles to help optimise them for SEO.

How it could be done: A GPT model could be trained to recognise important keywords that are related to a news story. It would monitor for accuracy and relevance and then provide recommendations to content writers to help improve an article’s visibility in search engines.

How it will help: It could increase exposure and reach for news organisations.

Potential problems: GPT suggestions must be filtered to ensure they reflect the context of certain keywords.



More Articles

Press Freedom in Multiple EU Countries on the "Verge of Collapse" Reports Show

The European Civil Liberties Union's Media Freedom 2024 report highlights a decline in press freedom and media pluralism in several EU countries, with calls for comprehensive reforms. The report also points out biases in Western media coverage of the Israeli offensive in Gaza, including restrictions on certain terms and unbalanced reporting. It raises concerns about diminishing media pluralism, journalist prosecution and surveillance, and declining public trust in the media.

A picture of the Al Jazeera Media Institute's logo, on a white background.
Al Jazeera Journalism Review Published on: 13 May, 2024
Amid Increasing Pressure, Journalists in India Practice More Self-Censorship

In a country where nearly 970 million people are participating in a crucial general election, the state of journalism in India is under scrutiny. Journalists face harassment, self-censorship, and attacks, especially under the current Modi-led government. Mainstream media also practices self-censorship to avoid repercussions. The future of journalism in India appears uncertain, but hope lies in the resilience of independent media outlets.

Hanan Zaffa
Hanan Zaffar, Jyoti Thakur Published on: 25 Apr, 2024
Journalism in chains in Cameroon

Investigative journalists in Cameroon sometimes use treacherous means to navigate the numerous challenges that hamper the practice of their profession: the absence of the Freedom of Information Act, the criminalisation of press offenses, and the scare of the overly-broad anti-terrorism law.

Nalova Akua
Nalova Akua Published on: 12 Apr, 2024
The Perils of Journalism and the Rise of Citizen Media in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia's media landscape is grim, with low rankings for internet and press freedom across the region. While citizen journalism has risen to fill the gaps, journalists - both professional and citizen - face significant risks due to government crackdowns and the collusion between tech companies and authorities to enable censorship and surveillance.

AJR Contributor Published on: 6 Apr, 2024
Silenced Voices: The Battle for Free Expression Amid India’s Farmer’s Protest

The Indian government's use of legal mechanisms to suppress dissenting voices and news reports raises questions about transparency and freedom of expression. The challenges faced by independent media in India indicate a broader narrative of controlling the narrative and stifling dissenting voices.

Suvrat Arora
Suvrat Arora Published on: 17 Mar, 2024
Targeting Truth: Assault on Female Journalists in Gaza

For female journalists in Palestine, celebrating international women's rights this year must take a backseat, as they continue facing the harsh realities of conflict. March 8th will carry little celebration for them, as they grapple with the severe risks of violence, mass displacement, and the vulnerability of abandonment amidst an ongoing humanitarian crisis. Their focus remains on bearing witness to human suffering and sharing stories of resilience from the frontlines, despite the personal dangers involved in their work.

Fatima Bashir
Fatima Bashir Published on: 14 Mar, 2024
A Woman's Journey Reporting on Pakistan's Thrilling Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally

A Woman's Voice in the Desert: Navigating the Spotlight

Anam Hussain
Anam Hussain Published on: 8 Mar, 2024
Breaking Barriers: The Rise of Citizen Journalists in India's Fight for Media Inclusion

Grassroots journalists from marginalized communities in India, including Dalits and Muslims, are challenging mainstream media narratives and bringing attention to underreported issues through digital outlets like The Mooknayak.

Hanan Zaffa
Hanan Zaffar, Jyoti Thakur Published on: 3 Mar, 2024
Silenced Voices and Digital Resilience: The Case of Quds Network

Unrecognized journalists in conflict zones face serious risks to their safety and lack of support. The Quds Network, a Palestinian media outlet, has been targeted and censored, but they continue to report on the ground in Gaza. Recognition and support for independent journalists are crucial.

Yousef Abu Watfe يوسف أبو وطفة
Yousef Abu Watfeh Published on: 21 Feb, 2024
Artificial Intelligence's Potentials and Challenges in the African Media Landscape

How has the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence impacted newsroom operations, job security and regulation in the African media landscape? And how are journalists in Africa adapting to these changes?

Derick M
Derick Matsengarwodzi Published on: 18 Feb, 2024
Media Blackout on Imran Khan and PTI: Analysing Pakistan's Election Press Restrictions

Implications and response to media censorship and the deliberate absence of coverage for the popular former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in the media during the 2024 elections in Pakistan.

Anam Hussain
Anam Hussain Published on: 14 Feb, 2024
Digital Battlegrounds: The New Broadcasting Bill and Independent Journalism in India

New legislation in India threatens the freedom of independent journalism. The draft Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023 grants the government extensive power to regulate and censor content, potentially suppressing news critical of government policies.

Safina Nabi Published on: 11 Feb, 2024
Pegasus Spyware: A Grave Threat to Journalists in Southeast Asia

The widespread deployment of spyware such as Pegasus in Southeast Asia, used by governments to target opposition leaders, activists, and journalists, presents significant challenges in countering digital surveillance. This is due to its clandestine operations and the political intricacies involved. The situation underscores the urgent need for international cooperation and heightened public awareness to address these human rights infringements.

AJR Contributor Published on: 5 Feb, 2024
Media Monopoly in Brazil: How Dominant Media Houses Control the Narrative and Stifle Criticism of Israel

An in-depth analysis exploring the concentration of media ownership in Brazil by large companies, and how this shapes public and political narratives, particularly by suppressing criticism of Israel.

Al Jazeera Logo
Rita Freire & Ahmad Al Zobi Published on: 1 Feb, 2024
Cameroonian Media Martyrs: The Intersection of Journalism and Activism

Experts and journalists in Cameroon disagree on the relationship between journalism and activism: some say journalism is activism; others think they are worlds apart, while another category says a “very thin” line separate both

Nalova Akua
Nalova Akua Published on: 28 Jan, 2024
Silent Suffering: The Impact of Sexual Harassment on African Newsrooms

Sexual harassment within newsrooms and the broader journalistic ecosystem is affecting the quality and integrity of journalistic work, ultimately impacting the organisation’s integrity and revenue.

Derick M
Derick Matsengarwodzi Published on: 23 Jan, 2024
In the Courtroom and Beyond: Covering South Africa's Historic Legal Case Against Israel at The Hague

As South Africa takes on Israel at the International Court of Justice, the role of journalists in covering this landmark case becomes more crucial than ever. Their insights and reporting bring the complexities of international law to a global audience.

Hala Ahed
Hala Ahed Published on: 12 Jan, 2024
Embedded journalism: Striking a balance between access and impartiality in war zones

The ethical implications of embedded journalism, particularly in the Israeli invasion of Gaza, raise concerns about the compromise of balance and independence in war coverage.

Abeer Ayyoub
Abeer Ayyoub Published on: 19 Dec, 2023
Does international law protect Palestinian journalists?

International humanitarian law provides some protection for journalists, but there is a lack of effective measures against crimes committed against them. The Israeli occupation's impunity and lack of accountability for war crimes against civilians, including journalists, is a crisis for international law.

Badia Al-Sawan
Badia Al-Sawan Published on: 12 Dec, 2023
Through a Mexican lens: Navigating the intricacies of reporting in Palestine

A Mexican journalist's journey through the complexities of reporting on Palestine and gives tips on how to manage this kind of coverage.

Témoris Grecko
Témoris Grecko Published on: 10 Dec, 2023
This Indian fact-checking newsroom is at the forefront of the fight against disinformation on the war in Gaza

In the digital battleground of Gaza's war, a surge of disinformation, primarily from Indian Hindu nationalists, paints Palestinians negatively, fueled by Islamophobia and pro-Israeli sentiments; yet, Alt News emerges as a crucial counterforce, diligently fact-checking and debunking these misleading narratives, even in Arabic, amidst a sea of manipulated social media content.

Meer Faisal
Meer Faisal Published on: 5 Dec, 2023
Echos of Israeli Discourse in Latin American Media on Gaza

Heavily influenced by US and Israeli diplomatic efforts, Latin American media predominantly aligns with and amplifies the Israeli perspective. This divergence between political actions and media representation highlights the complex dynamics shaping Latin American coverage of the Gaza conflict.

Rita Freire Published on: 23 Nov, 2023
Why have opposition parties in India issued a boycott of 14 TV presenters?

Media workers in India argue that boycotts of individual journalists are not the answer to pro-Government reporting bias

Saurabh Sharma
Saurabh Sharma Published on: 23 Oct, 2023
Punishing the popular: the suspension of a youth magazine in Vietnam

Media outlets not directly affiliated with the state are not allowed to produce ‘news’ in Vietnam - but the loose definition of ‘news’ means many fall foul of the rules

AJR Correspondent Published on: 19 Oct, 2023