Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed

Check out our list of top companies

Check out our carefully compiled lists of the most relevant and impactful companies within their fields.

Check out our list of top unicorns

Read and learn about the biggest companies that various countries have produced, how they made it, and what the future looks like for them.

Growing Skepticism Surrounds AI-Driven Newsrooms

Are AI-driven newsrooms losing public trust amid global skepticism?
June 17, 2024

Amid the rapid advancement of AI in journalism, a new report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reveals a significant global unease regarding AI-generated news content. This growing concern poses additional challenges for newsrooms already grappling with audience engagement and revenue generation.

The institute's annual Digital News Report, which surveyed nearly 100,000 individuals across 47 countries, highlights the complex landscape that news media must navigate to remain viable. As tech giants like Google and OpenAI introduce AI tools capable of summarizing information and diverting traffic from traditional news websites, the skepticism around AI's role in news production has intensified.

The report indicates that a substantial number of consumers are particularly wary of AI-generated content on sensitive topics like politics. In the U.S., 52% of respondents expressed discomfort with AI-produced news, while in the UK, the figure rose to 63%. Interestingly, people showed more acceptance towards AI being used behind the scenes to enhance journalistic efficiency rather than directly creating news content.

Nic Newman, senior research associate at the Reuters Institute and lead author of the report, noted the unexpected level of distrust among respondents. "It was surprising to see the level of suspicion," Newman remarked. "People broadly had fears about what might happen to content reliability and trust."

The report also points out an increasing anxiety about misinformation, with 59% of survey participants expressing concerns, up three percentage points from the previous year. This worry is particularly pronounced in South Africa and the U.S., where 81% and 72% of respondents, respectively, are apprehensive about false news content, coinciding with their election years.

Additionally, the struggle for news organizations to convert readers into paying subscribers remains evident. Despite a slight growth in subscriptions during the pandemic, only 17% of respondents across 20 countries reported paying for online news, a figure that has stagnated over the past three years. In the U.S., nearly half of the subscribers are taking advantage of discounted rates through trials or promotions.

Another notable trend is the influence of individual news personalities on platforms like TikTok. The report found that 57% of TikTok users who get their news from the app primarily follow individual influencers rather than traditional journalists or news brands. This shift underscores the necessity for newsrooms to forge direct relationships with their audiences and leverage social media platforms to reach younger, harder-to-engage demographics.

One prominent example is Vitus "V" Spehar, a TikTok creator with 3.1 million followers, known for their unconventional style of delivering news from under their desk, offering a more relaxed and relatable perspective compared to traditional news anchors.

The findings from the Digital News Report emphasize the evolving dynamics of news consumption and the critical need for media organizations to adapt. As Newman suggests, "We see that these influencers have a bigger role on the platforms," highlighting the importance of strategic engagement to connect with diverse audiences.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, funded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, continues to shed light on the pivotal changes within the media landscape, urging newsrooms to innovate and build trust in an era dominated by digital transformation.

More about: 

Last related articles

chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram