AI & Local News
Bridging people, ideas and tools from artificial intelligence and news to support sustainability and innovation in the journalism industry.
AI tools are already here. We want news organizations to understand AI, ask necessary questions and help build tools that will sustain quality journalism.
Regional, local, and community-based newsrooms are continuing to experience resource constraints. Through this project, we want to foster a pipeline of AI talent, products, and services to advance a sustainable future for local journalism. We believe interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge sharing are critical to bridging this gap and leveraging AI in newsrooms.
NYC Media Lab recognizes the need for a centralized repository and convening place for those interested in using AI tools in newsrooms and in the service of journalism.
Community Platform: a newsletter and resources on this website that will help connect the challenges local newsrooms face with the opportunities provided by new tools.
AI & Local News Challenge: an opportunity for startups and university teams to develop and advance projects that use AI to address the needs of news organizations.
How Newsrooms Use AI
AI tools can be used to meet news audience needs and aid reporters in several ways, including helping with Newsgathering, Investigations, Fact-checking, Audience engagement, and Personalization. A year-long analysis and observations by Knight Foundation on how AI impacts journalism gathered many examples including:
Publishers including The Philadelphia Inquirer are using dynamic paywalls to try to increase digital subscription conversion rates.
Richland Source, a digital nonprofit serving mid-Ohio, applies AI to produce local sports coverage with fewer reporters and editors.
KPCC in Southern California used AI to help the newsroom respond in real time to more than 5,000 questions about Covid19 since last March.
For more examples of AI applications for news see this Airtable of case studies from JournalismAI and this spreadsheet of examples collected by John Keefe, Youyou Zhou and Jeremy Merrill for the Knight Foundation.
AI & Local News Initiative Partners
The NYC Media Lab team produced NewsLab 2020, an event that convened 150+ interdisciplinary practitioners in journalism and technology. Over the course of several days, including a follow-up event for participants, several key themes emerged as priorities for the community:
- Newsrooms across the country are continuing to experience resource constraints, especially in smaller, local, and community-based newsrooms
- New tools that leverage AI and explore computational journalism can help address this widening resource gap.
- Interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge sharing are critical to bridging this gap and leveraging AI in newsrooms.