At JournalismAI, we believe that collaboration has a key role to play in defining how AI technologies can support journalism. In 2020, we turned that belief into a collaborative experiment joined by more than 20 news organisations worldwide. Now, it’s time to get to the next level.
Today, we can announce that our 2020 pilot programme – the JournalismAI Collab – is evolving: Welcome to the 2021 JournalismAI Collab Challenges.
The Collab Challenges are a new series of collaborative experiments that bring together media organisations to explore innovative solutions that improve journalism via the use of AI technologies. The Challenges will see teams of about 5 media organisations work together for around 6 months in collaboration with academic labs and R&D partners. Together, they will co-design prototypes of new products and methods, and produce innovative coverage of news stories or issues, with the support of AI.
Three Collab Challenges start in Spring 2021 across the world:
🌎 One team of ~5 media organisations in the Americas: GMT –7 to –3
🌍 One team of ~5 media organisations in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA): GMT 0 to +4
🌏 One team of ~5 media organisations in Asia-Pacific (APAC): GMT +5 to +11
Each team will develop its work independently and focus on a different aspect of the journalism process – but teams will also have the opportunity to exchange ideas and perspectives with one another and with the wider international network of JournalismAI. Find all the details in the Programme Explainer.
AI isn’t as advanced as the fear-mongers have you believe! We are still building it and we can still influence things. There are interesting open-source tools that can be used by lots of publishers. Even sworn competitors can come together very fruitfully in order to push the overall good of the industry forward.
Jane Barrett, 2020 Collab participant, Global Editor for Media News Strategy at Reuters
Today, we open applications for the Challenges in EMEA and the Americas, and we announce the partners that will lead the work in the two regions.
Collab Challenge in EMEA: Modular Journalism
We are excited to announce that JournalismAI will host the Collab Challenge in EMEA in partnership with BBC News Labs and Clwstwr.
BBC News Labs is a cross-functional team that develops, prototypes and tests new ways to serve the audiences and journalists of BBC News.
Clwstwr is an ambitious R&D programme to create new products, services and experiences for screen and news in South Wales by putting innovation at the core of media production.
The Challenge will focus on: How might we use modular journalism and AI to assemble new storytelling formats?
If you have any questions before deciding whether to apply, you can join the dedicated Q&A session on March 29th at 1:00 PM GMT. Send an email to email@example.com with subject line “EMEA Collab Challenge” to express your interest and receive the access link.
While doing internal research as part of the Collab, I met colleagues in marketing and data science I had never spoken to before. They were so interested in our ideas, we now have an internal project group looking at how we might turn them into reality. Extraordinary serendipity that would never have happened without the Collab.
Alison Gow, 2020 Collab participant, Audience and Content Director North West at Reach plc
Collab Challenge in the Americas: Newsgathering Techniques
We are equally proud to announce that JournalismAI will host the Collab Challenge in the Americas in partnership with the Knight Lab at Northwestern University.
The Knight Lab, based at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, is a community of designers, developers, students, and educators working on experiments designed to push journalism into new spaces.
The Challenge will focus on: How might we use AI technologies to innovate newsgathering and investigative reporting techniques?
If you have any questions before deciding whether to apply, you can join the dedicated Q&A session on March 29th at 4:00 PM GMT. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “AMERICAS Collab Challenge” to express your interest and receive the access link.
It doesn’t matter if you are not a tech person or an expert in this area, AI must be addressed in a multidisciplinary way, and we, journalists, should understand the way it works so that we are able to contribute to creating new tools for our work.
Delfina Arambillet, 2020 Collab participant, Data and Innovation Jounalist at La Nación
Coming up Next
Over the coming weeks, we will announce the details and open the applications for the Collab Challenge in Asia-Pacific. More Challenges might be added to the mix later in the year. Make sure to sign up to the JournalismAI newsletter so you don’t miss any deadline and update.
The Collab in 2020 showed us that great things happen when the news industry comes together to push journalism forward in a creative and collaborative way. And the global success of our 2020 Festival proved that we have only started to plant the seeds. Let’s see together how these AI-powered plants can grow.