We are excited to announce that, for the fourth consecutive year, the Google News Initiative is supporting JournalismAI, a global initiative by Polis – the journalism think-tank at the London School of Economics and Political Science – that empowers news organisations to use artificial intelligence responsibly.
Artificial intelligence is not the solution to all the issues faced by modern journalism. But when used responsibly, it can provide media organisations with a powerful set of tools to make journalism more inclusive and impactful.
For the past three years, JournalismAI has worked with media organisations worldwide – from international brands like the Guardian, La Nación, and the South China Morning Post, to smaller and local organisations like the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, Data Crítica, Africa Check, and Bavarian Radio – to support journalists and media professionals in leveraging the opportunities offered by AI and automation, and provide platforms for knowledge sharing and collaborative experimentation.
The goal of our initiative is to make the potential of AI more accessible for all kinds of news organisations – regardless of size and location – and to counter inequalities in the global news media around AI. Whether you work in a traditional media outlet, a digital start-up, an investigative centre, or a non-profit organisation, we are here to help you make the most of these new technologies.
Furthermore, we recognise that the field of AI-journalism has a representation problem. Across our activities, we strive to include and promote journalists and media professionals from emerging economies, marginalised communities, and minority groups.
Every day, we learn from our global and diverse community of more than 4,000 journalists, media experts and researchers, through online conversations and shared learning experiences. It’s always with their feedback and needs in mind that we design our programmes.
This is how we plan to support our community this year.
Our programmes and activities in 2022
At JournalismAI, we believe that collaboration has a key role to play in defining how AI technologies can support journalism. In the past two years, we turned that belief into a series of collaborative experiments that brought together almost 40 media organisations from across the world.
Today, we start a new chapter in this experience. We are excited to open applications for the first cohort of our brand-new collaborative initiative: the JournalismAI Fellowship Programme.
The programme will select 10 pairs of colleagues – one person with an editorial or strategic role and the other one with a technical role – and invite them to form teams that will work together over six months to explore innovative solutions to improve journalism via the use of AI technologies.
Find out more about the JournalismAI Fellowship Programme, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, on the programme’s website.
The JournalismAI collaborative programme is one of the best initiatives I have seen recently. It is a safe space to think thoroughly about AI and offers an opportunity to journalism in general to have its say on the way AI should be developed. The process is a recipe for success as it leads to the creation of interdisciplinary and multicultural teams, supported by high level experts which are able to design real prototypes that could later be developed by each organisation.
— Michaëla Cancela-Kieffer, Deputy News Editor, AFP —
The JournalismAI Fellowship Programme is designed for people with previous experience of using AI. But we know that lots of journalists and members of our community are not that familiar yet with the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence. For them, we launched last year the JournalismAI Academy for Small Newsrooms, with a first cohort of 20 participants from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Thanks to the experience of last year and the exceptional feedback we received, we are revamping the programme and we’ll soon open applications for two more cohorts: in the Americas and in Asia-Pacific. Stay tuned, the applications will open in May.
The JournalismAI Academy for Small Newsrooms is a must for anyone looking to break barriers and to have impact, whatever their professional designation. I came away feeling truly empowered and turbocharged about my ability to make a difference, both in my organisation and in the wider fact-checking and media ecosystem.
— Lee Mwiti, Editor, Africa Check —
We are proud of our Fellowship and Academy programmes, but we are also aware that they can only serve a limited number of participants. Since the beginning of the project, we have been trying to address this limit by creating training resources that can be accessible to a wide number of journalists worldwide, including our two courses on machine learning on the Google News Initiative Training Center, and the JournalismAI Starter Pack.
To double down on this commitment, we are currently designing a new learning experience – code name: ‘JournalismAI Digital Discovery’ – to introduce journalists to the power of artificial intelligence. This will be an interactive self-guided course that combines resources for individual study with a collaborative learning environment. The launch is planned for October 2022 so, once again, watch this space.
And that’s not all. This year, we plan to involve our growing community in a number of activities based on the belief that learning in public and learning together are fundamental ways to support our mission of making AI more accessible.
We will create more opportunities for members of our community to come together with regular Community Workshops (like the one we hosted in March on How to use data and AI to analyse women’s representation in the news), a third edition of the JournalismAI Festival towards the end of the year, and a number of other activities designed for specific segments of our community, from newsroom leaders to researchers working on AI-journalism.
Let’s work together
If that sounds like a lot to achieve in nine months, it’s because it is. But thanks to the growth of our international team, based in three countries across Europe and Asia, we are confident we can truly make 2022 the best year of JournalismAI to date.
Lakshmi Sivadas and Sabrina Argoub joined JournalismAI in February 2021, sharing the role of Community Coordinator. Through hard work and dedication, they allowed the initiative to reach new levels. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited to announce that they are taking over a larger role, adding programme management to their portfolio: Lakshmi as programme lead of the JournalismAI Fellowship Programme and Sabrina as programme lead of the AI Academy for Small Newsrooms.
Mattia Peretti, who has been managing JournalismAI since Day-1, will continue to coordinate the overall initiative, working closely with our director Charlie Beckett and our partners at the Google News Initiative.
Soon, we will need help with the delivery of some of our activities – in particular with putting together the Digital Discovery and producing the JournalismAI Festival – so watch this space closely if you’d like to work with us.
And, as always, get in touch if we can help your team in any way – we are always up to share what we learn on panels, talks, and workshops! – or if you want to suggest an idea to collaborate on supporting news organisations to use artificial intelligence responsibly. You can contact us via email at email@example.com.
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