With artificial intelligence having its moment in the spotlight, largely thanks to the fast-changing development of generative AI, we will be working on behalf of journalists around the world to help them understand this technology and to use it to support their work. We are excited to share that for the fifth 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.
For the past four years, JournalismAI has worked with media organisations worldwide, from smaller and local organisations to the international brands, 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.
Watch this video and get a glimpse of our work:
In our fifth year, the mission remains the same and we have no plans of slowing down. Having reflected on our work, and our close to 7,000-strong community, we learnt that there are still glaring inequalities in the global news media around AI. In 2023, we are hyper-focused on addressing that through fine-tuning our efforts in the Global South and elsewhere. We will strive to include and promote journalists and media professionals from emerging economies, marginalised communities, and minority groups. But we cannot do this alone. We hope we can count on you for support, along this journey.
This is how we plan to support our community this year.
Our programmes and activities in 2023
As you may have already seen, we announced new calls for applications for two of our flagship programmes: the JournalismAI Academy for Small Newsrooms and the JournalismAI Fellowship Programme.
JournalismAI Academy for Small Newsrooms
Following the success of the past two years, which included three cohorts, and the exceptional feedback we received from participants, we are accepting applications for two new cohorts for the Academy:
- Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
- Asia-Pacific (APAC)
We will announce a call for applications for the Americas later this year.
The Academy is designed for journalists and members of our community who are not that familiar yet with the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence. Each cohort will consist of 20 participants, with the EMEA and APAC Academies starting this June. When it comes to adopting AI, smaller news organisations risk falling behind. We first warned of the issue in our 2019 report, New Powers, New Responsibilities, where we recorded the role of AI in widening inequalities within the journalism industry. Smaller news organisations face multiple challenges, from competing for a limited pool of tech talent, to cost considerations and the lack of an industry-wide playbook that they can emulate.
With this AI Academy for Small Newsrooms, we hope to help small and digital-native news organisations leverage the full potential of artificial intelligence.
Applications for EMEA and APAC close on Sunday 30 April at 11:59 PM GMT. You will need to make sure to carefully read all the information about the programme, including the FAQs, on the Academy website, as this is also where you will find the application form.
JournalismAI Fellowship Programme
The Fellowship Programme, which is designed for people with previous experience of using AI and is also set to begin in June. For 2023, the programme will select up to 15 pairs of colleagues – one person with an editorial or strategic role and the other 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.
The extended deadline for applications is on Wednesday 26 April, at 11:59 PM GMT. Learn more about the JournalismAI Fellowship Programme, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, on the programme’s website.
Last year we launched the first iteration of a new introductory, self-guided, six-week newsletter course called JournalismAI Discovery. The course is designed to introduce journalists to the power of artificial intelligence and combines resources for individual study with a collaborative learning environment. Following the success of the first Discovery course and numerous requests for another iteration, we are happy to announce that we will be opening another round for applications in May 2023, so once again, watch this space.
But wait, there’s more…
New Powers, New responsibilities report
This September we will release a new and updated JournalismAI Research Report that will update the original JournalismAI Report 2019. It will act as the world’s foremost survey of the state of AI in global news media. It will identify key cases of innovation and forecast significant areas for future expansion including analysis of developing editorial and ethical issues and trends.
As in line with our global mission of being a truly global initiative, we would like to include the participation of as many newsrooms – small, medium and large – as possible. If your newsroom has worked with and/or implemented any AI process and technologies, please drop us a line by emailing our lead researcher Mira Yaseen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JournalismAI Community Platform
Another announcement we’ve been eagerly waiting to share with you is this: We’ve been planning to involve our growing community through 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. To do this, we needed to think of a more structured way our community could easily interact with one another. For this reason, we have closed our previous Telegram group.
Instead, this June, we will be opening up our new JournalismAI platform, for members of our community, and alumni from our various programmes, to come together to share knowledge, exchange ideas and learn from one another.
If you want to join the community and access all our free resources and opportunities, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
We know that the above programmes can only serve a limited number of participants. And for that reason, since the beginning of this JournalismAI initiative, we have been trying to address this limitation by creating training resources that can be accessible to a wide number of journalists worldwide. These two courses on machine learning on the Google News Initiative Training Center, and the Journalism Starter Pack, are always available to you.
Let’s work together
As we celebrate five years of JournalismAI and renew our commitment to you, we are confident that, with your support, we can truly make 2023 a remarkable year.
Our ever growing international team, now spread across six countries in Europe, Asia, Middle East and the Americas, will always be there to support you and answer any of your questions. In 2023, Lakshmi Sivadas will continue leading the Fellowship Programme, while Sabrina Argoub will take care of all three cohorts of the AI Academy for Small Newsrooms. The JournalismAI Discovery course author, Brandon Roberts will return to support the Discovery course.
We are excited to also announce our newest team member, Ana Paula Valacco, based in Argentina, who will be the Manager for the JournalismAI Community, set to be launched in June this year.
Our first JournalismAI Manager, Mattia Peretti, is no longer with the project and has taken the time off to reboot, before pursuing other personal goals and opportunities. Following Mattia’s departure from the initiative, we are happy to have our not-so-new Manager, Tshepo Tshabalala, who has stepped up to continue coordinating the overall initiative, working closely with our director, Charlie Beckett and our partners at the Google News Initiative.
Over and above this, we will still need help with the delivery of some of our other activities, like producing the JournalismAI Festival. So stay tuned to all our platforms for when we reach out for additional support.
And as always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, if we can help your team in any way – we are always up to sharing what we learn on panels, talks and workshops. If not that, we are more than happy to hear your ideas on how we can collaborate on supporting news organisations to use artificial intelligence responsibly.
Find us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram under PolisLSE.
Want to connect with the JournalismAI team? You can contact us via email at email@example.com.
JournalismAI is a global initiative of Polis and it’s supported by the Google News Initiative. Our mission is to empower news organisations to use artificial intelligence responsibly.