Even a few years ago, AI in local newsrooms was a foreign concept. It’s scary, expensive, and hard to navigate, right?
Not so much.
It turns out newsrooms across the country are adopting AI. Staff shortages are real, significantly, as the scope of digital news expands. It’s expected for Journalists and editors to do more than they’ve ever had to do. The truth is that it’s likely an unsustainable amount of work, and teams are starting to look for creative solutions to get everything done.
The benefits of AI in local newsrooms
The benefit is easy to identify: Get more done with the same amount of resources.
Many newsrooms refer to their journalists as “multi-screen” journalists. They expect them to research, write, shoot, edit and promote all of the work on their own. There are few margins, leading to high turnover and burnout.
In short, nobody can do it all.
Some AI assistance with content and distribution can go a long way in keeping your staff happy and productive.
What are the hurdles?
There are several obstacles. The AP recently did a study on AI in local news and found the following:
There is a significant gap between large and small news organizations regarding how they use AI and automation technologies.
Despite some concerns about handing off human work to machines, local newsrooms have strong support for automating tasks that could free journalists for deeper reporting, streamlining production, or enhancing content monetization.
While interest is high, AI technologies are not in wide use at the local level because many news outlets lack the resources or time required to experiment.
Where AI solutions can work
Per the AP report, news managers are doing everything possible to make the search for content efficient. This search includes things like content discovery and social media monitoring.
Using AI doesn’t mean replacing reporting with a robot. What it can tell, though, is automatic layouts, gathering of sports scores, obituaries, and other tasks.
Additionally, social media content can largely be automated now, as long as you take the time to set up your metadata well. True Anthem can help you if this feels like a scary step. Set up a personalized demo here.
AI in local news is a long way from being commonplace. However, the need is there.
The truth is that companies will figure out ways to survive by helping their employees fill the gaps, or things just won’t get done. AI in local newsrooms is a new frontier, and ever-changing technology assists newsrooms in accomplishing more with less every day.