Fast News: How AI is reshaping the news and what it means for the PR industry

Media OutReach Newswire - 28 Nov 2023
Ever since OpenAI launched ChatGPT late last year, generative AI has taken the world by storm, and the world of media is no exception.

Last month, Australian publisher Mi3 embarked on an ambitious public experiment in AI-based B2B publishing where articles are written by ChatGPT, and images are created by Midjourney prompts.

Called Fast News, the project is overseen by Mi3 editors, with the bulk of the heavy lifting run by generative AI.

Mi3 editors still have a firm hand on the wheel – nothing gets approved without editorial oversight – but in the months ahead, these AI tools are expected to take up some 95% of the work of producing high-volume transactional news.

Launched in partnership with Salesforce and ThinkNewsBrands, Fast News is addressing some of the same challenges facing the broader news media industry: How to responsibly use AI to protect core journalism and free-up journalists to do what they do best.

“The way that we can do both transactional news and quality, original content – where we’ve got to be in market, talking to people, making the calls, asking the questions, joining the dots – is to bring in the machines,” Paul McIntyre, Executive Editor & Publisher at Mi3, says.

“So we have built something that is 95 percent automated, where our team doesn’t have to spend too much time on that volume.”
Mi3 has ebraced Midjourney to create unique images like this. Photo: Mi3 Australia

Under Threat?

Of all the industries to be “threatened” by Gen AI, journalism and the PR industries face the biggest challenges to their core offering, with the once critical tasks of writing articles, press releases, social media posts and sponsored content now simple prompts that AI can generate in a matter of seconds.

AI-controlled news desks will have huge implications for how brands communicate in the world of earned media and may result in media outlets becoming more reliant on press release material, freeing up smaller teams of experienced editors to focus on longer, more in-depth news and analysis.

In response to the disruptive force of AI in B2B publishing, industry players are grappling with both challenges and opportunities.

Beyond Fast News, the broader media landscape is witnessing a paradigm shift as AI increasingly streamlines content creation and distribution.

The communication and PR sectors, facing a seismic transformation, must adapt strategies to balance transactional news with quality, original content. While AI automation tackles high-volume tasks, human journalists are liberated to delve deeper into investigative reporting and analysis.

The delicate balance between leveraging AI’s efficiency and safeguarding journalistic integrity underscores the industry’s ongoing evolution into an AI-powered future.

As the landscape evolves, lessons learned from ventures like Fast News become crucial guideposts for the industry’s trajectory.

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