Prediction for journalism in 2024 — More open source AI

We have a chance to try again and learn from the tortured history between technology companies and journalism. It is truly magical to speak to a machine using the same language you’d use to talk to a human. And that initial awe at the technology commonly known as generative AI caught a lot of us in the hype over artificial intelligence this past year. We also learned that while the large language models (LLMs) that power generative AI are great at stringing words together, they have a tendency to BS their way through it.

How can newsrooms benefit from ChatGPT and other generative AI tools? We asked over 10,600 journalists to find out.

Over the past year, the rise of AI capable of generating text and images in the last year has provoked doubt and inspired optimism. The journalists who attended our course were no exception. Journalists are feeling overwhelmed by AI – torn between pushing their bosses to experiment with the new technology so they don’t fall behind, but at the same time afraid the automation enabled by AI will eliminate their own jobs.

Take the AP’s new survey on AI

The Associated Press is conducting an anonymous survey on how the news industry approaches AI, with an emphasis on professional and ethical practices around generative AI, like ChatGPT and Midjourney. The survey will be open through the month and take about 25-30 minutes to complete. Results will be published next year, but have published a report on results from its 2021 survey on AI in local newsrooms. Worth a Read:

Apply for a microgrant on credibility projects

Hacks/Hackers is offering micro-grants of up to $10,000 to individuals and organizations who want to research or test new tech tools that can advance global credibility in journalism. The ideal projects will address misinformation issues, involve innovative uses of technology and help working journalists. Applicants must be willing to share their results publicly. Hacks/Hackers is hoping to select 2-4 projects. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2024, but early applications are encouraged.

Call for Proposals - Improving Information Credibility With Tech

Since 2010, Hacks/Hackers has supported projects that bring journalism and technology closer together. Our events and grants have reached tens of thousands of working journalists and technologists around the world. In 2023, we’re focused on two key priorities: working with news organizations around the rise of generative AI and the continued challenges of global misinformation. We have a small amount of funding that we’d like to distribute in micro-grants, to individuals and organizations who want to research or test the ways new tech tools can advance global credibility.

Honoring Philip Meyer, data journalism pioneer

Philip Meyer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who pioneered incorporating data analysis into investigative journalism, died at the age of 93. The New York Times and Detroit Free Press, where he worked when he won a Pulitzer Prize, both wrote obituaries to honor his legacy. He wrote a book titled “Precision Journalism: A Reporter’s Introduction to Social Science Methods” in 1973, which has had multiple updated editions since. His legacy is also honored in IRE’s Philip Meyer Journalism Award, started in 2005, that “recognizes excellent journalism done using social science research methods.

Sign up for the new AI course from the Knight Center

After the success of the first AI course, the Knight Center is arranging a second online course, called “Generative AI for journalists: Discovering what data can do.” The course is led by Sil Hamilton, Hacks/Hackers' AI researcher at large, and will focus on developing and implementing AI applications into your workflow. The course runs from mid-November to mid-December, and the $95 registration fee offers a more advanced curriculum for a more limited number of students.

New events for the end of the year

The end of 2023 is coming, and lots of events are getting scheduled for 2024! WikiConference North America is happening this week in Toronto, and the AIJC’s annual gathering takes place later this month. Keep an eye on this newsletter for more events as they get added in the new year! Some community favorites like NICAR, IJF and Dataharvest have been announced for the coming months. Worth a Read: The Institute for Nonprofit News released a report on diversity in the nonprofit news sector and found that the racial and ethnic composition of staff at nonprofit news organizations is largely similar to the US population.

Bloomberg opens a hiring spree for its data teams

Bloomberg is hiring around 40 new journalists for its data journalism and visualization teams. The open positions include data visualization reporters, editors, engineers and team leaders. The openings are also global. The jobs themselves are based in Hong Kong, London and New York, but will work with Bloomberg colleagues in Taipei, London, New York, Washington DC and San Francisco. Worth a Read: The European Press Prize announced a new category to celebrate “data journalism and challenges the boundaries of journalism.

Stay in touch for more AI trainings from Hacks/Hackers

The Knight Center had a fantastic turnout for its course “How to use ChatGPT and other generative AI tools in your newsroom.” The MOOC featured Hacks/Hackers AI researcher-in-residence Sil Hamilton, as well as the Associated Press’s Aimee Rineheart. The four-week course concluded this week. As AI becomes more and more embedded into newsrooms, Hacks/Hackers looks forward to finding ways to contribute to the discussion and spread the knowledge. Keep an eye out for more updates!