Journalism in the world of AI technology: "Disinformation and journalism" workshop held
Journalism is a key actor in terms of advocating for the public interest, and what distinguishes it from all other actors, including AI technology, is the ability to provide meaning and context to the cacophony of information that we as citizens face every day - conclusion of Gong's workshop " Disinformation and journalism", which Dražen Hoffmann and Matej Mikašinović-Komšo held at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Zagreb for journalism students during April and May.
Through four lectures at the "Data-driven Strategic Journalism" course, held by associate professor Marijana Grbeša, students were presented with the current situation in which journalism finds itself, the challenges and threats it faces, and also the future that AI technology portends for journalism.
Namely, the rise of disinformation, the loss of authority and trust in institutions, the disintegration of space for public discussion, and the dominance of digital platforms, are all factors that accompany the structural crisis of journalism. In it, journalism as a profession is threatened by the loss of credibility and trust in the eyes of the public, excessive reliance on metrics and data, growing pressure from advertisers, the influence of politics, the decline of professional standards, and the growth of the audience's cognitive load.
This has opened up space for the emergence of new actors, who strive to take over the role of journalism in terms of providing information, especially in the digital space. However, such actors do not focus on the public interest, but solely on making a profit and spreading disinformation and conspiracy theories, which is why media literacy is more important than ever.
Finally, with the sudden arrival of AI technology, the journalism crisis has become even more complex, because now anyone can quickly and cheaply create AI-generated journalistic content for easy profit. At the same time, citizens are faced with the need to master new skills, in order to distinguish good journalism from fake and low-quality AI journalism.
In addition to introducing students to these threats, a series of practical exercises and tasks were also conducted, through which students were encouraged to think about how to use existing skills, knowledge and technologies, including AI technology, to face the aforementioned challenges and maintain quality and responsible journalism.