Inspiring content marketers through what newsrooms are dealing with using AI tools

One of the things I really enjoy, having been an intern at Toast for now close to 25 years, is that learning is never over. We keep learning, and we even have a saying we keep repeating: “Growth through learning.”

That sentence can be interpreted in so many ways, but one way I like to “use” it is to read on other industries, other fields of work and see how they are tackling their own challenges.

One of the great finds in seeing how journalists and newsrooms are dealing with AI was written by David Caswell. In his longform read “AI and Journalism: What’s Next” (a 30+ minutes read!), he explores the resurgence of innovation in journalism driven by artificial intelligence, particularly following the public release of ChatGPT in late 2022.

“The development of generative AI has placed journalism at the cusp of significant change, variously equated to the iPhone moment, the birth of the internet and even the appearance of the printing press.” – David Caswell

In the case you do not have the time to read it all, I figured I would make a quick summary of the great points he brings forward:

  • Resurgence of innovation in journalism: After a period of stagnation, the introduction of ChatGPT and generative AI has revitalized interest in fundamentally reinventing news production and consumption. This shift has become a priority for newsroom leadership teams worldwide.
  • Conversations with news leaders: Caswell shares insights from discussions with over 40 news organizations worldwide, exploring AI-driven innovation in journalism.
  • Strategic implications of AI for newsrooms: How news organizations are contemplating the strategic use of AI, including enhancing efficiency, expanding product offerings, and differentiating content to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Potential strategies for implementing AI:
    • Efficiency-focused strategies: Automating routine aspects of news production to enhance productivity.
    • Product expansion strategies: Using AI to create new products for different audiences, accommodating their unique preferences. “A more ambitious AI strategy for news organisations lies in reimagining and expanding the scope and scale of an organisation’s news products in ways that only become feasible using generative AI.”
    • Differentiation strategies: Leveraging AI to produce unique content that stands out in a crowded information ecosystem.
    • Techno-editorial strategies: Developing proprietary AI tools and services for news analysis and distribution.
  • Cautions and considerations: The piece warns against overly ambitious AI projects without clear objectives, highlighting the risks associated with AI-generated content and the importance of strategic communication about AI adoption within news organizations. “Training your own model… is likely a bad idea for most news organisations for multiple reasons, including the difficulty in attracting the world-class machine learning talent needed to create a useful language model.”
  • Operational and organizational adaptations: Newsrooms must evolve their infrastructure, workflows, and organizational structures to effectively leverage AI technologies, fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability.
  • Looking ahead: The article emphasizes the need for news organizations to actively engage with AI technologies to shape the future of journalism, suggesting that AI offers opportunities to significantly enhance how news is produced, distributed, and consumed.

This article is a great read, showing Caswell’s perspective that suggests an optimistic yet cautious approach to integrating AI into journalism, urging news organizations to explore AI’s potential while being mindful of its challenges and ethical implications.

What does this mean to content marketers? 11 questions content teams should consider

When applying learnings from a different field, I always like to transform insights into questions.

In this specific case, what could content marketing leaders, Chief Content Officers and content team members ask themselves in light of what Caswell is outlining for journalism and newsrooms?

Here is a quick breakdown of important questions content marketers need to ask themselves:

  • The resurgence of innovation in journalism: How can we leverage the recent advancements in AI and generative technologies to innovate and redefine our content strategy and operations?
  • Learning and exploring AI: What foundational knowledge of AI do we and our content teams need to acquire to effectively utilize its capabilities in enhancing our content production and delivery?
  • Conversations with news leaders: How can insights from leading news organizations’ adoption of AI-driven innovation inform and guide our content marketing strategies?
  • Strategic implications of AI for newsrooms: In what ways should we reconsider our strategic approach to content marketing in light of AI’s potential to transform news production and consumption?
  • Potential strategies for implementing AI:
    • Efficiency-focused strategies: How can AI tools be used to automate and streamline our content creation process, improving efficiency without compromising quality?
    • Product expansion strategies: How can we utilize AI to develop new content products or formats that cater to diverse audience preferences and expand our reach?
    • Differentiation strategies: How can we employ AI to create distinctive and valuable content that differentiates us in a competitive market?
    • Techno-editorial strategies: What opportunities exist for us to develop proprietary AI technologies or services that can enhance our content analysis, creation, and distribution capabilities?
  • Cautions and considerations: What are the potential risks and ethical considerations we should be aware of when implementing AI in our content marketing, and how can we address them?
  • Operational and organizational adaptations: What changes should we anticipate and plan for in our content operations and organizational structure to integrate and maximize the benefits of AI technology?
  • Looking ahead: How can we proactively engage with AI technologies to not only adapt to but also shape the future of content marketing and stay ahead of industry transformations?

These questions are designed to provoke thoughtful consideration and strategic planning among content marketing leaders regarding the integration and utilization of AI in content strategies and operations.

Want to dive deeper into all these subjects, never hesitate to contact us to plan a workshop or discussion on AI and content marketing!