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Monday, October 24th
by The Fix Team

What AI can do for newsrooms

Hello and a big welcome to our new subscribers from Ringier Axel Springer, Global Podcast Editors, Agora S.A. and many others!

AI-powered image and text generators are becoming surprisingly good – and it’s likely only the beginning. 

Media analyst Ben Thompson, author of Stratechery, recently wrote about the looming impact of artificial intelligence on creators – just as the internet made distribution of content free and easy, AI will unbundle the creation of an idea and its substantiation. 

While this is a theoretical concept, and most of AI’s impact is yet to be felt, there already are many tools newsrooms and individual journalists can benefit from.

Last week, The Fix rounded up nine AI-powered tools that can be useful for reporters and their managers, from writing and editing to generating images. 

AI-powered image generation is an especially promising frontier. As Taisia Bekbulatova, chief editor of independent Russian media outlet Holod, summarised it in an interview for The Fix, “AI imagery allows publishers to save both time and financial resources, which is especially important for small and medium-sized newsrooms”.

Holod is using AI-generated images to illustrate its coverage – along with many other prominent media organisations. We at The Fix looked at the trend, as well as some of the concerns around the risks for human workers and ethical bias. 

Although our newsletter is written, edited and designed for you by humans, the time may come when we’ll have to find a new job – or at least try hard to become better at what’s beyond AI’s capabilities.
From The Fix
What AI image generators can do for newsrooms
Anna Sofia Lippolis, Jakub Parusinski
The AI revolution in journalism is not just about text generation, but also creating new visuals via automatic image generation
9 AI tools to save journalists time and money
Bohuslav Romanenko
Human intelligence is indispensable, but AI is here to augment your work. Take advantage of AI tools to be ahead of the game
How independent Russian media cover civic activism in wartime
Veronica Snoj
Russians can still learn about protests and prosecutions of civic activism from independent sources, mainly on Telegram
Fact-checking platforms as sources for journalists: How to get to the ‘unproblematic’ fact
Fact-checking platforms have never lacked work, because they continue to face lies in the news, misinformation, spins and manipulations in all their forms
Gen Z is the world’s most digital audience, spending two-thirds of media time online: WARC report
Digital audio and Tik Tok win growing share of 16-24 year-olds’ attention but time on social platforms drops

What we are following 
How do you measure the success of your email strategy? What kind of metrics do you use? With open rates becoming less reliable, the Financial Times is successfully using surveys – over 78,000 replies from newsletter readers help inform how the publication’s newsletters evolve. Inbox Collective shares tips from the FT on surveying their readers. 

Daily news podcasts were pioneered in the US, most notably with The Daily by The New York Times, but the format is also flourishing elsewhere. NiemanLab reviews a new study on the daily news podcast ecosystem in Spain, a market that saw eight new shows launched since last year. 

Individual creators became a prominent force in the media. Platforms, whose success depends on creators, understandably value them. But how much? Digiday breaks down how much Meta, TikTok and other social media companies are paying the creators.

Industry news
Semafor, a new US-based media outlet with global ambitions, officially launched last week. Similarly to some other recent startups, the company has made a bet on a slate of personality-driven newsletters. It also boasts a custom-created article format called “Semaform” that distinguishes the news, the reporter’s view, and potential counter-arguments. Semafor’s launch has attracted a lot of attention in the media industry, partly because of its big-name founders – Ben Smith, former New York Times media columnist & BuzzFeed News chief editor, and Justin Smith, former Bloomberg Media CEO. Semafor is starting as a free-to-read, ad-supported publication, with a quarter of revenue coming from the events business; the company plans to introduce a paywall later.
The New York Times cancelled its plans to develop an app for children, The Wall Street Journal reports. While NYT’s strategy increasingly involves branching out into non-news services, like cooking and games, ultimately the company “determined that the kids app was no longer a worthwhile investment.” According to an internal email uncovered by WSJ, the market for the app for kids has proven to be smaller compared to some of the latest investments like purchasing The Athletic. Therefore, the company seems to have decided not to lose focus and to concentrate on the more promising opportunities. 
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is ending the platform’s support for Instant Articles, a format that was launched seven years ago to swiftly load news articles. As Axios reports, support will be discontinued in April of the next year, providing publishers with 6 months to prepare. The news is not surprising in light of Facebook’s recent moves to deprioritise its news partnerships in favour of the company’s new priorities like vertical video content. As PressGazette notes, “the mood in the industry does not appear to be one of sadness or surprise, especially for those who have diversified beyond a reliance on Facebook traffic.”
Opportunities and deadlines

Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellowship. The Nieman Foundation for Journalism and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society invite fellows for an academic year to work on research on journalism innovation. Candidates must propose a project relating to journalism’s digital transformation. This includes ideas for new revenue streams, new tools for reporting, or research into news consumption patterns.
More info:
Deadline: December 1 (for non-US citizens)

JournalismAI Festival. “An online global conference exploring the intersection of journalism and AI”, the event is organised by Polis at the London School of Economics and Political Science and supported by the Google News Initiative. The sessions will also be available online.
More info:
When: December 7 to 8

European Local Cross-Border Investigative Grant. welcomes applications from local cross-border teams of at least two professional journalists and/or (local) news outlets. Along with financial support, you will receive training and network opportunities. 
More info:
Deadline: November 10

Job Openings

Director of Digital Innovation. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty is looking for a Director of Digital Innovation to lead a team implementing new technologies to aid the organisation’s editorial mission. At least five years of experience working in digital journalism is required, as well as 5+ years of leading media teams. The position is based in Riga, Latvia. 
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled

Programme Operations Specialist. International Media Support (IMS) is looking for a national adviser for the programme in Moldova. The responsibilities include identifying and developing relations with national, regional, and international partners, monitoring of the situation in Moldova, among others. The position is based in Chisinau.
More info:
Deadline: December 1

Customer Success Associate. The Economist is looking for a professional to manage client relationships with the subscription team. You will act as the day-to-day contact for a book of clients, managing key performance targets.
More info:
Deadline: Open till filled
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