Home Opinion How AI helped a local newsroom in Argentina boost its reach, innovation, sustainability
Opinion - June 12, 2024

How AI helped a local newsroom in Argentina boost its reach, innovation, sustainability

 

By Alvaro Liuzzi

It has been six months since I concluded my work with Todo Jujuy, a local media outlet in Argentina, helping integrate artificial intelligence (AI) tools and processes in their newsroom.

Informed by time and data, I’ve gained a perspective on the possibilities that AI offers media outlets if they integrate it according to their specific needs and characteristics.

The words of Julieta Pose, the content manager at Todo Jujuy, shine a light on what we achieved:

“The implementation of AI in our newsroom allowed us to grow both qualitatively and quantitatively, which is fundamental for a local organization with a small newsroom like ours. On one hand, it enabled us to automate processes and daily, cumbersome tasks of little journalistic value, especially those related to services such as weather, traffic, or sports results, so that we were able to optimize content production.

On the other hand, it allowed us to focus our staff of journalists on tasks purely of interest to our audience, thus deepening the journalistic value of our content and the role we have as a media outlet.”

In the first installment of this series, I presented the ideas and strategies behind the process of integrating artificial intelligence (AI) at Todo Jujuy. The data collected and the lessons learned from this process form the basis for what I dive into below, analyzing concrete impacts and results of the integration.

Audience growth

From March 2023 when the integration work began, to March 2024, Todo Jujuy experienced nearly 100% growth in its audience. Page views climbed from 1,297,967 to 2,378,928, while the number of users tripled, increasing from 542,347 to 1,652,414.

This exponential growth reflects a growing interest among a broader audience – a direct result of diversified, enriched content, thanks to the implementation of AI technologies.

Increase in content production

Before integrating AI into its processes, Todo Jujuy published no AI-generated articles. Today, it publishes more than 500 such articles per month.

AI adoption rate

Half of the newsroom has adopted AI tools to assist with editorial processes. Although some team members have expressed fears over this integration, the trend demonstrates the potential of these tools to transform the newsroom’s way of working.

Efficiency in content production

The implementation of AI has improved productivity, enabling Todo Jujuy reporters to publish more articles. Although the amount of time this has saved for staff has not yet been measured, efficiency in content production has significantly increased.

Editorial team satisfaction

Surveys and interviews with the editorial team indicate a high degree of satisfaction regarding the utility, ease of use, and impact of AI on their daily work. Those who have adopted AI tools are motivated and enthusiastic and have a desire to continue exploring and learning about their applications.

Content diversity

AI has contributed significantly to the diversification of Todo Jujuy’s content, enriching existing articles and generating new topics of interest for its audience. This greater variety of topics, perspectives, and styles indicates broader, more diverse coverage.

Development of guidelines

Creating a framework for using AI has been essential for guiding its adoption in the newsroom. The guidelines have helped to reduce anxieties, provide clarity on how to work with AI and establish the outlet’s stance both internally and externally. Organized meetings and training sessions have been crucial for this process.

Sustainability and Innovation as drivers of change

Following a year of exploring and engaging with AI in 2023, journalists face a dual challenge in 2024.

The first lies in how newsrooms will adapt to the new technologies and their cross-cutting impacts on the media industry. And secondly, they will be tasked with reporting on these developments and their consequences.

AI has spurred discussions around ethics and data privacy. It also impacts the proliferation of mis- and disinformation, especially in a year in which at least 64 countries are holding elections. Central for newsrooms to consider is the fine line between plausibility and truth, the increasingly influential role algorithms play in distributing and mediating content that audiences consume, and job losses due to automation.

Despite these challenges, local media find opportunities in this new landscape. The deep connection they have with their communities allows them to offer unique perspectives and coverage focused on issues that directly affect local audiences.

As newsrooms explore new digital strategies, such as integrating AI-related technologies, they can reconfigure production processes and consolidate their crucial role as guardians of reliable, relevant, and community-focused information.

In this context, where change is the only constant, sustainability and the ability to innovate become two fundamental characteristics for their survival.

 

Liuzzi is a digital media consultant and communication professor working at the intersection of media, technology, and innovation. He specializes in integrating artificial intelligence into journalism by incorporating its use in media and newsrooms.

 

 

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