Journalism is under attack from bad actors. Bots and trolls undermine journalism online, fake news factories churn out clickbait and misinformation and the President of the US wages war on journalists’ right to report the facts and hold him to account.
All this has contributed to a crisis of trust in journalism. It doesn’t exactly help when occasionally, reporters at respected newspapers are exposed for making things up.
In this climate, media outlets are having to work that extra bit harder to assert their credibility. For example, the politics editor at The New York Times has started tweeting the decision-making behind certain stories to build trust around the paper’s intentions. The aim is to increase transparency and deflect accusations of bias by engaging readers more in the editorial process.
News media needs to work harder to ensure its reporting is accurate, balanced and up-to-date. Journalism is a human pursuit, subject to human errors in fact-checking and reporting. And today’s digital news environment means that editors and journalists are under pressure to publish more stories in less time, leading to further mistakes.
Here’s where AI can help.
We’ve already looked at ways in which machine learning tools provide insights into data and help journalists. Here are some ways AI improve accuracy and credibility in the newsroom and help fight the good fight against fake news.
Various AI tools are being developed to help journalists distinguish between fact and fiction.
ClaimBuster and Factmata scan digital news stories and check them against a database of known facts. Logically analyses the text, metadata and sharing channels of any given story for misinformation indicators.
The latest battle on the front line of fake news is against deepfakes. These are sophisticated videos created using AI that look real to the untrained eye. Tools such as Serelay and Truepic are also harnessing AI to fight deepfakes.
Stories that contain out-of-date information can be a big problem, particularly when they are shared widely by newswires. When out-of-date or incorrect news gets spread on a large scale, it erodes trust in mainstream journalism.
Heliograf is an AI news tool which The Washington Post debuted in 2016. The editorial tool automatically updates stories with the most recent facts.
We’ve already mentioned tools like Lynx Insight and Newsworthy. They crunch huge datasets to look for patterns or anomalies that might lead to interesting stories.
These tools also provide background information and visual data. This is in the form of graphs and tables and provides much-needed context to stories.
Better content in less time can only be a good thing in a world that needs quality journalism more than ever.
Loyal keeps journalists up to date with breaking news as they write. It helps them to stay on top of the facts as they develop.
It also relieves the digital legwork by suggesting relevant social media assets and links to embed into articles. This leaves journalists more time to focus on what they’re good at — reporting and writing.
For more information on how Loyal can help out in your newsroom, click here.