The state of journalism: AP to work with OpenAI

The Associated Press signed a deal with the artificial intelligence firm OpenAI to share news content and technology. AP does not now use generative AI in reporting the news but wants to use AI to improve its output. (Axios, July 13, 2023, by Sara Fischer)

OpenAI is also committing $5 million in a deal with the American Journalism Project to help local news outlets to experiment in using artificial intelligence technology in reporting. (Axios, July 18, 2023, by SaraFischer)

It’s rumored that some major foundations are planning to announce a $500 million fund to distribute over the next five years to boost local news in every county in the U.S. The need is great to enable local news outlets to not only survive but to do more than just report tragic incidents. The grants could help them focus on solving programs and hold public officials accountable. (Columbia Journalism Review, July 5, 2023, by Sarah Alvarez)

Newspapers in South Caroline are collaborating to raise money and support investigative journalism. They revealed how public officials were enriching themselves through graft and spending taxpayer money on trips. They showed how a pharmaceutical company paid staff in the state capitol and how mold was a huge problem in public universities. (The Free Speech Center, July 17, 2023, by Dennis Hetzel)

Newspapers in Nevada and Connecticut are publishing articles in Spanish to better serve their communities. (Poynter, July 11, 2023, by Omar Gallaga)

The Los Angeles Times is establishing a new brand, De Los, to report on the identity and culture of English-speaking Gen A and millennial Latinos. The intent is to add more digital subscriptions to its burgeoning numbers, up 100,00 subscribers since last year. (Axios, July 11, 2023, by Sara Fischer)

In allowing a lawsuit to proceed, a Texas federal judge ruled that a citizen journalist had the First Amendment right to attend a police press conference and record the police making an arrest. “The heart of the First Amendment is the right to speak out about government, ” said Christie Herert, an attorney for Justin Pulliam, “and Fort Bend County does not get to pick and choose who will cover their activities.” (Reason, July 14 2023, by J.D. Tuccille)

Kyle Pope in the Columbia Journalism Review, July 14, 2023, writes that for too long journalists were more focused on the politics of global warming than the effects on people, but that has changed recently with the world facing multiple episodes of extreme weather. Pope says more needs to be done in addressing root causes. “Every reporter must become a climate reporter,” argues Pope, “Investigative journalists must uncover the role of the energy industry, and its enablers in elected office, in continuing to make the problem worse. Reporters at every level must highlight the tools available to us—and there are many—to address the crisis at hand. It will be a source of shame for our profession if we let this moment pass with the status quo intact.”