Ethics

In modern times, technological advancement has become a valuable asset to almost every sector of the economy such as health, banking, building, and so on. Despite the positive influence of technology, the negative impacts should also be examined. In the journalism sector, technology has brought about a great change in how news is gathered, enhanced, reported, and consumed but it also raises ethical concerns that must be addressed to maintain credibility and trust. This article examines the relationship between technology and journalism, showcasing the developments that have modernized the industry and the ethical challenges that need to be carefully considered.

Technology's Impact on Journalism Ethics
Technological advancements_https://pixy.org/5760229/

News agencies and media outlets are increasingly using AI systems to generate news reports, especially for data-driven content such as financial market analysis. These AI systems can analyse large amounts of data and create news stories in seconds and this in turn allows journalist to direct their attention to more complex issues that might require human perspective. These include technological advances, such as deepfake videos and AI-generated content. These pose a significant challenge to journalism ethics and also have the potential to manipulate and distort stories that threaten the fundamental principles of journalism; accuracy, truth, and transparency.

Deepfakes and their downside in journalism 

DeepFake is a type of synthetic media generated using deep learning techniques, specifically generative adversarial networks (GANs). This technology manipulates or creates audio, video, or images that might look real but are actually fakes. Deepfakes are notoriously known for their ability to realistically manipulate people’s movements or facial expressions.

As deepfake technology gains popularity, it is becoming difficult to differentiate deepfakes from real photos, videos, and audio clips. Such media content could help to spread misinformation and fake news to a lot of web users. Also, deepfakes could be used to infringe on an individual’s privacy by placing them in places or situations they had never been to. This might bring about the issue of consent as most of these people might not have permitted the use of their photos for that purpose. 

Journalists with less time or resources might find it hard to prove that their images or videos are not deepfakes. As it becomes so easy to produce deepfakes, it can be a burden at the end of the day to a journalist who spends time producing their articles. 

Introduction of Artificial intelligence in journalism

Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, has a broader role in journalism than deepfakes. Machine learning enables journalists to swiftly track trending news and topics from various sources, thereby, saving time and resources because AI can analyze thousands of reports faster than any human. 

Furthermore, AI tools propose captivating headlines and add suitable visuals for articles and reports. Speech-to-text tools facilitate fast transcription of audio and video recording from interviews and events. 

Below are some of the uses of AI in journalism

  1. AI algorithms analyze user behavior and preferences to recommend relevant news stories, videos, and other content. This drives user engagement and retention by providing detailed reports on customer experiences, which can increase the reach of news agencies
  2. They can process large amounts of data and extract meaningful insights, enabling journalists to identify trends, patterns, and correlations in the data.
  3. They can also assist in fact-finding by cross-referencing information to trusted sources and databases. They can spot inconsistencies and anomalies, helping journalists to confirm the accuracy of their reports.
  4. AI-powered language translation tools make it easier for journalists to access and report on international news. These tools provide real-time translation of articles, interviews, and social media posts, breaking down language barriers.
  5. AI tools can help investigative journalists by analyzing large amounts of data to uncover hidden connections and insights that might otherwise have been missed

The ethical dilemma of AI integration in journalism

As AI-generated content gains more popularity day in and day out, it is becoming almost impossible to distinguish AI-generated content from human content. Most times, journalists struggle with proofing that their articles are not AI written and spend more time on this rather than making other valuable research work.

It is well known that AI collects its data from existing data. This might be a risky shift from the present situation. As AI picks its data online, it might be different from what is presently happening and this may cause misinformation or sharing of wrong data to the general public.

Also, there’s the possibility of sharing potentially manipulated content on the web. Information that has been altered, edited, or modified can be generated with the use of AI and this can convey false or misleading information.

The topic of AI causing job displacement has been going around for a while. Some people believe that AI will soon replace most jobs such as journalism and some journalist are finding their roles redundant and evolving. Balancing the benefits of AI with the preservation of jobs is becoming an ethical dilemma in journalism.

The integration of AI into journalism has brought about serious issues that threaten the ethics and core principles of journalism. The need for the issue to be addressed will allow for the potentiality of AI to be harnessed while upholding the ethics of journalism.

Conclusion

Although the benefits of AI in journalism are numerous, there are also ethical considerations. Journalists and media outlets need to be transparent and maintain the highest standards of the core principles of journalism. When an article, video, image, or information is AI generated, they should inform their readers about this. This will help readers to differentiate AI-generated articles and in turn, will allow transparency in journalism.

References:

Deanna Ritchie (2023). How Deepfakes Could Affect the Journalism Industry. [online]. (Last updated 31 May 2023). Available at: https://readwrite.com/how-deepfakes-could-affect-the-journalism-industry/ [Accessed 20 August 2023].

Marcin Frackiewicz (2023). The Impact of AI on Journalism and Media Ethics. [online]. (Last updated 21 June 2023). Available at: https://ts2.space/en/the-impact-of-ai-on-journalism-and-mediaethics/ [Accessed 20 August 2023].

Nicole Willing (2023). AI Journalism: Where Will the Rise of Automated News Writing and Fact-Checking Take the Industry? [online]. (Last updated 16 August 2023). Available at: https://www.techopedia.com/ai-journalism-where-will-the-rise-of-automated-news-writing-and-fact-checking-take-the-industry# [Accessed 20 August 2023].

Varzandeh, S. (2018). The Impact of Technology on Journalism. International Journal of Advance Engineering and Research Development, Volume 5 (2), pp. 550-555.

Author

Anastasia, a passionate graduate in Urban Planning, with a natural flair for writing. With a keen eye for detail and a creative mindset, Anastasia beautifully weaves together narratives that explore the intricacies of the built environment, showcasing her unique blend of career and hobby.