Newsmakers

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Journalism

Francesco Marconi

Columbia University Press

Newsmakers

Pub Date: February 2020

ISBN: 9780231191371

160 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $28.00£22.00

Pub Date: February 2020

ISBN: 9780231191364

160 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $85.00£70.00

Pub Date: February 2020

ISBN: 9780231549356

160 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $27.99£22.00

Newsmakers

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Journalism

Francesco Marconi

Columbia University Press

Will the use of artificial intelligence (AI), algorithms, and smart machines be the end of journalism as we know it—or its savior? In Newsmakers, Francesco Marconi, who has led the development of the Associated Press and Wall Street Journal’s use of AI in journalism, offers a new perspective on the potential of these technologies. He explains how reporters, editors, and newsrooms of all sizes can take advantage of the possibilities they provide to develop new ways of telling stories and connecting with readers.

Marconi analyzes the challenges and opportunities of AI through case studies ranging from financial publications using algorithms to write earnings reports to investigative reporters analyzing large data sets to outlets determining the distribution of news on social media. Newsmakers contends that AI can augment—not automate—the industry, allowing journalists to break more news more quickly while simultaneously freeing up their time for deeper analysis. Marshaling insights drawn from firsthand experience, Marconi maps a media landscape transformed by artificial intelligence for the better. In addition to considering the benefits of these new technologies, Marconi stresses the continuing need for editorial and institutional oversight. Newsmakers outlines the important questions that journalists and media organizations should consider when integrating AI and algorithms into their workflow. For journalism students as well as seasoned media professionals, Marconi’s insights provide much-needed clarity and a practical roadmap for how AI can best serve journalism.
Francesco Marconi has it right. Artificial intelligence will augment—not automate—the news industry. Human judgment will be enhanced, not replaced. When you finish this book you do not fear the AI future in newsrooms. You have the tools to wonder what we will soon be able to do. Jay Rosen, New York University
One part history, one part management strategy, and one part vision, Newsmakers provides readers with a detailed roadmap of how journalism workflows and content will change through the AI inspired process of iterative journalism. The result will be coverage that adjusts to readers’ information needs in real-time and increases the scale and scope of reporting. Jay Hamilton, Stanford University
If you are a newsmaker or anyone interested in the future of journalism then this book is the perfect guide. Marconi is at the cutting edge of using AI technologies in the newsroom and one of the most intelligent strategic analysts of how they can help journalism survive and thrive in our radically changing digital media age. From news gathering to connecting to audiences he shows the plethora of opportunities and challenges presented by this complex set of tools and systems. If you are excited by or fearful of the prospect of the 'robot' age of news, this book will give you the facts and ideas to grapple with this rapidly evolving field. Charlie Beckett, London School of Economics
Newsmakers explores human-machine collaboration in the future of news. Marconi offers a practical perspective of how journalists can be directly involved in training, testing and deploying algorithms. A valuable guide for journalists who want to stay in the drivers’ seat of making news and leverage emerging AI-powered tools to unlock new storytelling opportunities. Deb Roy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Marconi’s book will help journalists start thinking about some of the exciting ways AI can improve and streamline their work and how to implement these new technologies in the newsroom. If we are going to create a sustainable future for journalism, this is exactly what we need to be thinking about: putting audience needs and rapid iteration at the center of everything we do. Carrie Brown, City University of New York
In an era when machine learning is being applied to optimize decisions in countless other industries, Newsmakers examines the richness and complexity of using these tools to make dynamic, personalized, and impactful choices about the stories we offer our readers. For Marconi, it is not journalism automated by computation, but rather journalism augmented. Machine learning changes the ways a reporter sees the world around her, pieces a story together, and builds an audience in a complex information ecosystem. Newsmakers presents a view of journalism that is explicitly iterative, experimental and collaborative. Mark Hansen, Columbia University

About the Author

Francesco Marconi is a journalist currently serving as the first R&D chief at the Wall Street Journal. He previously managed AI strategy at the Associated Press. He also serves as an adjunct instructor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and as an affiliate researcher at the Laboratory of Social Machines at MIT Media Lab.

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