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Seriously, when is this AI fever dream going to stop? The Guardian is reporting that the CEO of German media group Axel Springer has said that journalists are at risk of being replaced by artificial intelligence systems like ChatGPT.
Mathias Doepfner is looking to boost revenue at German newspapers Bild and Die Welt and to transition the business to being a ‘purely digital media company’. Job cuts lie ahead, because automation and AI are ‘increasingly making many of the jobs that supported the production of their journalism redundant’.
However, he also said, ‘only those who create the best original content will survive,’ and that’s the real lead in this story. AI will help publishers process information at volume, no question. That will probably lead to job losses, but AI will not replace journalists and this kind of headline nonsense.
Making the financial case for something that is simply morally and ethically right can feel somewhat crass, but I wondered if spotlighting the business benefits of D&I might help bring more long-lasting change. While the righteous indignation triggered by widely reported social wrongs sparks action, it can fade with the headlines. Profitability is never off the agenda.
Publishers’ ecommerce strategies are all built around the trust their audience places in their writers. So can ex-Jane and Sassy editor Jane Pratt engender that trust with a new site based around first-person ‘confessional’ pieces? A sample headline from the still-to-launch DeedDa is ‘“I Regret Having Kids, Genuinely Don’t Like Them, and Hate Being a Dad.” Now if that doesn’t get you in the mood to buy a spatula I don’t know what will.
This week we hear from Bonnie Kintzer, CEO of Trusted Media Brands – which includes brands like FailArmy, Family Handyman, and Reader’s Digest. She tells us about the opportunities she saw to turn around the company when it was facing bankruptcy in 2013, how the business has weathered some of the storms of the past decade, and why she thinks it’s vital to focus on where the audiences are regardless of platform algorithms. She also explains why a ‘re-start-up’ mentality helped TMB get ahead.
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