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News Corp Australia Employs AI to Generate 3,000 Weekly Hyperlocal News Articles

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News Corp Australia Harnesses AI for Generating 3,000 Local News Stories Weekly

News Corp Australia has revealed its latest venture into artificial intelligence, utilizing generative AI to produce an impressive 3,000 articles every week. According to Michael Miller, the executive chair, a dedicated team of four staff members employs this technology to generate hyperlocal stories related to weather, fuel prices, and traffic conditions. These AI-generated articles are intended to complement the work of reporters for News Corp’s 75 “hyperlocal” mastheads spread across the country.

Data Local Unit Led by News Corp’s Data Journalism Editor

The AI-driven unit responsible for this massive content generation is called Data Local, and it operates under the guidance of News Corp’s data journalism editor, Peter Judd. Many of the articles produced by the Data Local team carry Judd’s byline, ensuring editorial oversight. The stories focus on service information, including reports like “Where to find the cheapest fuel in Penrith.” Although AI generates these articles, journalists supervise the process to ensure accuracy and quality.

Hyperlocal News Subscriptions Drive Growth for News Corp

During the World News Media Congress in Taipei, Michael Miller emphasized the significance of local news, revealing that most new subscribers opt for local news subscriptions. He stated that 55% of all subscriptions are driven by the “hyperlocal” mastheads. As a result, News Corp has launched 24 new hyperlocal digital-only titles in recent years, aiming to cater to the diverse interests of progressive communities with active sporting, political, business, and tourism engagement.

News Corp’s Evolution from Print to Digital

In 2020, News Corp underwent a significant transformation when 112 of Rupert Murdoch’s print newspapers ceased printing operations, including 36 that shut down altogether. However, the company adapted to the digital era, launching various local digital-only titles. These digital publications are typically staffed by a single journalist and focus on regions with a population of at least 15,000. Miller pointed out that such a setup could be financially viable, with a single journalist generating enough subscriptions to cover their salary.

The Growing AI Adoption in Australian Newsrooms

News Corp’s AI-driven content production represents a significant step in the adoption of AI technology by media organizations in Australia. Other major players in the industry, like the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), are also exploring the potential of AI applications to enhance content accessibility. The ABC’s efforts include AI-powered transcription of audio content, text-to-speech article delivery, translation services, and personalized recommendations.

Implications and Future Prospects

The growing integration of AI in newsrooms raises questions about how automation might impact journalism in the long run. While AI can significantly streamline content creation and delivery, concerns about potential job displacement and the need for careful oversight persist. For now, News Corp assures that human journalists supervise all information generated by AI systems, maintaining the integrity of their reporting. As AI continues to advance, news organizations must strike a delicate balance between efficiency and journalistic ethics to ensure the continued trust of their readership.


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