Local newsrooms form the foundation of a healthy information ecosystem, providing their communities with the context and meaning needed to make sense of a complex world. AI tools have the potential to improve the business sustainability of these important institutions. These technologies also introduce new risks that AI-adopting newsrooms will need to understand and discuss.
To help local newsrooms navigate this landscape effectively and responsibly, the Local News Workstream is developing an AI Tools Procurement Toolkit. We have released the AI Tools for Local Newsrooms Database as the first resource in this Toolkit. This Database provides key information (such as potential applications, expertise needed, and cost) about automated tools (including investigative, content creation, and audience engagement tools) that could be useful to journalists. We are also bringing together experts from media, the AI industry, civil society, and academia to develop procurement guidance for AI-adopting news organizations.
Resources and Research
The AI Tools for Local Newsrooms Database
For local news teams often strapped for expertise, time, and resources, surveying the full range of available AI tools is not easy. In addition to the sheer number of tools available, it can be difficult for someone without a background in machine learning to glean exactly what an AI tool does and what its benefits are.
With the AI Tools for Local Newsrooms Database, local newsrooms can compare AI tools’ functionality, use-cases, cost, and more
Last year, we surveyed local news teams, established news organizations, social media platforms, and AI developers to get a better understanding of the entire ecosystem. Based on that feedback, PAI saw a need for an easily accessible resource that explained, in plain language, which AI tools could be used to support local newsrooms.
After identifying the AI tools currently being used by other news organizations, tools with similar functionality, and additional tools with local news applications, PAI created the AI Tools for Local Newsrooms Database. This sortable database lists dozens of automated tools that could be useful to journalists, including (among other information) what they’re used for, how much they cost, and which newsrooms are currently using them.
PAI seeks your input to continue expanding and improving this resource. Please let us know about any tools that are not included so we can add them.
Local News Steering Committee
Co-founder, Lede AI | President, The Source | Board Member, LION Publishers
Director, The Journalism AI Project, Polis, LSE at The London School of Economics and Political Science
Senior Director of Data Initiatives & News Automation
Felix M. Simon
Leverhulme Doctoral Scholar, Oxford Internet Institute | Research Assistant, RISJ | Fellow, Tow Center | Affiliate, UNC CITAP
Connie Moon Sehat
Researcher-at-Large | Director of News Quality Initiative
Founder and Director
Stanford University’s Big Local News
Senior Product Manager
The Associated Press’s Local News AI Initiative
Journalism and Media Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
PAI plans to expand the database and develop a responsible AI procurement guidebook to walk newsrooms through the process of procuring AI tools in a responsible manner that fully considers the positive and negative implications of these technologies. This work will be in consultation with a diverse array of stakeholders, including the Local News Steering Committee, civil society, tech developers, academia, and newsrooms. If you’d like to be part of the process, sign up to our mailing list for the latest updates.