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Helping newsrooms experiment together with AI

March 23rd, 2021

In our JournalismAI report, journalists around the world told researchers they are eager to collaborate and explore the benefits of AI, especially as it applies to newsgathering, production and distribution.

To facilitate their collaboration, the Google News Initiative and Polis – the journalism think tank at the London School of Economics and Political Science – are launching the JournalismAI Collab Challenges, an opportunity for three groups of five newsrooms from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia Pacific to experiment together.

Each cohort – selected by Polis – will have six months to either cover global news stories using AI-powered storytelling techniques or to develop prototypes of new AI-based products and processes.

Participants will receive support from the JournalismAI team and partner institutions in each region: in the Americas, the challenge will be co-hosted with the Knight Lab at Northwestern University; in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the challenge will be co-hosted with BBC News Labs and Clwstwr. JournalismAI’s partner in Asia Pacific will be announced later this year.

The Collab Challenges build on a successful pilot run by JournalismAI last year. More than 20 global newsrooms joined forces to solve four common problems using AI, from creating automated news summaries to mitigating newsroom biases, and from powering archives to increasing audience loyalty. JournalismAI online trainings are available on the Google News Initiative Training Center, where they have already been seen by more than 110,000 participants.

Newsrooms interested in participating in this free, year-long program must have made AI a strategic priority, must guarantee the participation of two staff members – one from editorial and one from the technical department – who can participate two to four hours a week, and must embrace collaboration with other publishers.

The outcome of their work – whose ownership will be shared among participants – will be presented at the second edition of the JournalismAI Festival in November.

Applications for the Americas challenge and the Europe, the Middle East and Africa Challenge open today and close at 11:59 PM GMT on April 5. The Challenge will open later this year in Asia Pacific.

To learn more about the process, please visit Polis blog and sign up for the JournalismAI newsletter.