Sunday, February 25, 2024

Survey Finds AI a Concern to Journalists, Despite Low Usage

Seventy-nine percent of Australian journalists were concerned about the impact that generative AI could have on the overall integrity or quality of journalism in 2023, Medianet’s latest Media Landscape Report finds.

Based on a survey of more than 800 Australian journalists, the report revealed that while most journalists (74%) had not yet personally used generative AI in their work and 19% were not aware of how AI is being used in their newsrooms, 67% of respondents believed that generative AI could potentially replace aspects of their jobs. Further, twelve percent of respondents claimed to know someone who has lost work or lost work themselves due to the uptake of generative AI in 2023.

Medianet Managing Director, Amrita Sidhu, said that the heightened fear from journalists could stem from the lack of awareness about how AI is being used in newsrooms and its potential impact on journalistic integrity.

“The introduction of generative AI has sparked concerns among journalists, but it’s essential to bridge the gap between concerns and real-world impact,” Sidhu said.

“While the figure is quite small, it is concerning that some journalists had already lost work despite the relatively low uptake of AI in the media so far.”

The report also shows findings on journalists’ average salaries, once again highlighting gender pay gaps in the media industry.

From the findings, journalists have not been immune to cost-of-living challenges. ‘Money’ was identified as the greatest challenge of 43% of respondents in 2023, while 67% felt they were underpaid. Conversely, female journalists earning over $100,000 increased by 7% from the previous year.

In a year where the platform formerly known as Twitter received significant publicity following the company’s acquisition by Elon Musk and subsequent rebrand to X, there was a significant drop in professional Twitter/X usage in 2023.

The platform dropped from being the second most used social media platform for journalists in 2022 to being the fourth most-used platform, after Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they used Twitter/X in 2023 down from 69% in 2022. Ten percent identified having either recently deleted their account or stopped using it in 2023. A quarter of respondents (26%) said they still had an account but rarely used Twitter/X for professional purposes in 2023.

Journalists disclosed their main motivations to report on stories, with 80% stating their primary motivation is to inform the public accurately and fairly.

“This comprehensive report underscores the industry’s commitment to principled reporting, the need for public understanding, and the continued importance of accurate and impartial journalism,” Sidhu said.

Key facts:

  • A survey of more than 800 Australian journalists conducted between September and October 2023 revealed that 79% of journalists were concerned about the impacts that generative AI could have on the overall integrity or quality of journalism.
  • Most journalists surveyed (74%) said they had not personally used generative AI in their work.
  • 67% of respondents said they believed that generative AI could potentially replace aspects of their jobs.
  • 12% claimed to know someone who has lost work or lost work themselves due to the uptake of generative AI in 2023.
  • ‘Money’ continued to be the greatest challenge for 43% journalists in 2023 (compared to 36% in 2022).
  • Professional use of Twitter/X has dropped significantly among journalists (from second most used in 2022 to fourth most used in 2023).

Visit https://engage.medianet.com.au/2024-media-landscape-report

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