Zarkovic the use of AI in the media is a game changer, only those who are not afraid of new technologies will come through

“AI tools are increasingly used in the media. First and foremost in content production. This is worrisome for editors and journalists, because it raises ethical issues due to the spread of fake news, but also because many newsrooms will replace journalists with artificial intelligence. But not everything is so bleak. I like to look at the use of new technologies in the media with more optimism,” said Dušan Žarković, Executive Director of the Institute for Politics and Economy of Southeast Europe (IPESE) from Belgrade.

Taking part in the panel discussion “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of the Media”, organized by the Transatlantic Leadership Network (TLN) from Washington, he pointed out that the use of artificial intelligence can help the media get to know their audience better and approach them in a new way. “Through AI tools, you can micro-segment your audience and personalize the content you offer your users. This is especially important for smaller media, such as the weekly Vreme, which may not have the most visits, but remains highly influential in its respective community. They produce content for decision-makers, for people with higher education, with higher salaries, and greater influence on political and social processes,” said Žarković, whose family is the majority shareholder of the weekly Vreme from Belgrade, the oldest private magazine in Serbia and the Balkans, which marked its 33rd anniversary this year.

“If you offer those people the right content at the right time, content that addresses their specific needs, they will be ready to pay more for such content,” he stated and added that new technologies also create new opportunities for “monetization” of media content.

Žarković pointed out that the essence is in the analysis and management of data. “At the moment, all data on users of media content are with Meta, Google and on the X platform of Elon Musk, because social networks are the biggest generator of traffic that comes to the web portals of media companies. “Zuckerberg and Musk know the habits of the readers of Newsweek and Vreme better than the people who edit these media and their owners,” said Žarković.

“We should not hold grudges against big tech companies. They are doing their job, and we should do ours and try to overcome those challenges. For media conglomerates who have the means to develop their own AI tools, this may not be a big problem, but when it comes to small independent media, such endeavors are not easily achievable, and I fear that this will only deepen the gap between big and small media.” said Žarković.

“I believe that new technologies bring new value to the media business. We should not be afraid of new technologies, instead, we should master them and use them to enhance our daily operations. Artificial intelligence can help media to optimize their business, get to know their users better and generate more income,” he stated, adding that higher revenues for media mean greater editorial policy independence.

He pointed out that the responsible use of AI tools in journalism also has its important social component. “In a time when journalists are losing their jobs, individual journalists may use AI tools to find their ‘user niches’ where they can place content. This means that journalists will not have to change their profession, they will earn from their knowledge, preserving their identity and important societal role,” concluded Žarković.

In addition to Dušan Žarković, the panel “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Media” was attended by Matthew Tostevin, editor of global standards of Newsweek magazine, Laura Owen, from the Neumann Media Lab of Harvard University, Clayton Weimers, executive director of the American bureau of Reporters Without Borders, and the discussion was moderated by Sean Waterman, cyber reporter for Newsweek magazine.

Povezane aktuelnosti

Related news