AI in news sparks global concerns

Based on surveys of nearly 100,000 people across 47 countries, the report reveals that 52% of US and 63% of UK respondents are uncomfortable with AI-generated news, particularly on sensitive topics like politics.

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A new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism highlights growing global concerns about the use of AI in news production and the spread of misinformation. The Digital News Report, based on surveys of nearly 100,000 people across 47 countries, reveals that consumers are particularly uneasy about AI-generated news, especially on sensitive topics like politics. In the US, 52% of respondents expressed discomfort with AI-produced news; this figure was 63% in the UK.

The report underscores the challenges newsrooms face in maintaining revenue and trust. Concerns about the reliability of AI-generated content are significant, with 59% of global respondents worried about false news, which rises to 81% in South Africa and 72% in the US, both of which are holding elections this year. Additionally, the reluctance of audiences to pay for news subscriptions remains a problem, with only 17% of respondents in 20 countries paying for online news, a figure unchanged for three years.

Why does it matter?

A significant trend noted in the report is the growing influence of news personalities on platforms like TikTok. Among 5,600 TikTok users surveyed, 57% said they primarily follow individual personalities for news, compared to 34% who follow journalists or news brands. The report suggests that newsrooms must establish direct relationships with their audiences and strategically use social media to reach younger, more elusive viewers. The shift is illustrated by figures like Vitus ‘V’ Spehar, a TikTok creator known for delivering news uniquely and engagingly.