The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

AI in Media: Lets Chat

Technology consumes the world.  

Throughout time, humanity has developed with the production and execution of the car, the radio and the cellphone that have greatly impacted the shift our societies have taken. However, there is a point when technology consumption, like the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), diminishes critical thinking abilities such as media literacy, sets precedents for unethical standards and dehumanizes society. Regarding the use of AI in the applications, ethics and considerations of use by journalists, we, the Viking Vanguard do not condone such behaviors and practices for the reasons stated. 

Alan Boyle, a contributing editor for GeekWire, a Seattle-based technology news site claims that the generative AI program ChatGPT will make up nonexistent references for the user to be content. In using these references in articles, papers or infographics, it is using AI as a crutch to critical thinking and diminishing media literacy globally. AI-generated information requires fact-checking and verification that users will not execute if such content produced is followed blindly. Generative AI produces references, images, videos and writing based off of information around the world that is published or plastered onto the internet. This information, however, may contain heavy bias that would skew an audience if it were to be published by journalists or used in a story from any news source, leading the audience blindly into accepting truth and chipping away at media literacy across the globe. 

Further, AI is raising issues of ethics and questions around accountability–as it should. There is currently no laws in Washington regulating the use of AI in journalism. There is also no national regulation for journalists by convention standards like AP Style or the Society of Professional Journalists. Though the superintendent of public instruction in Washington has sent out suggestions on the general use of AI, there are no legal consequences for not following through with these suggestions, meaning they contribute to the decreasing media literacy globally. 

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Though some may argue that the use of AI can help journalists with interview transcripts, condensing them into outlines and summaries, generate interview questions and help research topics, we, the editorial board, rebuttal with history. Throughout time, journalists have persevered through turmoil and censorship, without the assistance of AI. Journalists have won countless Pulitzer Prizes, organizations have won Pacemakers and other awards, without the assistance of AI. Though AI may have some benefit to beginning a story, journalists are capable individuals who have shown time and time again that AI is not necessary to produce a story worthy of awards and recognition. 

Journalists are everywhere. Scrolling through Instagram you will find infographics and news briefs, curated by journalists. Switching through the channels on the TV, there is countless channels displaying news ranging from the local weather to global politics, curated by journalists. There are various ways each journalist could approach a story, with different tone, inflections or angle. What one journalist may want to cover as a feature story, another may want to cover as entertainment. This is what keeps journalists humane and worthy of their jobs. With the development of AI in the application of delivering news that is quality, informative and unbiased, these traits are diminished. AI is not an empathetic tool. It is a machine-based system built upon non-human algorithms that feed into what the user wants, as AI’s main goal is to please said user. For broadcast journalists, such as Mariah Valles, a segment producer at FOX 13 Seattle, are able to enter a press release audio file into certain AI platforms and request a 30-second anchor news brief, chipping away at the humanizing work of other journalists behind the camera. If a journalist using AI needs an image for their online story regarding an event they covered locally, generative AI can produce images that are flawed, cartoonish, fake or adjacent to copyright images, putting the reporter at risk for lawsuit. These qualities are not aligned with what a personable society needs and therefore risks dehumanizing communities. 

The editorial board urges you to support journalists and persist against the use of AI in news by calling your local state government, petition the government, buy the local newspaper or turn on the community news to keep humane journalism alive.  

Your actions help provide journalists with a quality reputation of unbiased and humanizing news. 

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