Content strategies evolve as AI learns about reader interests, assists with fact-checking

By Oluwaseyi C. Tomosori

Lagos State, Nigeria


The evolution of the newsroom spans centuries. It is marked by transformative advancements from the industrial age’s daily newspapers, which united 19th-century populations, to the digital age’s modern technology and the Internet, offering new avenues for news reporting, audience engagement, and citizen journalism.

This era also saw the rise of digital storytelling techniques, with real-time photo-sharing platforms like Instagram enabling journalists to convey news through visual narratives. But even more interesting and futuristic is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the newsroom.

For anyone not so familiar with the dynamic landscape of the tech ecosystem, Artificial Intelligence seems to be a new concept. However, the idea of AI dates back several decades and has roots in the origin of modern computing.

While AI isn't new technology, its uses at news media companies like seem to be building daily.
While AI isn't new technology, its uses at news media companies like seem to be building daily.

The Associated Press (AP) and many other media companies worldwide have been experimenting with AI for a decade now. Through AI, they have adopted novel news writing and sourcing technologies for content creation.

AP deployed a tool from SAM, a Canadian social media solutions company, to detect newsworthy events based on natural language processing (NLP) of text-based chatter on Twitter and other social media venues. SAM alerts expose more breaking news events sooner than human journalists could track on their own through manual monitoring of social media.

Driven by the need to serve the audience, major players like the aforementioned have also leveraged AI to generate short, data-driven reports, create headlines based on the results of A/B testing, and improve SEO and their social media posts.

Indeed, AI has emerged from the shadows, taking the throne as the king of content optimisation and becoming a tool that can aid society in addressing many issues. It is a strategic intervention for solving the challenges of content strategies in the newsroom.

A glance at the global media journey since the advent of AI popularity unveils a surprising change and exemplary transformation for the media ecosystem. Some of these interesting transformations include:

1. Machine learning models to boost engagement using a content recommendation engine

Did you know that The New York Times, New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME), and Toutiao (China) launched AI-powered news applications with this intent? And, in the same vein, The Times (United Kingdom) halved digital subscriber churn using tailoured e-mail for its subscribers?

Many would also find it interesting to learn that The Wall Street Journal built a more flexible paywall that would inform news managers of the kinds of stories users are interested in, while also allowing non-subscribers to sample more stories to heighten interest in content.

2. Improved, more insightful investigative reporting backed with data and visual proof

This has happened as AI became more popular in the media landscape and evolved in use cases.

Today, there is more sophisticated hardware; more data and improved algorithms; and a better understanding and more refined application of computer vision (CV), an Artificial Intelligence subfield. The result is news outlets that have completely changed the game in investigative journalism.

A small news outlet like Texty from Ukraine relied on CV models to detect land that turned into lunar-looking landscapes due to illegal amber mining in the country. Traditional news organisations like The New York Times and Reuters have also used CV algorithm in their news stories.

The New York Times used computer vision algorithms to estimate 3D poses of sports athletes at live events, and Reuters used CV and satellite images to track urban expansion in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, The Chinese Xinhua News Agency used CV in combination with other AI subfields to rebuild its newsroom by emphasising human-machine collaboration to produce real-time stories.

3. The spread of misinformation lessons as newsrooms rely on AI to fact-check 

News organisations now leverage CV to detect fake images.

Applications like Source, which is powered by Storyful in a collaborative effort between Google and Asian practitioners, use Google AI technology to provide access to an image’s public history. This allows users to understand an image’s provenance and any sort of manipulation that has been done to it.

There has since been an introduction of many other applications that aid journalists in fact-checking information.

Legit.ngs AI tools, initiatives

In a similar vein, adopts AI to complement its media literacy efforts. Supported by AI-powered fact-checking tools, investigative journalistic skills are boosted, which helps verify news accuracy and combat misinformation more effectively.

Our company’s journalists have attested to the improvement in the quality of reporting with the balanced reliance on Artificial Intelligence.’s audience has also been bold with its reviews of better content for consumption — a testament to our newsroom’s advancement with AI.

With this, leverages best practices as a data-driven approach to monitor articles’ performance and user behaviour in real-time, and optimise the production of content tailoured to the audience’s interest.

In 2021, implemented an Artificial Intelligence tool called the Instant Infinite Scroll Solution that recommends or proposes articles that might be of interest to readers based on previously saved data of their reading habits. This is confirmed by the outstanding improvement of the depth of the visit.

Data reveals that on average, a user reads 14 articles that come from the main page. This information aided the content strategy, allowing users to cut through information clutter and save time by covering more articles of interest rather than scrolling through content they aren’t interested in for a long time before seeing what interests them.

According to our company’s findings, this content optimisation and personalisation direction have saved readers from scrolling for long. Rather, it takes them directly to content of interest and, ultimately, saves their mobile data for more usage in reading other preferred quality content.

Overall, the impact of emerging technologies on the newsroom and its content strategies is very advantageous to both the staff and its readers. The relationship between the news industry and its audience becomes even more personal and beneficial. The win-win situation this poses is the reason why the efficiency in the newsroom will be strengthened.

Only news organisations that have been able to invest in these technologies and devote resources and supportive infrastructure will have a head start. These companies will reshape the landscape as they are rejuvenated by AI.

About Oluwaseyi C. Tomosori

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