Vía País uses AI to streamline newsroom processes, capture audience attention

By Camila Charris

Vía País


The debate over technological advances has always been present in newsrooms, but in the last year — and especially after the arrival of ChatGPT and BARD — the topic of Artificial Intelligence has become a recurring one: What will happen to journalists? What about the content? Will the audience notice the difference between a news story made with AI and an original piece?

As has been the case throughout the history of journalism, the trick is to adapt and understand not only the risks but also the benefits behind the new tools that are here to stay and continue to advance.

Journalists at Vía País face Artificial Intelligence head on by educating their audience about it, including how to identify manipulated images.
Journalists at Vía País face Artificial Intelligence head on by educating their audience about it, including how to identify manipulated images.

For this reason, Vía País decided to address the topic of Artificial Intelligence in a timely manner and in conjunction with different areas of the newsroom. We were asking ourselves how to approach this technology to improve our processes and offer quality content to audiences.

The first step

One of the ways the team found to connect with this technology is to inform the general public through colourful and eye-catching articles about its use. Although AI has become a recurring topic in society, not everyone is in contact with this type of tool. In some cases, it takes some knowledge to recognise what is “real” and what is made using AI.

This type of content ranges from service articles teaching people how to use this technology, with useful examples of how to create travel itineraries with AI, for instance. This content also includes more detailed explanations of how audio, videos, and images are created using these tools, which often go “viral” on social media, like Messi’s fake interview in English.

We are always focused on informing and looking for creative ways to do so. We seek not only to point out what is created with this technology but to explain how it was used. This is to fight against disinformation and democratise both the benefits and risks of AI, such as when we taught our audience how to recognise an edited picture after a viral photo of the Pope with a white puffer went viral.

AI’s in-newsroom uses

The other way we have approached AI within the newsroom is to automate processes such as transcription and translation, always under the supervision of editors and reporters. One of the benefits this tool offers for journalism is in the streamlining of certain tasks. This gives journalists more opportunities to focus on deepening information and offering better content to audiences.

Another aspect — always seeking to understand the quality of the information — is to take into account the opportunities this technology offers. We want to know which allow us to closely follow topics of interest in news coverage, then consult ideas for satellite articles that can complement the main information. It is important to place the journalist in the role of a content curator who has the mission of discovering and verifying facts to bring readers more complete and quality information.

Offering something different to the audience

The world of Artificial Intelligence is constantly changing and new tools keep appearing. Within Vía País, we seek to stay updated on these topics through meetings, trials, training, research, and debates so we are able to analyse the risks and benefits of its use within the newsroom. Additionally, we want to be able to make decisions about the content we want to bring to our audiences.

About Camila Charris

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