Meet the cohort of newsrooms working to understand audience’s perceptions of AI use in newsrooms

Eleven news organizations are joining a cohort assembled by Trusting News and the Online News Association to explore audience perceptions of newsrooms’ use of Artificial Intelligence. The cohort of newsrooms will be guided and coached on how to gather input from their community about how they individually use or could use AI in the news-gathering process.

Congratulations and thank you to these participating newsrooms: 

The goal is for these newsrooms to learn what type of AI use community members are comfortable and uncomfortable with while also gaining more insight into how their news consumers want to be notified if AI is used in the journalistic process. Once newsrooms gather this information Trusting News will coach them through how to apply this to current AI use policies or help them create policies. The information will be invaluable to help the newsrooms make decisions that best fit their community and news consumers while being used as a tool to build trust with them.

Specifically, these newsrooms will:

  • Survey and interview members of their community about their perceptions of and opinions about the use of AI in journalism
  • Share results with Trusting News and contribute to the industry’s shared knowledge on the topic of AI use in journalism
  • Develop or refine AI policies in their newsroom
  • Talk informally to their audience about what they’re learning 

Trusting News believes engagement is one way journalists can build trust through AI and technology. To learn more about our approach to building trust with technology and how we are helping newsrooms in this area, visit our Trust and Technology page.

If you want to hear about what we learn through this work subscribe to our weekly Trust Tips newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn and X/Twitter. To learn more about engaging with your audience and being transparent about how you do your work, check out your Trust Kits.

About Trusting News and our approach to research 

Trusting News inspires and empowers journalists to take responsibility for demonstrating their credibility and actively earning trust. We equip journalists to listen and engage with humility and to explain their integrity through day-to-day transparency. We use research-backed, newsroom-tested strategies to support journalists in building a better relationship with the people they aim to serve. We work in a continual cycle of research, learning and sharing to make sure the work evolves. Read about who we are, our funders and our collaborators here.

What data will be collected in this cohort?

In this cohort, newsrooms will collect data through one-on-one interviews with news consumers and through a public-facing survey. Trusting News created an interview guide with specific questions to help guide the journalists through the one-on-one interviews. Trusting News also created the public-facing survey. Newsrooms are using the same survey template with an option to make their own modifications. Journalists will be asked to summarize the interview conversations and provide notes from the conversations to Trusting News. Newsrooms will be providing the answers from the survey questions to Trusting News.

What is the purpose of collecting this data?

The purpose of collecting this data is to help newsrooms better understand what the public thinks about the use of AI in news content. Some newsrooms currently use AI and some do not. At Trusting News we believe newsrooms should be disclosing the use of AI, but there are a lot of questions and unknowns about how and when newsrooms should disclose and also about what news consumers want to know about the use of AI. By collecting this data, Trusting News hopes to help newsrooms answer these questions and provide best practices around AI use and AI use disclosure.

How will this data be used?

Each newsroom will be gathering this data about their specific audiences. Trusting News will then collect the data from each newsroom, combine it and look for trends and similarities. Those trends and similarities will be shared with this group of newsrooms and also with the larger Trusting News audience, which consists mainly of working journalists and journalism educators. Data specific to individual newsrooms will not be shared without their permission. Trusting News also shares results and learnings from cohorts through its weekly Trust Tips newsletter, on its website, through journalism trainings, webinars and conferences and other training materials like its Trust Kits. 

Is the collected data anonymous? 

Trusting News is not asking newsrooms to share any personal information about the news consumers such as their name, email address, etc. with Trusting News. Newsrooms may gather this information to contact a news consumer before or after an interview or the survey, but Trusting News will not be using this information or sharing it in any results or learnings published from this cohort.

At Trusting News, we learn how people decide what news to trust and turn that knowledge into actionable strategies for journalists. We train and empower journalists to take responsibility for demonstrating credibility and actively earning trust through transparency and engagement. Subscribe to our Trust Tips newsletter. Follow us on LinkedIn and X (Twitter). Read more about our work at TrustingNews.org.

Assistant director Lynn Walsh (she/her) is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has worked in investigative journalism at the national level and locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. She is the former Ethics Chair for the Society of Professional Journalists and a past national president for the organization. Based in San Diego, Lynn is also an adjunct professor and freelance journalist. She can be reached at lynn@TrustingNews.org and on Twitter @lwalsh.