By Peter Nalika
Journalists and PR practitioners have been advised to embrace Artificial Intelligence [AI] to enhance their efficiency in today’s fast-paced digital age. Speakers at a recent webinar hosted to mark World PR Day observed that these professionals face a transformative landscape driven by technological advancements.
The webinar, held under the theme “Collaborating for Success: Unleashing the Synergy Between Media and PR Practitioners”, noted that AI has emerged as a game-changer, offering unprecedented opportunities to enhance news gathering, analysis, and content creation.
Harnessing the Power of AI for Journalists: AI has revolutionized the way journalists approach their work. By utilizing AI-powered tools, they can streamline news gathering processes, analyze vast datasets, and identify emerging trends more efficiently than ever before. From automated content generation to data-driven insights, AI offers new possibilities for delivering accurate and compelling stories to audiences worldwide.
“At their core, public relations and journalism are interconnected and reliant on trust. As the media landscape becomes increasingly fragmented and the explosion of content automation looms, our collaboration becomes more crucial than ever. We must navigate this changing landscape together, ensuring that human-generated content remains distinguishable and trustworthy amidst the rise of machine-generated content. In the face of Artificial Intelligence [AI] dominance, our partnership must grow stronger to safeguard the integrity of information. In Africa, where technology consumption is high, we have a unique role in mediating and engaging with these currents”, said Gilbert Manirakiza, CEO, Newmark Group.
While AI presents promising opportunities, it also brings ethical considerations to the forefront. Speakers at the webinar acknowledged the potential challenges related to bias, privacy, and transparency. They emphasized the importance of maintaining the integrity of journalistic practices, ensuring that AI-generated content remains unbiased and adheres to ethical guidelines.
“We recognize that AI is transforming the media landscape, and journalists must embrace this technology responsibly,” said Sulaiman Aledeh, an esteemed journalist and guest speaker at the webinar. “It is imperative to strike a balance between AI-driven efficiency and maintaining the ethical principles that have been the foundation of journalism for centuries. By doing so, we can strengthen the connection with our audiences and uphold the authenticity of our craft.”
The webinar provided valuable insights and actionable takeaways for journalists and PR organizations to navigate the integration of AI responsibly. By fostering a culture of ethics and continuous learning, the industry can embrace the benefits of AI while ensuring that accuracy and truthfulness remain paramount.
Joel Chacha, Director at Portland Communications in Kenya, believes that all content creators must eventually transition into tech-savvy individuals, ethically using AI and machine language to curate impactful data-driven stories.
“In the era of convergence and the shrinking news landscape, the challenge of capturing attention is universal, transcending borders. Attention spans have dwindled, and relatability and authenticity become paramount. In order to solve these challenges, we need to anchor our content in data and research, ensuring that strategic insights back every product launch or campaign,” said Chacha.
The webinar marked a significant milestone in promoting collaboration and knowledge-sharing among African PR and media professionals. As the industry evolves, such initiatives continue to drive innovation, foster meaningful connections, and forge a path towards enhanced communication practices.
The author is a Technologist and Communication Consultant.