May 25, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

With the rise of the use of artificial technology (AI), technology experts have urged newsrooms to make use of AI to their advantage instead of viewing it as a threat.

Speaking during the 28th National Press Forum in Manila last week, Dominic Ligot, founder and chief technology officer of CirroLytix, said AI has a lot of uses and can be a powerful tool to assist every newsroom.

With journalists and publishers of community newspapers as audience, Ligot said AI is helpful in raising productivity or shortening time with various tasks, assisting in research, and helps fuel creativity.  

CirroLytix Research Services, in its website, helps governments, researchers, non-government organizations, and social enterprises leverage data to achieve positive change.

He said in using AI, human intervention is much needed for it to be fully utilized, adding that journalists should input the right kind of prompts if they want a specific output from the various AI apps. 

“We need to be on top of it, there should be a human behind the scenes and that human needs to be held accountable,” Ligot said.

Philippine Press Institute (PPI) Chair-President Rolando Estabillo said newsrooms need to let AI and technology enhance journalism rather than diminish it.

Estabillo, alsopublisher of the Manila Standard, echoed what Ligot, saying AI can be used for data collection and analysis, traffic and weather reports, and financial earning reports, among others. 

At present, the PPI finds itself faced with new challenges and conforming to new opportunities in the ever-evolving media landscape.

“The shift to digital media in how information is produced, consumed, and distributed has posed significant threats to the traditional press. Our group has responded by pushing for programs – like digitalization and the PPI news commons – to support the sustainability of local news outlets,” Estabillo said. 

He urged newsrooms to adapt to technology and continue to be flexible in order to survive and thrive or be left behind in the digital space.

The PPI, which recently conducted its annual National Press Forum and Community Press Awards, is the oldest organization of newspapers in the Philippines which is celebrating its 60 years.

The 28th National Press Forum of the PPI dubbed “The Future of Newsrooms: The Viability of Print in an AI Era” hosted the general membership assembly, annual conference community press awards, and learning exchange forum on April 24 to 26.

It was supported by PPI’s partner Nickel Asia Corporation.

Also conducted was the inaugural “Think Pink Awards on Outstanding Stories on Breast Cancer” on April 24 supported by the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) and the Alliance & Partnerships for Patient Innovation & Solutions.