Advances in computer science may all but kill the traditional field of journalism according to a major media conglomerate.
The company that owns major press outlets including Europe’s Bil and Die Welt, as well as the U.S.’s Politico and Business Insider believes that there “will be significant job reductions in the areas of production, layout, proofreading, and administration.” This is according to a letter circulated by the media giant Axel Springer’s CEO.
Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is rapidly advancing, especially with the introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Ordinary users can ask the chatbot questions and receive complex answers. This can include receiving a new recipe or having it write you a poem.
The implications of the widespread use of such technology are significant. The use of ChatGPT, Bing or another chatbot with access to billions of pieces of information on the internet may see the end of many white-collar jobs.
In particular, journalism is likely going to be on the next great layoff chopping block.
The Axel Springer letter highlighted the wider trend of switching from print to digital media. This will further intensify the job losses caused by the current market and growing A.I. Many of the practical jobs at newspapers and magazines, including layout and delivery may soon be a thing of the past.
For many entering into the field of journalism, the timing couldn’t be worse.
The current situation for new journalism grads is already bleak. Hundreds of newspapers of all types have closed down over the previous generations. Many websites cannot bring in the traffic or ad revenue necessary to pay a staff.
NPR to Layoff 100 People in a 'Major Loss' https://t.co/IZnJywjPR0
— PJ Media (@PJMedia_com) February 23, 2023
Currently, about two newspapers close per week on average. Since the start of the Great Recession in 2008, the field has lost more than a quarter of its jobs. The damage may not be limited just to traditional news outlets.
There will likely be room for local news reporting if trends continue, but this would represent a small sliver of overall journalism jobs. The packaging and repackaging of existing information will be a potential job for a computer soon if current trends continue.