How B2B Publications Are Using AI in the Newsroom

“Trust but verify” could sum up the approach B2B news organizations are taking to the use of artificial intelligence — most notably generative AI — in their work. In “AI in the Newsroom,” a webinar the Washington, D.C., Chapter of ASBPE hosted Nov. 9, reporters, editors, designers and others talked about how they’re experimenting with and using these tools to support their work.

Speakers Claire Meyer and Tyler Stone from ASIS International, Lindsey Wilkinson from Industry Dive, and Wyatt Kash from Scoop News Group described their use of AI tools to do the following:

  1. Save time. Generative AI can convert a transcript into a story outline or summary and draft a news story from a memo or report. For multimedia, AI can turn articles into video scripts; identify essential talking points in a video; cut the video or script to a needed length; and recommend stock video footage, transitions and animations.
  2. Generate ideas. Speakers described using AI to create reporting alerts, generate a survey questionnaire, develop a rating scale, and come up with conference session topics and titles. 
  3. Increase engagement. Marketing uses of AI include creating promotional copy for newsletters and social media, designing banner ads, and crafting email subject lines and search-engine-optimized teasers.
  4. Expand creative options. AI tools can record and edit video voiceovers, giving you a variety of voice and tone options. Note that these tools might struggle or sound awkward when vocalizing industry-specific terms or acronyms, and they can sometimes sound robotic. 

ASBPE Ethics Committee Chair Art Aiello spoke about the ethical issues these tools raise, which include how the AI engines are trained, how they might amplify existing biases, inaccuracies they might introduce into content, and questions of authorship and attribution. 

The speakers offered several caveats: 

  • Human review of generative AI-produced content is essential, for one. The tools likely won’t understand a B2B publication’s audience, thus the products they create require review and editing for industry-specific terms and nuances.
  • Review an AI application’s privacy policies and understand how it might use any content you upload or ask it to generate.
  • And to develop a balanced approach to AI use, bring together a working group including those interested in using AI and those concerned about its use. 

The webinar was recorded and is free for ASBPE members. To learn more about the AI tools the speakers used, view the recording in ASBPE’s members-only webinar archive.

Rachel H. Pollack

Rachel H. Pollack is managing editor for Facilities Dive, Packaging Dive, Smart Cities Dive, Utility Dive and Waste Dive. She spent 15 years covering the scrap recycling industry, most recently as editorial director of Scrap magazine and assistant vice president of publications and strategic foresight for the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. Prior to that, Pollack wrote about education fundraising, association management and public policy research. She has won regional Azbee Awards for her commentary and reporting and contributed to Scrap's top 10 "Magazine of the Year" awards in 2012 and 2016. She has bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science from George Washington University and is a longtime resident of the Washington, D.C., region.

Pollack is the current president of ASBPE's Washington, D.C. Chapter.

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