FEBRUARY 7, 2024

Distinctly Different

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A leading news producer has said that the news industry will need to deliver distinctive, original coverage tailored to the needs of their audiences if they are to combat the potential threat from AI-powered online disinformation.

In the new episode of the Making the Media Podcast, Duncan Hooper, who has worked across the media business and is currently head of content for CGTN Europe, highlights his fears, but also outlines strategies for how this could be combatted and where opportunities for growth exist in the news market.

The episode is entitled, “Distinctly Different,” and in it, he tells host Craig Wilson of his concerns for what may be ahead. “I have huge concerns about it. It's worrying to me, as you know, someone who makes their living in this industry. And it's also worrying for me as someone who values the media as important to our society. And this, it's not really new, right? We've had social media where suddenly the barriers to content creation have come down and down and down, and it has become possible for billions of people around the world to create their own content. And we've seen that has posed amazing challenges around misinformation. We haven't really dealt with that problem already. And yet it's about to magnify thousands, millions, billions of times by the fact that AI can do all this, but at scales that don't require human intervention.” 

He says what is key is that news organizations focus on the value which they can bring their audiences by developing stories which are relevant and seen as important to people’s lives.

“One of the crucial things I think is that the media is using formats that are accessible to people and we are presenting information in ways that fit around their lifestyles. Because we know people's lifestyles have changed enormously and yet the way that news is delivered, maybe it hasn't changed enough to keep pace with that. So I think if we want to be considered valuable to people, we need to think about how we can fit in with both the way they live and the needs they have. I am a big believer in the user needs model.”

Duncan also highlights potential opportunities for the industry in the future, with huge potential through the development of self-driving cars opening up more leisure time for people. He says, “Something that I have been very interested in for a long time is self-driving cars. These things are coming, we know they're coming, and they're starting to be here already. And for me, this just provides the first kind of big opportunity for media that we've had for a while where we're going to open up leisure time for people—time when people are sitting behind the wheel. Traditionally the only option is to listen, so podcast, radio, whatever suddenly is potentially going to be opened up to video and reading and other forms of consumption. So you know, for me that's in-car entertainment because of the amount of time that people around the world spend in their cars and will continue to do so whether it's electric cars or petrol cars. I think that's quite an exciting opportunity for innovation.”

Find out more on the next episode of the Making the Media Podcast, available on all major podcast platforms on Friday, January 26.


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  • Craig Wilson headshot

    Craig Wilson is a newsroom specialist with over thirty years of experience in the broadcast industry. Craig has held various roles with Avid and is now the Global Media and Cloud Product Evangelist and host of the Making the Media podcast.

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