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Absolutely Abby: Are robots taking journalists' jobs?

Journalism students, hear me out: robots are not taking our jobs. 

After sitting through my hour-long economics lecture, my professor approached me and asked if I was scared that my future job might be taken over by Artificial Intelligence, or AI. Whether or not he was trying to engage me, it’s a valid question to ask a journalism student. 

In 2019, the Washington Post published over 850 articles using the help of AI and even won an award for its “Excellence in Use of Bots” in the 2016 election coverage. Forbes uses a platform called “Bertie” to assist reporters by providing trending topics to cover, recommending ways to make headlines more compelling and suggesting relevant imagery. The LA Times uses AI to report on earthquakes based on data from the U.S. geological survey and tracks information on every homicide committed in the city of Los Angeles.

AI is not threatening the jobs of journalists, it’s enhancing them. 

The technology was cultivated to assist journalists in high-value work rather than to replace them. AI within the journalism industry is meant to increase a journalist’s efficiency and help them concentrate on crucial and relevant aspects of a story. 

According to Forbes, “several major publications are picking up machine learning tools for content.” The technology is not meant to threaten jobs, but to increase a reporter’s efficiency. The Associated Press estimates that the technology can speed up a reporter’s time covering financial earnings by about 20% and improve a journalist’s accuracy. Rather than spending unnecessary time transcribing interviews and scrolling through financial earnings reports, the technology lets journalists spend more time concentrating on their story’s impact, validity and accuracy. is an emerging AI platform that transcribes interviews in real-time and can be reused later to create video-bits or broadcast interviews. All in all, this technology is ultimately helping the journalism industry. Journalism is about curiosity, storytelling and surveillance– this is where we should be spending our energy. 

In economics, this relates to the term “creative destruction,” which Joseph Schumpeter describes as “the dismantling of long-standing practices to make way for new technologies, new kinds of products, new methods of production and new means of distribution.” In some unfortunate circumstances, creative destruction can significantly decrease the number of people employed in certain fields, such as telemarketing, but it can also create new jobs that we can't imagine now. For example, when Excel launched in 1995, it displaced bookkeepers but created modern accountants. 

In journalism, AI is simplifying how tasks are completed, improving accuracy and lowering the time taken to complete an article. When artificial intelligence entered the journalism industry, it aimed to increase the efficiency of reporting and significantly decrease the time it takes to undergo the production process. In this case, creative destruction is dismantling the long-standing practice of transcribing interviews and earning reports as well as making way for technologies such as to make the process easier and faster. 

In the journalism industry, the element of timeliness remains one of the basic principles to abide by when providing society with news and surveillance. AI technology is advancing the industry forward by shortening the time it takes to write, edit and publish a story. Creative destruction is a present element in the journalism industry, but it is not a threat to the job itself– it has the potential to create jobs we can't imagine yet. 

Abby Waechter is a freshman studying strategic communications at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Have something to say? Email Abby at or tweet her @AbbyWaechter.

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