How Ashley uses AI to improve journalism in Africa

Journalism is a vital part of any democracy, and it is especially important in Africa, where there is often a lack of access to reliable information. In recent years, AI has been used to improve the way journalism is done, and this has had a positive impact on the continent.

In her talk at the Alliance AI webinar, BBC journalist Ashley Ogonda shared how she has been using ChatGPT to improve her productivity and creativity. She found that ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for:

  • Learning about new communities: She uses ChatGPT to quickly gather information about new topics and people and to create research plans. This was especially useful in times when she needed to research new groups of people she wasn’t familiar with but needed to write a story on.

  • Uncovering hidden stories: She uses ChatGPT to analyze data from large sources like news articles, social media posts, and other data sources. This helps her to  identify trends, uncover hidden stories, and understand the public’s reaction to current events.

  • Generating content ideas: She uses ChatGPT to generate creative ideas for stories. For example, she brainstorms potential angles, identifies interesting characters, and comes up with catchy headlines.

  • Revising and editing: ChatGPT can be used to help journalists revise and edit their work. It can identify areas that need improvement, suggest alternative wording, and help to ensure that the story is clear and concise.

However, Ashley also warned that there are some situations to be extra careful when using ChatGPT. For example, she would not use ChatGPT to find sources or to engage with audiences during breaking news events. This is because ChatGPT can sometimes provide inaccurate or outdated information, and it is important for journalists to be able to verify the accuracy of their sources and to be careful about what they say to the public during breaking news events. As she says, “A journalist is only as good as their sources”.

Overall, Ashley believes that ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for journalists, but it is important to use it wisely. By understanding the dos and don’ts of using ChatGPT, journalists can use it to improve their productivity and creativity without compromising the quality of their work.

Here are some additional tips for using ChatGPT in a journalist’s job:

  • Be clear about your goals: Before you start using ChatGPT, be clear about what you want it to do. Are you looking for information, inspiration, or help with editing? Once you know what you want, you can better tailor your prompts to ChatGPT.

  • Use it as a tool, not a replacement: ChatGPT is a tool, not a replacement for human judgment. It can help you to do your job more efficiently, but it is important to still use your own critical thinking skills.

  • Be aware of its limitations: ChatGPT is still under development, and it can sometimes make mistakes. Be aware of its limitations and be prepared to double-check its output.

By following these tips, journalists can use ChatGPT to improve their productivity and creativity without compromising the quality of their work.

About Alliance4ai’s career growth mission

To inspire Africa’s Youth to be constantly aware of Technology trends and to apply them at work in ways that are responsible and improve society, we brought together volunteers to create the Alliance4ai WebApp where people signup to Circles in their countries or universities and have engaged discussions about key topics bi-weekly. Invite people in your network to join, and let’s build the Africa we want!

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