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Global Report Reveals AI Misinformation Challenges, Audience Skepticism, and Revenue Struggles for Newsrooms

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reports that global audiences are sceptical of AI-powered newsrooms. Consumers are dissatisfied with AI-generated news articles, especially in sensitive areas like politics. Concerns over misleading news information on the internet have grown, with South Africa and the United States indicating higher levels of concern due to forthcoming elections.


This introduces new hurdles for newsrooms that are already trying to engage audiences.

The institute's annual Digital News Report, based on surveys done with approximately 100,000 people in 47 countries, sheds light on the challenges that news organisations face in generating income and sustaining their operations.

Newsrooms around the world are wrestling with the rise of generative AI, as digital behemoths such as Google and OpenAI create tools that can generate news summaries and redirect visitors away from news websites. However, the survey discovered that consumers remain sceptical about the use of AI in creating news content, particularly when it comes to sensitive topics like politics.

In the United States, 52% of respondents were dissatisfied with news created solely by AI, while in the United Kingdom, the figure increased to 63%. The analysis questioned 2,000 people in each country and found that respondents were more open to AI being utilised behind the scenes to improve journalistic productivity.

Nic Newman, senior research associate at the Reuters Institute and primary author of the Digital News Report, was surprised by the extent of suspicion, saying, "People broadly had fears about what might happen to content reliability and trust."

The research also raised worries about the spread of bogus news items online, with 59% of respondents expressing concern. This figure was much higher in South Africa (81%) and the United States (72%), who are both holding elections this year.

Another difficulty for news businesses is audiences' reluctance to pay for news subscriptions. Despite some growth during the epidemic, only 17% of respondents across 20 nations reported paying for internet news, which has been constant for the preceding three years.

Furthermore, a significant portion of news subscribers in the United States were found to be paying discounted rates due to trials or promotions, with 46% paying less than the full price for their subscriptions.

The report also shed light on the increasing role of news influencers in delivering news to users of popular online platforms like TikTok. Among more than 5,600 TikTok users surveyed, 57% stated that they primarily paid attention to individual personalities, while 34% focused on journalists or news brands.

This finding emphasises the need for newsrooms to establish direct relationships with their audiences while strategically utilising platforms to connect with harder-to-reach demographics, such as younger audiences. The analysis reveals that these influencers play an important impact on sites such as TikTok.

Survey respondents identified Vitus "V" Spehar, a well-known TikTok creator with 3.1 million followers. Spehar's unusual method of delivering the day's top headlines while lying on the floor beneath their desk provides a fresh viewpoint on current events, in contrast to standard news anchors who sit at a desk.

The Digital News Report questioned people in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Argentina, and Brazil, asking them to name up to three mainstream or alternative news sources they follow. The top ten personalities listed by respondents in the United States were renowned mostly for their political opinion rather than original news reporting.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which performed the report, is sponsored by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Thomson Reuters' philanthropic arm.

  • Global audiences are suspicious of AI-powered newsrooms, according to a report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

  • Consumers express discomfort with AI-generated news content, particularly in sensitive areas like politics.

  • Concerns about false news content online have increased, with South Africa and the US showing higher levels of worry due to upcoming elections.


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