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Al-Jazeera Center for Studies Publishes Study on Challenges of Robot Journalism by UOP Researchers

Al-Jazeera Center for Studies published a new study entitled: “Professional and Ethical Challenges of Robot Journalism” that was prepared by Prof. Muhammad Najeeb Alsarairah and UOP researcher Shrook Tomar. The study looks at the modern trends for automating journalism, the fundamental changes in journalism profession in terms of  its structure and responsibilities of its components, and the impacts of this trend on journalists and media language, and its impact on the professional and ethical principles governing the journalistic work using algorithms.
The study concluded that robot journalism has become a reality that must be accepted, and its opportunities and challenges must not be overstated. Robot journalism is still in its beginnings and it is hard to make absolute judgments on its opportunities and challenges and fundamental changes of journalism automation. The study clarified that the areas covered by robot journalism are still specific and it focuses on covering financial affairs, sports and weather conditions. There are expectations that areas covered by robot journalism are going to expand.
The study outlined that several media outlets revealed enthusiasm for robot journalism and confirmed that using algorithms in the journalistic work does not mean getting rid of journalists, but saving time and addressing critical issues. The study emphasized that several media outlets started to use robot journalism to provide news services to its clients and they look forward that robot journalism provides new resources for these institutions.
The study shows that the capabilities of robot journalism are limited. Robot journalism may contribute in news preparation but is not able to perform analysis and investigation tasks. By robot involvement in the journalistic work, it is expected that such development will result in professional and ethical challenges in the journalistic work. Such development requires setting new codes of conducts in which the journalistic institution takes the responsibility of inaccuracies, balance, transparency and conflicts of interest. The study showed that no use of robot in the journalistic work has been recorded though the special attention that has been devoted to it. That must lead to taking technological developments more seriously and under clear philosophy and policies.