Future-oriented journalism

Future-oriented journalism

“ From the digital revolution emerges the need for an Observatory on this changing and constantly transforming dimension. An operational and scientific tool that strengthens the journalists' toolbox.

The dynamics of algorithms must be understood, even in the phases of production of journalistic news; the artificial intelligence that has appeared in the newsrooms must be observed and understood and paths must be identified to adapt the mission of journalists to the new reality” is what Carlo Bartoli, president of the Order of Journalists, told us on the sidelines of this morning's meeting. who continues “ The digital ecosystem in which we are immersed offers the possibility for everyone to speak to everyone, or at least the illusion of this possibility. Everyone can look for a stage to have their say, just as millions of subjects pour information materials of all kinds onto the web and social networks. Without ignoring the great opportunities of the web, we must point out the distorting effects that occur on social media. We live in a gigantic world market for personal data managed by large platforms whose turnover is often higher than that of independent states. In this framework, professional information takes on a new centrality, journalism is and remains a compass in a territory where everyone can speak to an infinite number of people. This is why the journalist, in the new dimension of digital communication, must pay even more attention to his duties: rigorous verification of sources, continence in language, accuracy of narration, respect for the person.”

Carlo Bartoli

FABIO MUZZIAt work, as president of the Order, for a little more than a year, Bartoli has been addressing the need to update a category that experienced the transition from paper to digital with difficulty before and is currently finds itself facing new economic, cultural and technological challenges.

Bartoli has recently managed to obtain the favorable opinion of the Ministry of Justice (competent for the Order of Journalists) and of the National Council of the Order, on the review of the interpretative guidelines of art. 34 of law 69 of 1963, allowing access to the path towards professionalism also to those who, despite not having an employment relationship with a newspaper, actually carry out the journalistic profession.

A small revolution, awaiting the requested reform of the professional law, such as that of the creation of this Observatory on digital journalism. Observatory which, as stated by Antonio Rossano, journalist and project coordinator, "intends to represent the current ambit of the world of journalism and information with the aim of indicating paths and trends that reverberate in the national information ecosystem on a global level and local. Great opportunities therefore in the face of new tools and new technologies that require understanding of the constantly evolving scenario in which the journalist's activity takes place. With the aim of preparing for a profession that will necessarily be constantly updated and acquiring new skills and professionalism.”

The 2023 Report of the Observatory notes the gradual introduction of editorial staff to the use of advanced intelligence technologies artificial, documenting the main tools and sectors involved in this process and the authors' analysis shows the need to frame this use ethically and deontologically in the professional field.

Pluralism remains one of the central points of the report, with the interesting speech by Prof. Elisa Giomi, commissioner of AGCOM, which highlights the limitation of the current tools for evaluating and regulating pluralism, with the need to identify new and adequate ones for the changed information scenario.

The Adv. Guido Scorza, member of the board of the Guarantor for the protection of personal data, analyzes one of the fundamental issues of privacy in the digital environment, that of the right to be forgotten, as it comes to frame with recent legislative updates such as the so-called Cartabia law.

The Report is substantially structured in two parts: the first, " Scenarios and perspectives " includes a series of articles concerning the various aspects of the profession, written by authoritative representatives of the international cultural, academic and journalistic world, including, in addition to the aforementioned Giomi and Scorza, Colin Porlezza, director of the European Journalism Observatory, Luciano Floridi, philosopher and full professor of information ethics at Oxford, Elena Golino, president of the Order's Culture Commission, Richard Gingras, global vice president for Google News , Guido Romeo journalist and researcher  and Antonio Rossano, journalist, president of the non-profit Media Studies.

The second part, "Thematic insights" consists of three insights based on data analysis and on main existing scientific research, the first of which on the economy of newspapers with a focus on sales of both paper and digital in 2022, edited by journalist Lelio Simi, author of an updated newsletter "Mediastorm" which is also the title of his latest book . Simi analyzes, data and graphs in hand, the progressive disruption of the paper medium, in a now unstoppable process and the difficulties of digital but, above all, highlights the need to adapt the measurement metrics to a complex and articulated scenario such as that of the current information ecosystem.

The second in-depth study was edited by Alessia Pizzi, journalist and business consultant for digital, and is a meticulous and documented work of identifying the main uses of artificial intelligence in Italian and foreign newsrooms, corroborated by some relevant interviews with Charlie Beckett, professor at the Media and Communication Department of the London School of Economics and Political Science and coordinator of the JournalismAI project, and Andrea Iannuzzi, Senior Managing Editor at La Repubblica, who provided us with a general framework of use of these tools within the largest Italian publishing group.

Lastly, the interesting study by Prof. Bennato, professor at the University of Catania, on pluralism in Italy, which appears directly interconnected with the trust of readers in our local information: “What seems to emerge from the documents used to draw up this report” Bennato affirms “is that a new communication pact is needed between the world of the press and that of readers. The first is called to innovate the languages, formats and strategies for accessing news within a path of professionalizing deontological innovation - which does not translate into a collection of training credits offered by the public and private system. The world of readers, in turn, must begin to understand the need to invest their resources - time, attention and money - in making use of a journalism that allows anyone to position themselves on the market according to availability and in attributing importance to the medial system.”

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