How local news organizations benefit from artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence helps local news outlets improve social media monitoring and stay at the forefront of content discovery. AI can create, optimize and schedule social media posts and save a lot of time, especially for small newsrooms where staff can add community to their other functions. These are just a few of the key findings of the Associated Press’s report on how local news outlets can use AI.

The report is based on a survey of nearly 200 newsrooms across 50 US states and more than two dozen in-depth interviews with local news leaders. Represents print, radio, television and digital outlets as well as commercial and non-profit activities.

In addition to demonstrating readiness to adopt AI and automation technologies, the report outlines what local news providers need to drive technological innovations.


  • There is a significant gap between large and small news organizations in terms of how widely AI and automation technologies are being used.
  • Despite some concerns about handing over human work to machines, there is strong support in local newsrooms for automating tasks, which allows journalists for in-depth reporting, product streamlining, or improving content monetization.
  • Despite the high level of interest, AI technologies are not widely used locally because many news outlets do not have the resources or time to experiment.

“With this report, AP aims to raise awareness and begin to equalize the AI ​​playing field for local newsrooms,” said Jim Kennedy, AP’s senior vice president of strategic planning. “The goal is to help them use innovative technology to improve their operations.”

In conclusion:

News gathering – Significant workload reductions can be seen with the increased use of transcription tools. The warnings coming from the posting of new government documents will help journalists oversee more agencies.

Production -Automatizing page layouts reduces the workload of print newsrooms. As automated writing applications such as high school sports and weather pick up briefs, newsrooms can help journalists focus on writing more important articles. Automation speeds up the production process by helping to refer to photos, video and audio elements to compare text articles.

Distribution – Implementing audience analytics helps newsrooms make a baseline for personalizing news content and ads while respecting pitches for potential subscribers and donors. Content moderation systems help newsrooms deal with large audiences.

Business – Strong CRMs and chatbots help manage routine subscriber and donor-service issues. The benefits are made possible by helping digital advertisers place and design their own ads with the help of AI-based services. Many local outlets are interested in tools to increase subscriptions, memberships and donors.

AP offers free online courses for US news outlets, starting in April. International news outlets have access to all recorded sessions.

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