To the editor: Doyle McManus concludes his column thusly: "Serious, solid journalism is coming back into fashion. As long as we remember to practice it." But it does bring up the question: Where has "serious, solid journalism" been in recent years? To be sure the Internet has been a disruptor of the newspaper business. Reading between McManus' lines, however, it sounds like it took the election of Donald Trump to bestir complacent journalists to do their jobs.
In a time where global newsrooms are becoming smaller due to enhanced technological advancement, robotics journalism has emerged as a threat to the fourth estate. Artificial Intelligence has introduced a new paradigm in present-day journalism and newsrooms across the globe are facing fears of staff cuts. Automated journalism has already made its way into newsrooms with automated news writing and distribution, without human supervision already a reality. 'Jia Jia'was the first humanoid robot journalist created by developers from the University of Science and Technology in China's Anhui province in April. She hit headlines when she reported for the country's news agency Xinhua and conducted a live interview with an editor of a popular tech magazine.
Dublin City University's Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) is leading a €3.9 million project to explore new ways of supporting journalism through digital and data technologies. The "journalism and leadership transformation" project will hire 15 PhD researchers to investigate technical, business and ethical aspects of modern journalism. The researchers will be based both in academic and industry environments across Europe including The Irish Times, BBC and the European Journalism Centre. "At a critical time for journalism, DCU FuJo pulled together a multinational team to explore new ways of supporting journalism and its civic functions. We're delighted to bring this major project to DCU and look forward to working with the best academic and industry partners across Europe," said FuJo director and project co-ordinator Dr Jane Suiter.
The UN and AFP news agency have launched a new award to recognise journalists who their lives to cover human rights abuses in Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries to be a reporter. The'Breach-Valdez' award will pay tribute to former journalists Miroslava Breach and Javier Valdez who were murdered last year. Valdez, highly acclaimed and award-winning journalist, was shot in broad daylight outside the offices of the newspaper he cofounded, Riodoce, in the northwestern Mexican capital of Sinaloa state, Culiacan. In late 2017, investigative journalist Breach was killed in broad daylight before dropping off her son to school. She focused on covering the links between organised crime and politcians for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada.