In five years, this headline will be written by AI

Barling with Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum.
Updated 12 February 2019

In five years, this headline will be written by AI

  • Artificial intelligence would restore the golden age of journalism, Knowhere news sites co-founder tells World Government Summit
  • Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief emeritus “ says AI will make it easier to work in newsrooms by fighting false news

DUBAI: News headlines across the globe in five years will be drafted by artificial intelligence, Knowhere news site’s co-founder and editor-in-chief said on Monday.

“Artificial intelligence in the newsroom reduces the cost of production, so the individual will not have to pay much for information,” Nathaniel Barling said, adding that AI “would restore the golden age of journalism.”

Speaking at a session on “Automation: Breaking the News” at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Barling said: “Newspapers have lost control because people are now relying on social networks.”

“Newsrooms need to fundamentally transform their revenue models, and re-image the profession of journalism as a whole,” he said.

Barling also spoke of the need for free access to information for all, and said that while paywalls did not affect the quality of journalism, they did allow for more fake news to be spread more easily.

“Paywalls do not hurt the quality of reporting and more consumers are now willing to pay for in-depth long-form content, yet it also raises the question of hiding information from some,” he said.

“Good information is coming to those who pay for it, but this is not the world in which we want to live.”

As AI enters workplaces across several domains, other journalists believe the technology could be detrimental to newsrooms.

Gerard Baker, editor-at-large of The Wall Street Journal, questioned whether artificial intelligence will threaten or strengthen confidence in newsrooms.

“Can we rely on algorithms to settle the big disputes across the globe?” he asked.

However, Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief emeritus, said: “Artificial intelligence will make it easier to work in newsrooms by fighting false news.

“Fake news is not a new phenomenon, and the advent of AI will evolve the newsroom, but not threaten it,” he said.

Mina Al-Oraibi, editor-in-chief of The National in the UAE, said that journalists were being strengthened by AI, which allowed them to focus on the story instead of on sources of information.

“Journalists are now feeling the threat of artificial intelligence, so they are focusing on how much the news is more influential than its accuracy,” she said.


Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry inaugurates Arab News Pakistan bureau

Updated 16 February 2019

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry inaugurates Arab News Pakistan bureau

  • New office will be hub for Asian operation of paper and builds on relationship with community and its digital generation
  • Arab News launched its online Pakistan edition in February last year as part of its global digital expansion plans

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has officially inaugurated Arab News Pakistan bureau in the country’s capital.

Chaudhry was the chief guest at the occasion and several prominent Pakistani media personalities and Arab News staff also attended the launch ceremony.

Standing side by side with Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas, who is in Pakistan as part of the media delegation accompanying the royal visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Arab News Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani, Chaudhry cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the office.

“I am very happy for two reasons: The perception was building that the newspapers were not coming (to Pakistan), so once an international publication like Arab News (has come here) it certainly gives us a huge boost.”

Chaudhry described how the relationship between the nations was becoming stronger, particularly with the growth of Pakistan’s voice in the Middle East.

‘Secondly, I think this is an era where Pakistan is playing a very important role in the Middle East and to have such a major Middle Eastern publication coming to Pakistan itself shows the kind of importance Pakistan has of the Middle East and vice versa, we are very happy to have you here.’

Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas thanked the Pakistani information minister for his presence at the inauguration and for the efforts of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to help facilitate the newspaper’s operations in Islamabad. 

“The inauguration of our Islamabad bureau a year after the launch of our local digital edition is an indicator of our commitment to Pakistan and our determination to help create a better understanding of Saudi Arabia and the region,” said Abbas. 

“Ever since its establishment in 1975, Arab News has had a special relationship with the massive and incredibly loyal Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia. Today we inaugurate this bureau in Islamabad to ensure a continued connection with the community and establish a relationship with a new more digital and highly connected generation,” he added. 

Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani said that the new office would be a hub not only for the Arab News Pakistan edition but also for the entire Asian operation of the paper. “We currently have reporters across Pakistan as well as nine other Asian countries and with the help, hard work and dedication of our team at the Islamabad bureau we hope not only to better manage our operation but to grow further in Asia as well.” 

Arab News launched its online Pakistan edition in February last year as part of its global digital expansion plans. The project is the first of many new international editions planned by the Riyadh-based newspaper. 

Arab News is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG).