Essential AI concepts for news leaders

Understand the AI terrain in order to plan next steps.

This seminar is for news executives, senior editors, and media leaders looking for a working knowledge of artificial intelligence and what it can mean for the practice of journalism.

There is a growing consensus that AI capabilities will influence how news work is done and who does what. Changes can be expected in:

  • workflows
  • recruiting
  • standards & ethics
  • skills & learning needs
  • the speed of reporting
  • new relationships between storytellers and technologists
  • new ways of storytelling and new kinds of stories to tell

Algorithms are already finding news, preparing news, presenting news, and making news more relevant to audiences. Prototype systems keep emerging with new capabilities, including powerful ways to deceive the audience with disinformation.

Practical takeaways

  • Understanding current strengths and limitations of current AI systems used for journalistic work.
  • Better decoding of AI developments by understanding the building blocks and vocabulary of AI.
  • Weighing the value of AI tools in individual circumstances, and determining when to begin/accelerate AI-related initiatives.
  • Knowing the key ethical considerations when using AI systems for news gathering/presentation.
  • Building a next-steps framework that suits individual circumstances.

The seminar

Material is broken down into manageable chunks. Topics are customized to organizational circumstances in an around-the-table format. The focus is on real practices.

There is ample opportunity for questions and discussion. The sessions are led by Andrew Cochran, former head of news strategy at CBC in Canada and editor of, the annotated guide to developments in AI and their effects on journalism.


  • On-site in person or at an offsite nearby
  • International availability

Note: this is not a course about coding, nor about data journalism, and instead about concepts and influences of AI as they apply to news organizations


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