Your newsroom needs an AI ethics policy. Start here.

Until we create standards around artificial intelligence — even though it’s early in the game — we are holding back innovation


Every single newsroom needs to adopt an ethics policy to guide the use of generative artificial intelligence. Why? Because the only way to create ethical standards in an unlicensed profession is to do it shop by shop.

Until we create those standards — even though it’s early in the game — we are holding back innovation.

So here’s a starter kit, created by Poynter’s Alex MahadevanTony Elkins and me. It’s a statement of journalism values that roots AI experimentation in the principles of accuracy, transparency and audience trust, followed by a set of specific guidelines.

Think of it like a meal prep kit. Most of the work is done, but you still have to roll up your sleeves and do a bit of labor. This policy includes blank spaces, where newsroom leaders will have to add details, saying “yes” or “no” to very specific activities, like using AI-generated illustrations.

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