AI Survey Report on the Adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by Journalists in Zambia

Internews Network Zambia officially launched a survey report on the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by journalists in Zambia. The event was held at Taj Pamodzi in Lusaka, Zambia, and was attended by 59 people, including representatives from Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) and Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). The survey, which involved 70 journalists from various provinces with diverse roles and backgrounds, provided valuable insights into the use of AI tools in newsrooms.

The launch event featured diverse speakers, including Teldah Mawarire, Chief of Party at Open Spaces Zambia (Internews), and Meral Karan, Director of the Office of Democracy Rights and Governance at USAID Zambia. Emsie Erastus, Digital Rights Specialist at Open Spaces Zambia (Internews), presented the survey report, which highlighted several key findings.The study found that 60% of the surveyed journalists are using AI tools in their newsrooms. These tools include text analytics, chatbots, image and video analysis, social media management, and speech-to-text transcription. However, 74% of participants reported a lack of AI training in their newsrooms, highlighting the need for adequate training and support.

Interestingly, 74% of the respondents did not perceive AI as a threat to their jobs. However, there were varied opinions on the regulation of AI, with 78% in favor of regulation and 22% against it. Almost 85% of survey participants reported that their newsroom does not have a structured AI policy, indicating a need for guidelines to ensure the ethical use of AI tools in journalism. The study recommends that media houses should provide adequate training for their staff, develop AI policies, consider the cultural context, regulate AI use, and take into account ethical considerations. The launch event also featured a panel discussion with journalists who shared their experiences with AI tools in their newsrooms. Joan Musabila, a journalist at Platinum Media, Lwendo Kunda, a journalist at Pan Africa, and Evans Sinjela, an editor at Kwitu FM, discussed the benefits and challenges of incorporating AI tools into their work.

In conclusion, the survey report provides valuable insights into the adoption of AI by journalists in Zambia. While AI tools have improved the efficiency of newsroom operations and have the potential to bring considerable benefits, there are significant challenges that need to be addressed, such as training, policy development, regulation, and ethical considerations. Therefore, it’s crucial for media houses to tackle these issues to make the most out of these emerging technologies.