Unlocking the future of journalism with the AI Journalism Lab

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The AI Journalism Lab invites experienced journalists at all levels to explore generative AI through theory and practice in a new program developed by the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

Applications will open February 13, 2024, for this 3-month hybrid, tuition-free and highly participatory program. 

The AI Journalism Lab, created in collaboration with Microsoft, is not just a course, it’s an invitation to explore, innovate and lead. The participants will alternate classes between lectures by AI visionaries and hands-on sessions by seasoned practitioners, with many opportunities for meaningful discussions, and the participants will be expected to work on a final project on an AI-related topic of their choosing, with help from a coach.

“We believe that journalists should be involved at the onset of this new technology and add their expertise to the conversation,” Nikita Roy, program lead for the AI Journalism Lab said. “As journalists, we should lead the way, practically and ethically.”

Roy is the host of the podcast Newsroom Robots, an AI educator and current Knight Fellow at ICFJ. She will work with J+, the professional development arm of the Newmark J-School to run the Lab, with support from Microsoft. Microsoft is providing financial support for the program, as part of a group of initiatives announced today to support journalists and ensure newsrooms of the future can thrive.

“By working directly with newsrooms, universities, journalists and industry groups, we aim to help local, legacy, nonprofit, global and emerging news organizations grow audiences, streamline time-consuming tasks in the newsroom, and build sustainable business operations,” Noreen Gillespie, Journalism Director at Microsoft’s Democracy Forward, said. “We want to support thriving, sustainable newsrooms with the technology they need to perform the essential function of informing the world.”

The Lab will run from April 26 to June 28, 2024, with a break for the summer, and from September 27 to October 11, 2024. The program is virtual except for a mandatory in-person kick-off at the Newmark J-School in New York May 3-4.

The program is open to journalists at all levels of management in editorial, business, audience or tech within news organizations or academia. We encourage journalists from diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply to this inclusive program. Check out our program page for more information and to sign up for updates on this program.