Robotic journalism and the new news ecosystem

Ucapan alu-aluan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Malaysian Press Institute Datuk Dr. Chamil Wariya pada Forum Media Kebangsaan 2019 di Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan pada 25 September 2019, jam 9 pagi.

Assalamualaikumwarahmatullahiwabarokatuh, salam sejahtera, selamat pagi dan selamat datang ke Forum Media Kebangsaan 2019 bertemakan Industri 4.0 – Kewartawanan Merentasi Pelbagai Platform, anjuran bersama Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) dan Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya.

Insya-Allah ini bukanlah kerjasama yang pertama dan terakhir antara dua institusi ini.

Terima kasih kepada tokoh-tokoh media, ketua-ketua pengarang, pengarang-pengarang kumpulan, para pengarang, para wartawan, para pegawai tinggi kerajaan, ahli-ahli akademik dan para pelajar  kerana melapangkan waktu dalam kesibukan tugas masing-masing untuk ke program ini pada pagi ini.

Saya juga ingin mengalu-alukan kehadiran Tokoh Wartawan Negara 2018, YBhg Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar yang akan menyampaikan ucap utama sebentar lagi dengan satu tajuk yang menarik Rebooting The Media Industry – Present and Future Challenges.

Saya juga ingin memanjangkan penghargaan MPI kepada Taylor’s University atas kesudiannya bekerjasama dan menjadi tuan rumah bagi program tahunan ini, terutamanya kepada YBhg Profesor Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Executive Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management, YBhg Dr. Latifah Pawanteh, Head of Media and Communication Study, and her academic team for making this forum a reality here at Taylor’s University campus.

This is the sixth edition of Forum Media Kebangsaan. The first was held in 2014. The idea behind the forum is simple that is to be a melting pot, so to speak, for editors, journalists, academicians and students in the field of journalism, media and communication from IPTA and IPTS to exchange ideas and discuss current issues related to journalism and media.

This year we have chosen The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0): Journalism Across Multiple Platform as the theme of the forum. Among other things we have panel discussions on journalism in the digital age; artificial intelligence (AI) and its challenges to the future of journalism as we know it. The rise of citizen journalism will also have a voice in today’s forum.  

My heartfelt thanks goes to the panellists for agreeing to share their views on this big and important subject that will, inevitably change the media and journalism landscape in the years to come beyond the recognition to those who started career in journalism in the 1970s.

That is people like me and many others in the hall. Perhaps we are the last Mohicans of the old world of news.

Artificial intelligence (AI), as one of the main elements of Industry 4.0 is already in use in many editorial newsrooms of international press agencies.

At the French News Agency, AFP, AI has already been covering news in sports and poll results.

Robotic writing and journalism are also on the rise at Associated Press (AP). Algorithms and data enable robots to produce a story quickly.

With data and template, it is able to use automated writing and summaries.

The old world of news is gone and it is time we face the reality of the new news ecosystem. Adapt and adjust, or journalism as we know it will perish.

In that context what is store in the future for journalism and media? Will robotic journalists replace the professional journalists in the years to come? Let’s listen to Tan Sri Johan and what other speakers, who are expert in their fields, as practitioners and academia, will have to say shortly.

Thank you and selamat berforum.