Monthly Archives: December 2017

Will the NUJ be the first union to recruit robots?

Newspapers have started publishing articles jointly written by robots and humans according to a report written by Tom Horton (not a robot) in the Financial Times (“Rise of the machines extends to news reports” 13 December 2017). Funded by Google’s Digital News Initiative, the Reporters and Data Robots (Radar) with the Press Association and Urbs Media have created software “which inserts localised statistics into stories written by human reporters.” Continue reading Will the NUJ be the first union to recruit robots?

Press freedom plunges world-wide

Global media freedom is at its lowest level for ten years according to a study by a freedom of expression organisation Article 19. The study was undertaken with the social science database V-Dem to launch a unique, authoritative assessment of freedom of expression and information worldwide. It examined the state of freedom of expression in 172 countries.

The report points out that, “The United Kingdom has passed one of the most draconian surveillance legislation of any democracy, offering a template for authoritarian regimes and seriously undermining the rights of its citizens to privacy and freedom of expression.” Continue reading Press freedom plunges world-wide

Journalism under threat but not trusted

Just when journalists thought legal threats to press freedom in Britain couldn’t get any worse, along comes another menacing piece of legislation. After the Investigatory Powers Act, correctly nicknamed the snoopers’ charter, and the law commission’s proposal for a new Espionage Act that could transform journalism into spying, comes the data protection bill.

This bill, now making its way through parliament, has the potential to inhibit investigative journalism. It has alarmed news broadcasters and newspapers alike. Yet thanks to the domination of our media landscape by Brexit, the bill has not received anything like enough attention. That is a grave oversight.” Continue reading Journalism under threat but not trusted