The Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University launched a new ethics initiative this week, backed by a $395,000 grant from OpenAI.
The Ethics and Journalism Initiative will be led by veteran journalist Stephen Adler, former editor-in-chief of Reuters, and aims to conduct research and provide training to explore responsible ways AI can support quality journalism.
This initiative comes at a critical time when public trust in media is declining and emerging technologies like AI are posing fresh ethical challenges for the industry.
Adler commented that "practicing journalism ethically is more important than it’s ever been," The hope is to provide thought leadership and valuable resources to help budding journalists navigate new complex issues posed by AI and other technologies.
The ethics program will feature workshops, research projects, and one-on-one guidance for students on topics like privacy, disinformation, and the use of AI tools in reporting.
This marks the third journalism project backed by OpenAI in the past month alone. In mid-July, OpenAI announced up to $10 million for the American Journalism Project to bolster local news. Earlier that month, it partnered with the Associated Press to explore uses of AI in newsrooms.
Taken together, these efforts certainly raise questions about OpenAI's sudden interest in the media industry. OpenAI says its grant reflects its commitment to ensuring AI is developed safely and is broadly beneficial for society.
“We welcome independent research, workshops, and discussions to help ensure a positive role for AI in the news industry,” said OpenAI’s Tom Rubin.
Regardless of incentives, supporting programs that strengthen journalism ethics and establish guardrails around new technologies is a positive development. With quality reporting essential to an informed society, initiatives like this one can help ensure journalism remains a trusted institution even as innovations like AI transform the field.