The ‘Two Wheels’ of AI Journalism Bicycle: The necessity of tailored AI utilization technologies and guidelines

Ray Minseong Kim addressing the conference (WJC2024)

Ray Minseong Kim addressing the conference (WJC2024)

By Ray Minseong Kim
Head of Media Strategy & H-LAB, Korea Daily

SEOUL: In every corner of our newsrooms, we deeply value the journalistic ideals we each strive to uphold, as well as our fervent curiosity about emerging technologies.

It is essential that we leverage our intrinsic journalistic values in concert with these novel technologies to broaden our core principles, and to explore solutions to the challenges currently facing our newsrooms through innovative means.

Thus, it is imperative for us to develop tailored artificial intelligence (AI) tools and establish guidelines for our staff.

In anticipation of the generative AI era, Hankook Ilbo, in April 2024, took the initiative to craft proprietary authoring tools for use in news production and distribution, equipping our internal team and has unveiled ‘Generative AI Principles,’ essential directives that must be diligently adhered to when employing AI tools.

Establishment of Hankook Ilbo’s Generative AI Utilization Guidelines

x On April 4, 2024, Hankook Ilbo distinguished itself as the pioneering news organization within Korea to codify and proclaim guidelines for employing generative AI in the realms of news creation and dissemination.

Leading the way in the domestic media sector, Hankook Ilbo was the first to establish the ‘Generative AI Utilization Guidelines’ before integrating generative artificial intelligence (AI) into its journalistic processes. This initiative is driven by the intention to provide a set of principles for the ethical use of generative AI, thereby fostering digital innovation that respects and upholds the values of journalism.

As a Head of Media Strategy and Innovation at Hankook Ilbo, I took the initiative to draft our very first ‘AI Utilization Guidelines’. The foundation for these guidelines was informed by authoritative research, including the work of Professor Nick Diakopoulos and Dr. Hannes Cools, who have extensively surveyed and analyzed global generative AI guidelines in their study Towards Guidelines for

Guidelines on the Use of Generative AI in Newsrooms, as well as the Korea Creative Content Agency’s ‘Adaptation Cases and Prospects of Generative AI in the Media Industry (2023)’.

These sources provided invaluable insights ensuring comprehensive and credible research.

The AI Utilization Guidelines of Hankook Ilbo encompass a wide range of considerations, including 1) human oversight, 2) transparency, 3) cautious experimentation, 4) defined permissions and prohibitions, 5) the responsibility for fact-checking, 6) diversity and inclusivity, 7) prohibition of hate and discrimination, 8) copyright protection and infringement prevention, 9) protection of personal information and rights to privacy, and 10) staff education and continuous revision of the guidelines.

Hankook Ilbo houses a unique entity dedicated to deliberating on our distinct journalistic values and practices: the News Standards Office. This office embarked on an endeavor to refine the ‘AI Utilization Guidelines’ into principles that would be integrated within Hankook Ilbo’s editorial charter.

Over the course of two months, a task force (TF) comprising ten journalist members was formed to engage in discussions aimed at enhancing these guidelines. Concurrently, the task force collaborated with external experts who specialize in studying journalistic standards, to further refine the guidelines.

x On April 4, Hankook Ilbo became the first major daily newspaper in Korea to formally incorporate AI Utilization Guidelines into its

editorial policies. Beyond the AI guidelines, Hankook Ilbo has established a range of protocols including guidelines for reporting on suicide cases, gender equality in reporting, disaster reporting guidelines, and election reporting guidelines. These measures reflect the newspaper’s commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities as a trusted media corporation.


‘H.AI Newsroom Assistant’

x In conjunction with the AI Utilization Guidelines, Hankook Ilbo internally introduced its bespoke generative AI API program, ‘H.AI’, commencing April 19, 2024. The abbreviation ‘H.AI’ represents Hankook Ilbo Artificial Intelligence, encapsulating the array of AI services engineered by Hankook Ilbo. This initiative was based on optimizing prompts and further modeling on the foundation of OpenAI’s ChatGPT generative AI model, meticulously developed in-house by Hankook Ilbo.

x The “Hi Newsroom Assistant” is, quite literally, an AI support tool designed to assist journalists in the newsroom of The Hankook Ilbo with the production and distribution of content. It can be used within HERB, an integrated content management system (CMS) utilized by the members of The Hankook Ilbo newsroom for producing and distributing articles.

x In the realm of article production, it can be leveraged to create essential elements of article production such as summarizing texts, recommending titles, translating, automatically extracting keywords, and generating related images. It also aids in editing and distributing published articles. Additionally, it recommends titles for online distribution articles and social media posts, and selects related articles that would be beneficial to read alongside the main article.

x When leveraging “Hi” in the creation or dissemination of news, it is paramount to consistently adhere to the prescribed guidelines for AI utilization. The stewardship of The Hankook Ilbo’s news quality, innovation, and viewpoint perpetually lies with The Hankook Ilbo itself. Generative AI should be utilized not with the goal of replacing human journalists, but as a tool to enrich and broaden their skills.

  1. The Necessity of Tailored AI Utilization Tools and Guidelines

x Hence, technology and guidelines form an indissoluble pair. This duo acts as the two wheels that enable the bicycle of AI journalism to safely propel into the future. Where this bicycle heads is determined by humans, journalists, who must steer and brake. Mastering this new bicycle requires constant practice, learning through falls and injuries.

x As professional journalists, it’s essential to keenly observe the evolving media environment due to the expansion of AI technology, maintain an eagerness for new AI developments, and assess their ability to solve prevailing issues in journalism. This involves initiating trials and evaluations with AI technologies. It’s vital to reinforce the core principles of journalism, building trust and maintaining effective communication with our readers.

x The catchphrase for Hankook Ilbo’s AI, “H.AI,” is “Warmly, Higher.”

This phrase combines a warm greeting, “Hi,” with the aspiration for reaching “higher” heights. It encapsulates the ambition toharness artificial intelligence’s cuttin g-edge technologies with a welcoming curiosity, aiming to achieve a journalism of greater value unique to Hankook Ilbo. By experimenting with individual AI technologies fueled by this welcoming curiosity and establishing guidelines that uphold journalistic responsibility, we hope that all newsrooms will advance towards a world of elevated journalism.

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