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There was an enthusiastic gathering at the Media of Tomorrow event for one particular session last week. The subject? How AI tools can assist journalists in their work. The message echoed those from numerous recent posts from tech-savvy media professionals on Twitter and LinkedIn: don’t fall behind - start using these tools now.

It’s been six months since ChatGPT was introduced into our sector, and - like it or not - it’s heralded the start of a new phase in journalism. The challenge for newsrooms is to both acknowledge that these advancements aren’t going anywhere, but also recognising that putting all your eggs in one [GPT-shaped] bucket isn’t necessarily the most appropriate solution for your circumstances either.

If you’re looking for a single sentence summary of learning from that event it’s this:

"Don’t fall in love with the solution, but rather with the problem itself."

- Fabienne Meijer

At smartocto, we are currently tackling two problems where we believe AI could be a valuable assistant. We will be discussing this further in an upcoming webinar.

Recognising user needs

Thanks to the User Needs Model, we now have tools to better understand why one article outperforms another. However, fully comprehending and identifying the user need for each article requires significant effort from an organisation. Labeling articles is an essential step in implementing a user needs-based strategy. Currently, we are training GPT4 to recognise user needs so that we can integrate this capability into our tool in the future.

Headline testing is not easy

Testing headlines using A/B variants is an effective method to enhance article performance. 

Depending on how you configure this within smartocto's Tentacles feature, the final headline presented might work to attract more views or perhaps better satisfy loyal visitors. 

However, crafting compelling headlines is an art not mastered equally by every editor, especially when time is of the essence and the next article awaits. Have you considered letting ChatGPT provide suggestions? We are currently running a trial with one of our clients, giving them a simple prompt: "Create three alternative headlines for this article." The editor then selects which of those headlines they wish to test. We will share the results soon, but the initial outcomes are promising.

Behind the data: welcoming AI into the newsroom

In our soon-to-come webinar, join Online Media Expert, Milena Tihojević and Lead Data Scientist, Goran S. Milovanovic for a comprehensive exploration of the latest trends and applications of AI in the newsroom. 

Attendees will get easy, practical advice on how to follow the path of this AI revolution. The webinar contents:

  • A guided tour of the beneficial use of ChatGPT
  • Sneak peek of how smartocto uses ChatGPT to identify user needs
  • Exploration of the impact of ChatGPT - how AI could change the way news is produced and distributed
  • Achievable, practical steps to take in your own newsroom
  • A dive into the challenges and ethical considerations that come with using AI in journalism

In short, it’ll be very useful. You should definitely sign up.

Client case

News agencies continue to play a vital role as trusted sources of information. Recognising the need for comprehensive analysis, PA Media, a respected news agency, partnered with smartocto to enhance their understanding of output performance.


We're thrilled to unveil our latest innovation—a dynamic real-time dashboard that empowers you to track your progress and conquer your targets with precision and ease. The standout attributes of smartocto Goals is its versatility and customisability. It caters not only to the traditional metrics but soon as well to unique needs and activities specific to media teams.

By the way... we're doing a giveaway!

Win the ultimate User Needs package to get started with the model in your newsroom. The package includes 2 posters with the User Needs Model 2.0 and 4 sets of magnets. Participate!

Reading tips

  • A shift to AI-generated search results will decrease the traffic that Google sends to publishers’ sites, as more people get what they need straight from the Google search page instead.
  • Time, the iconic media brand that celebrated its centenary in March, is making a bold move. According to CEO Jessica Sibley, the company will completely dismantle its digital paywall starting June 1, marking a significant shift in their approach. This decision, as stated by Sibley, is driven by both business and editorial considerations.
  • Several years ago, The New York Times acquired audio journalism app Audm with the goal of using it as the basis for its own audio product. This month, the media company unveiled the result of that work with the official debut of New York Times Audio.
  • BBC News has unveiled BBC Verify – a new brand to address the growing threat of disinformation and build trust with audiences by transparently showing how BBC journalists know the information they are reporting. The team consists of around 60 journalists.

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