D4 Published development or research report or study
Media councils and self-regulation in the emerging era of news automation (2020)

Haapanen, L. (2020). Media councils and self-regulation in the emerging era of news automation. Julkisen sanan neuvosto. https://presscouncils.eu/userfiles/files/Emerging%20era%20of%20news%20automation%20Haapanen.pdf

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Haapanen, Lauri

Publication year: 2020

Number of pages in the book: 20

Publisher: Julkisen sanan neuvosto

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: https://presscouncils.eu/userfiles/files/Emerging%20era%20of%20news%20automation%20Haapanen.pdf

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73479


This report introduces the present state of affairs in news automation and discusses what ethical considerations it raises in the work of media councils. Based on a European-wide research project, the three key takeaways are as follows:1) Large media players use automatically updated counters and infographics, but the automated gener-ation of news text is still mainly experimental in nature. We need to keep our eyes open to the possible need for self-regulatory guidance on news automation, though there are as yet no urgent issues. 2) We must not underestimate the technical progress already made in the field. Issues regarding data, agency and transparency should not be overlooked when discussing news automation today.3) Media councils should critically revisit their complaints procedures so that audiences have a genuine opportunity to bring up their grievances with automation. Most importantly, the councils should act proactively with regard to the changing media landscape.The key is that if it is not the media councils that take the lead on this, it is going to be someone else. And whoever it is – whether national legislators, the EU or platform companies – they might jeopardise the freedom of the press. This means that external control and guidance might force journalistic media to make decisions about content and publishing on non-journalis-tic grounds

Keywords: journalism; news; automation; algorithms; personifying; transparency; media companies

Free keywords: codes of ethic; media councils; news automation; personalization; self-regulation

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:25