Making AI work for journalists and news audiences

An update from ONA’s AI in Journalism Initiative

By on June 11, 2024

In February, ONA announced the new AI in Journalism Initiative, a program aimed at supporting journalists and newsrooms as they navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence. We’ve had a busy first four months with practical training sessions, meetups for practitioners implementing AI in their work, and thought leadership sessions designed to move the conversation forward.

Feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, with many people attending with colleagues, offering to host discussions and suggesting more topics to explore together. We’re excited to share how it’s going so far and where we’ll be focusing next.

Who is getting involved

We’ve been thrilled to welcome so many participants from the ONA community in the program. More than 1,150 people have signed up to attend at least one session in our practical training series diving into use cases for AI in newsrooms, and 613 people have attended at least one session to date, with many attending more than one. Plus, 228 ONA members have joined the AI Innovator Collaborative, a group that gathers monthly to discuss best practices and share lessons learned.

It’s important to us that AI training and learning is accessible to organizations and roles of all kinds. We’ve had participants of all ages and career stages, ranging from reporters and editors to business leaders and CEOs. And they’ve come from organizations like NBC, The New York Times and the BBC, as well as local outlets like Epicenter NYC, Spotlight PA and Outlier. Many more are freelancers and independent producers, or students or educators.

What attendees say

Many people in our community feel like the only one in their newsroom who is thinking about the opportunities with these technologies.

“I’m excited to be in a virtual room with so many other people eager to find and share ways to make AI work for us and our audiences,” wrote one attendee.

“Learning how other media outlets are approaching AI in the newsroom, what tools they are using, and how they are working towards safeguarding and transparency has been incredibly helpful as our [organization] works on similar issues,” wrote another.

That camaraderie and motivation to lead the way is exactly what we want people to experience through this initiative.

Next opportunities

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming sessions. Here’s what to look out for:

How to get involved

  • Suggest a session, a speaker you’d love to hear from or a topic you’d like to see covered. Email program lead Meghan Murphy with your idea at
  • Start a conversation, share a case study or ask a question in the ONA Slack community’s #artificial-intelligence channel. If you’re not already involved in the ONA Slack, join now.
  • If you’d like to talk about supporting ONA’s AI programming, contact Hanaa Rifaey, Head of Strategic Partnerships, at

Learn more about the AI in Journalism Initiative

ONA launched the AI in Journalism Initiative with initial funding from Microsoft. To learn more about supporting our AI programming, contact Hanaa Rifaey, Head of Strategic Partnerships, at To share a programming idea or for questions about the sessions, connect with Meghan Murphy, Director of Programs, at


Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy is ONA's Director of Programs. She is currently leading the AI in Journalism Initiative and ONA's emerging technology strategy. She is responsible for creating programs and initiatives to train ONA members and connect them to tackle big issues facing our field.