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Global Audiences Wary of AI-Powered Newsrooms, Report Finds

A newsroom setting with journalists and AI elements integrated. The scene includes a computer screen displaying AI-generated news content, with journalists discussing the material. Background elements feature symbols representing AI and global connectivity, such as a globe with network lines and digital icons. The atmosphere is professional and slightly tense, reflecting concerns about AI in news production

Global Audiences Wary of AI-Powered Newsrooms, Report Finds

A recent report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism highlights growing global concerns about the use of AI in news production and the spread of misinformation. This poses new challenges for newsrooms already struggling to engage audiences and maintain revenue.

Key Findings from the Digital News Report

The institute’s annual Digital News Report, based on surveys of nearly 100,000 people across 47 countries, provides insight into the difficulties faced by the news media in sustaining business. One of the primary challenges identified is the integration of generative AI by tech giants like Google and OpenAI, which can summarize information and divert traffic from news websites.

Consumer Concerns

The report found significant consumer skepticism regarding AI-generated news content, especially on sensitive topics such as politics. In the U.S., 52% of respondents expressed discomfort with news produced mainly by AI, while in the UK, this figure rose to 63%. The survey, which included 2,000 respondents from each country, indicated that people are more comfortable with AI being used behind the scenes to enhance journalists’ efficiency.

Impact on Trust and Reliability

Nic Newman, senior research associate at the Reuters Institute and lead author of the report, noted the surprising level of suspicion among respondents. “People broadly had fears about what might happen to content reliability and trust,” Newman said. The report also indicated an increase in concerns about false news content online, with 59% of respondents worried, up three percentage points from last year. In countries like South Africa and the U.S., where elections are imminent, these concerns were even higher at 81% and 72%, respectively.

Subscription Challenges

Another significant hurdle for news organizations is the reluctance of audiences to pay for news subscriptions. Despite some growth during the pandemic, only 17% of respondents across 20 countries reported paying for online news, a figure unchanged for the past three years. In the U.S., a notable portion of subscribers are on discounted rates due to trials or promotions, with 46% paying less than the full price.

Rise of News Influencers

The report also highlights the increasing influence of news personalities on platforms like TikTok. Among more than 5,600 TikTok users surveyed who use the app for news, 57% said they primarily follow individual personalities, compared to 34% who follow journalists or news brands. This shift indicates a need for newsrooms to build direct relationships with their audiences while strategically using platforms to connect with harder-to-reach groups, such as younger viewers.

Vitus "V" Spehar, a TikTok creator with 3.1 million followers, exemplifies this trend. Known for delivering news headlines from under their desk, Spehar offers a more relaxed perspective on current events, contrasting with traditional news anchors. The survey asked people in the U.S., UK, France, Argentina, and Brazil to name mainstream or alternative accounts they follow for news, revealing that many top individuals in the U.S. are known for political commentary rather than original reporting. These personalities include Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, and David Pakman.


The Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report underscores the challenges and opportunities facing newsrooms in the age of AI and social media. While there is growing concern about AI-generated news and misinformation, the rise of news influencers presents new avenues for engaging audiences. News organizations must adapt to these changes to build trust and maintain their relevance in an evolving media landscape.