Deciding whether to build or buy AI tools in newsrooms involves balancing factors like customization, cost, and data security. Building AI tools offers tailored solutions and superior integration but at a higher cost and resource investment, whereas buying is more cost-effective and ensures quicker deployment, though often with limitations in customization and data security.
The choice ultimately depends on each newsroom's specific needs, budget, and data complexity to harness AI to boost journalistic efficiency and drive innovation.
With these factors in mind, I spoke to David Clinch, a veteran in the industry with over three decades of experience, including key roles at CNN and Storyful. Currently serving as the Vice President of Partnerships at Mather Economics and Managing Director at Media Growth Partners, David provided valuable insights during our discussion on this prevalent industry dilemma of whether to build or buy AI tools.Here are the key insights from our conversation.
1️⃣ The Build vs. Buy Conundrum: David emphasized the need for quick and effective decision-making in the build vs. buy dilemma. He recommended a balanced approach, suggesting that newsrooms should build custom tools for specific needs while also considering the purchase of off-the-shelf solutions for more general applications. This strategy, he believes, is critical to optimizing resources and expediting AI integration in newsrooms.
2️⃣ Choosing the Right AI Tools: In our discussion, David shared his methodology for selecting AI tools, which centers on three key criteria: steering clear of tools designed to replace human journalists, favoring tools developed by individuals with a background in journalism, and ensuring that the tools significantly enhance newsroom efficiency. He believes this approach is vital to uphold the fundamental values of journalism while integrating advancements in AI.
3️⃣ AI's Impact on the Future of Journalism: David and I delved into the challenges within newsrooms in the AI era. He spoke about the opportunities AI presents for journalists to expand their capabilities and the importance of adapting to these new tools. However, he also cautioned about the potential dangers, including reputational harm and the escalating costs associated with AI, advocating for a mindful and strategic approach to its adoption.
🎧 Tune in now on Apple, Spotify, Google, or your favorite podcast platform to gain valuable insights into the decision-making processes for publishers grappling with the build vs. buy dilemma for AI tools.