Content Aware media news: February 2, 2023

Published: 03 February 2023

CNET announcement of AI writing assist experiment

Rogue AI, rogue editors, and Google eats itself... all in February 2 Content Aware media news highlights.

Inside the AI panic at CNET
Contemplating AI-generated content for your site? CNET made the headlines last week after AI pumped out articles riddled with errors. Here's a great account of the ongoing fall out, detailed by John Christian.

Does Google hate news?
Industry bible UKPG commissioned research by SEO wizards Sistrix, to look into how search results for news content changed in 2022. The short story: it was a massacre. Aisha Majid sums up the highs and lows.

Looking into your own spyglass
The BBC conducted an extensive investigation into its ability to maintain its mandated unbiased position on the labyrinthine matter of government spending and taxation. The findings give a great snapshot of the difficulty of trying to make complex matters easily understandable by audiences. A good reminder to any journalistic training and publishing organisation. The full report is below, unpicked hereĀ  by UKPG's Bron Maher, and here by NiemanLab's Joshua Benton.

Choice vs costs
WSJ's Patience Haggin and Keach Hagey look at the possible downwash of a Google ad business breakup. Keep your eye on the Alphabet stock ticker here as it releases its latest quarterly results today, on which Google ad revenues and projections could weigh heavily.

Substack tests Guardian-style model
The newsletter platform has rolled out a feature called Pledge, which allows readers of free-to-air blogs let the author know how much they would be prepared to pay for them.

Newsletter Oscars
The inaugural Publisher Newsletter Awards will highlight and celebrate the best in B2B and B2C newsletters from publications of all sizes: eligibility opens from March 2023, for a London awards event in July.

ChatGPT thinks about its prices
Maybe it was the AI that advised a remodel of subscription plans towards a cheaper easier model, or maybe it was the people behind it who decided. As people start to ask "Maybe it's ChatGPT" to content, behold monetising the next internet cash cow.

#TBT: When Twitter loved publishers
Publishers are seeing traffic from Twitter tumble as referrals drop, but cast your mind back a few short years to when the blue bird rolled out the welcome carpet and said publishers were essential to its mission to cause arguments on the internet be the world's town square. Where do publishers figure now, and does Twitter even have a strategy?

FT Strategies on 2023
In-house experts are polled on ChatGPT, the growth of digital subscription models, merger and acquisition factors, newsletters and more in the publishing and media sectors.

When editors go bad
A mind-boggling read about shenanigans in northern Boston as an editor appears to make it his life's work to take down a Mayor - even if it was all fiction. It's a lengthy read, with a fair few f-bombs, as Gretchen Voss navigates the legal minefield.