By Sara Guaglione  •  Digiday, May 14, 2024

In recent contract negotiations with parent company Gannett, a local newsroom union is fighting over the extent to which generative AI will be used for news content generation.

On April 24, union members of the daily Democrat & Chronicle newspaper in Rochester, New York, noticed an unexpected change in a clause around the use of artificial intelligence in a contract draft sent by Gannett.

In a previous draft sent to members on April 11 and subsequently posted on X, the clause stated that AI “may be used to generate news content that is supplementary to local news reporting and is not a replacement for it.” But on April 24, an updated draft sent by Gannett to the local paper’s guild removed that stipulation.

“Artificial intelligence (AI) may be used to generate news content,” it read.

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