The News and Media Focus Area investigates, with the aim to improve, the uses and impacts of automated decision-making in news work, social media platforms, and the digital media and communication environment more broadly.

Modern digital news and media platforms deploy automated decision-making systems intensively, with positive as well as problematic results. Search engines, personalised newsfeeds, content moderation systems and programmatic advertising all play integral roles in media.

This enables new forms of computer-assisted reporting and audience analytics in journalism, but also creates risks to democratic processes and social cohesion through the automated curation of personalised information and the algorithmic amplification of misinformation and other social harms based on selection principles that are transparent and inequitable.

Building on novel and innovative research frameworks, the News and Media Focus Area investigates the impact of automated decision-making in this field.


The AI and Automated Decision-Making in News and Media report provides better public understanding of this current phase of media automation. In a fast-moving landscape, there is much that policymakers, industry participants, researchers and citizens need to know.

This report:

  • Describes the latest phase of media automation, driven by recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Outlines four critical examples of the use of AI and automation in news and media
  • Provides a basic explanation of how these systems work at the technical level and show how they operate in context, drawing on examples and case studies across news and media
  • Maps emerging challenges associated with the use of each technology across the news and media environment, drawing on peer-reviewed research from multiple disciplines
  • Looks ahead to the rise of generative AI