#AI #algorithms #ethics
In an era characterized by the widespread use of algorithmic systems and platforms in news production and distribution practices, the ethical practices of journalists face significant challenges. Drawing on Floridi’s onlife framework, this study aims to shed light on journalist-machine interactions and explores new ways to rearchitect journalism ethical standards through an integrative, object-oriented approach. In-depth interviews with local news workers throughout the U.S. reveal a range of issues related to decontextualization in algorithmic platform design, the hidden price of platform partnerships, and the growing reliance on automated tools that foreshadow ethical issues to come. These algorithmically-induced challenges appear to be particularly pronounced in local newsrooms, highlighting the disproportionate impact of algorithmic systems on under-served media sectors. Discussions are made around the constant push-and-pull over editorial power dynamics apparent in local news workers’ use of algorithmic systems. A distributed responsibility model is proposed as a practical way to hold multiple actors, including both humans and algorithms, accountable for journalism’s ethical standards in the algorithmic era.