Focus Online
25/03/2022

Journalism & artificial intelligence

None

Since autumn 2020, BurdaForward (which includes brands such as Focus Online, Chip.de, TV Spielfilm Online and Bunte.de) has been using artificial intelligence to make its news content more constructive. This “Constructive Score” AI was developed in-house and measures whether and to what extent the content on the Focus Online news portal has been written with solutions in mind. In an interview with “Xplr:Media in Bavaria”, editor-in-chief Florian Festl explains how this new metric is changing day-to-day editorial work. He reports on why constructivity is crucial for BurdaForward and how using AI allows Burda to live and breathe its identity as a media and tech company.

Developing the “Constructive Score”

“Journalistic content is considered to be constructive if it goes beyond mere reporting and shines a light on different perspectives”, says Florian Festl. But this isn’t a matter of omitting or glossing over bad news. “For us, it’s much more a question of how we do news, not whether we do it. Our reports should be reliable and relevant, but also constructive”, he explains.

BurdaForward developed the “Constructive Score” AI to fulfil this tenet. Since its introduction, it has joined classic metrics such as “Unique Users” and “Visits” as an indicator of an article’s success. If the score isn’t good enough, the editors optimise the content provided they can identify meaningful ways to make it more constructive.

Constructive journalism has been integral to BurdaForward for many years and is reflected by its tagline, “That’s good news”. The AI will now ensure that this approach is enshrined even more deeply in its journalistic work. And it’s proving to be a success: Festl reports that since the AI was introduced, it has enabled the constructivity of all content to be increased by more than ten percent.

Pioneering technology

Colleagues in various disciplines will continue to work on the metric. “Constructive Score” is currently being optimised so that it can soon be rolled out to all BurdaForward portals, not just Focus Online, to help improve their content.

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