Date of Award
Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)
Graduate School of Media and Communications
Deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in newsrooms is gaining prominence across the world, with the technology being used to enhance the processes of news gathering, packaging, and distribution. The objectives of this study were to: explore the extent of use of AI in newsrooms in Kenya, determine the factors driving the adoption of AI or lack of it, and identify the challenges and opportunities presented by the adoption of AI in newsrooms in Kenya. The study was guided by the theory of disruptive innovation, the technology acceptance model, and the domestication of technology theory. Qualitative research approach and the exploratory research design were employed to investigate the adoption of AI in newsrooms in Kenya. The target population for this study was British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Radio Africa Group (RAG) media organizations. A multi-case study method was used as a strategy for inquiry. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with participants drawn from the newsrooms and experts in Kenya’s AI eco-system. Purposive sampling technique was used to select participants for the research. Collected data was analyzed thematically. The study established that AI has been employed in three main areas: audience engagement on social media, data visualization, and newsgathering. The research identified six factors driving adoption of AI or lack of it: management buy-in, cost, technical skills, clarity of user-case, perception, and company structure. Further, the study identified three challenges presented by adoption of AI: lack of quality data, ethical concerns, and unpredictability of the technology’s impact. The study concludes that AI offers great opportunities for newsrooms in Kenya to explore, but there are obstacles that need to be addressed before they can benefit fully from the technology. The study projects that human and automated journalism will become closely integrated in the future and recommends that newsrooms in Kenya should prepare to embrace AI by laying the foundation for its adoption. Media schools should update their curricula to adequately prepare journalists to work with emerging technologies such as AI. Further research is needed to identify the specific skill sets required for Kenyan digital journalists to fully embrace AI. Scholars should investigate how AI can shape new business models in view of shrinking revenues in the media.
Kioko, Peter Mwangangi. (2022). The adoption of artificial intelligence in newsrooms in Kenya: a multi-case study (Unpublished Master’s Thesis). Aga Khan University. Graduate School of Media & Communications.