"It really scares me to think that robots will take over newsrooms, but I don't see it happening,'' says Urs Gredig, head of CNN Money in Switzerland. "The good thing about journalism is that it is not for machines, it is for humans and for brains. Readers need to make sense of the news, find reasons behind them and attach certain knowledge and life experiences to them. Robots are not going to do this job,'' he adds.
In Gredig’s opinion, Swiss newspaper readers are a good example of what people actually look for in journalism. Switzerland’s most successful newspapers are regional, very “human” and old-fashioned. “People are lost in the wave of information and news,” he says. “They want to feel that their voices are heard and well presented in the media.”
"The more the whole economy, landscape and society are globalized, the more media audiences get hungry for the small local media outlets that give them the stories that directly affect their lives. Surprisingly, it is not always the big stuff that is more important for the people, it is the stories that can relate to them the most," he says.
Instead of handing over the responsibility to robots, Gredig’s policy involves tailoring the news to the target audience, as well as training reporters to enhance their coverage and performance. He does not believe that we should rely on machines, even for tasks like data verification.
"I would not put so much trust in technology. You should not be trusting machines, you have to develop this critical mind and do it yourself, check and double check and verify data and always ask yourself who profits from this and who is behind that. This is not a responsibility that we can pass over to computers,'' he says.
In addition, Gredig emphasises that the introduction of technology will make journalists want to take sides in a positive and transparent way: "Journalists have been taught not to be opinionated, to be as neutral and unbiased as they can,” Gredig says. “But it is important now to take stand and have an opinion and that is why I believe that opinion pieces and commentaries will be of more importance because you can actually feel someone behind it and get his reasoning and context. That is what readers are searching for they want to have a meaning and get a sense of it.”.