Vox Media’s president, Pam Wasserstein, relayed surprising news to her staff on May 29 through a Slack message and an email. The news was about Vox signing a content licensing deal with OpenAI.

The deal allows OpenAI access to Vox’s current content and entire journalistic archive to train ChatGPT and other models. Wasserstein informed her team just before Axios published an exclusive detailing the deal, leaving Vox journalists surprised.

The Atlantic’s writers were notified about a similar deal with OpenAI shortly before the Axios article was released.

Concerns have been raised by current and former journalists at both companies about the impact of these deals on writers and journalism as a whole. They believe the agreements may have negative implications in the long run.

Vox Media, along with publications like The Verge, Eater, and The Cut, as well as The Atlantic, have previously criticized OpenAI and generative AI for various reasons such as environmental concerns and a lack of trustworthiness.

The negotiations between journalists and publishers have gained momentum as they seek to include AI protections in their agreements, similar to how Hollywood writers advocate for their rights.

A sense of urgency

Journalism unions are pushing for discussions with publishers about AI implementations to safeguard journalists’ rights in the face of increasing AI media deals.

Journalists are exploring all avenues to resist AI implementation in journalism, considering potential consequences and the need to protect their work.

Various publishers, including The Atlantic and Vox Media, have signed deals with OpenAI, sparking concerns among journalists about the impact on their work and the industry.

OpenAI’s agreements with publishers aim to drive traffic back to the articles, but the full impact of these implementations is yet to be seen.

Despite concerns raised by journalists, more similar deals between publishers and AI companies are expected in the future as they navigate the evolving landscape of digital media and technology.

It’s clear that journalists are grappling with the implications of AI integration in their industry and seeking to protect their work and rights in the face of technological advancements.


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