What could the future really look like with the decline of print publications? 

January 24 – We have seen many newspapers fall by the wayside over the last few years – some of them big names. 

Last week, the Washington Post estimated that they actually lost $100 million last year. 

The Baltimore Sun was sold a week or two ago to a private firm. 

A lot of the big city papers keep losing staff and financially they have to lay people off as circulation continues to decline. 

Some of the papers are forced to shift to an online platform. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “There’s a group that tracks newspapers around the country, it’s a big number every month of newspapers in America that just close entirely. There’s just no more market for these legacy kinds of media outlets.”

If you add AI into the mix, could the photographers be going away as well? 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “Some of the touch up tools that are coming via AI and some of these jobs that are being replaced at newspapers and other industries.”

It’s somewhat shocking what can be generated by artificial intelligence. 

Anthony Panasiewicz of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “What spurred it to me was the robocall issues in New Hampshire for Biden with a robo call going out with a fake version of Biden saying, hey, save your vote on Tuesday. Don’t go out and vote for me. Vote for me in November, instead of doing the write-in campaign.” 

Barkdoll said, “That Joe Biden fake robo call and I’ve listened to that, I wouldn’t know it wasn’t him. Boy does it sound like him, even uses the word malarkey, the AI incorporated vocabulary that he uses. That’s now being investigated as a criminal act.”

Yesterday, a photograph of the Eiffel Tower in flames made the rounds of the internet. 

Barkdoll said, “It looks like a real photograph. It was totally fake. But yet, like so many of these things, somebody picks it up in a Twitter feed or a quasi news outlet and then everyone is looking at it like it’s real. This is a problem. I mean, we have a big problem. You look at the last election cycle, all that chatter about interference. Well, it’s going to be completely different this year with all of this AI because it’s really hard to discern what’s real and what’s fake.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “Remember there’s a gentleman now that got, I believe, a prison sentence for putting out a joke. That was an obvious joke that they said misled voters. Well, then how much prison sentence should this person get for putting the fake Biden voice out or anything similar like that that interferes with voting? If that person could get a prison sentence for an obvious sarcastic joke type of thing that he put out, shouldn’t all of these deserve prison sentences?” 

Ryan said, “There’s a very thin margin on that one. I remember talking about that on the law hour. He crossed it just a hint more of a line than he should have.”

Barkdoll confirmed, “That’s right. I think that was one of those cases out of Michigan. I don’t recall the backstory there, but I believe he was targeting certain groups saying that if they showed up to vote, they were going to be arrested or something. This Biden thing if they catch who did this and it’s not clear if this was a Democrat or Republican group that may have been doing this, I do think not only will they be charged, but they will do prison time. The government wants to send very strong messages to these people. You can’t do this kind of stuff. But the problem is, they may never discover who did it. That robocall could have been generated a million miles away somewhere, people they’ll never find, but I do think it’s a shot across the bow for all of us this year. This is the kind of stuff you’re going to see as this election cycle unfolds.”