AI Academy for Small Newsrooms

A 6-week programme to help small newsrooms leverage the power of artificial intelligence

This FREE online programme offers a deep-dive into the potential of artificial intelligence to journalists and media professionals from small newsrooms. It is designed by the JournalismAI team at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and powered by the Google News Initiative.

The Academy is a 6-week online programme that starts in September 2021 and, in its first pilot edition, it is designed for 20 participants from small news organisations (fewer than 50 employees) in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). 

In line with JournalismAI's mission to inform media organisations about the potential offered by AI-powered technologies and to foster debate about the ethical, editorial, and social impact of AI on journalism, the Academy aims to support small newsrooms that want to learn how AI can be used to support their journalism.

The programme combines a series of masterclasses given by experts working at the intersection of journalism and artificial intelligence with opportunities for discussion among participants. In addition to that, participants will be guided through the development of shared resources that can support their organisations’ AI-adoption journey during and after the programme.

The Academy is FREE for selected participants, thanks to the support of the Google News Initiative, which has been powering JournalismAI since 2019. The programme was inspired by the Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms, an initiative of the Newmark J-School at CUNY, News Catalyst, and the Google News Initiative.



What are the dates and modules?  

The Academy will take place between September and October 2021. The programme will last six weeks, with each week having a different focus:

   ▪︎ Module #1 (16-17 Sept) → Key Concepts and Definitions

   ▪︎ Module #2 (23-24 Sept) → Applications of AI in Journalism 

   ▪︎ Module #3 (30 Sept - 1 Oct) → Data & Technology

   ▪︎ Module #4 (7-8 Oct) → People & Culture 

   ▪︎ Module #5 (14-15 Oct) → Risks & Concerns 

   ▪︎ Module #6 (21-22 Oct) → From Ideation to Implementation


How do I apply to join the Academy? 

Applications opened on July 6th, 2021 and should be submitted, in English, via this link. The deadline to submit your application is at 11:59pm GMT on August 1st, 2021. Participants will be informed of the results of the selection process by August 16th. If you have any questions, send us an email at


What kind of candidates are you looking for?

The Academy is designed for journalists and media professionals working in small newsrooms (fewer than 50 employees), based in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa – GMT 0 to +4), and who are fluent in English. 

The ideal candidate already has a basic understanding of the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and works in a news organisation that has started exploring how to use these new technologies. Candidates with different newsroom titles will be considered but, in the selection process, priority will be given to candidates that demonstrate the ability to influence the strategic adoption of AI in their news organisation to tackle journalistic challenges. 

No coding skills are required to attend the Academy, nor are there any other technical requirements, other than a stable WiFi connection to participate in the live activities. We encourage journalists and media professionals from all backgrounds to apply.

Who is the Academy not for?

The Academy is not for freelancers – you need to be part of a newsroom to benefit from the programme. The Academy is not for journalists based outside the EMEA region. Finally, the Academy is not for journalists who are not fluent in English. 

Why only EMEA?

To be effective at providing the best possible experience to the participants, the programme needs to consider the limitations posed by time zones and simplify the scheduling of the activities. This is a pilot programme and we hope to extend it to other regions in 2022.


What commitment are you asking from participants?

In the application process, we ask for a letter of commitment from the management of the organisation that a candidate will represent at the Academy. If selected, you will be asked to sign a letter of personal commitment, in which you commit to attending all sessions and actively participate in all course activities. 

The Academy is made up of 6 modules over 6 weeks and we estimate the time-commitment to be about 4 hours a week. Each module of the course will include:

   ▪︎ Live presentation on Thursday (90 minutes)

   ▪︎ Live discussion on Friday (90 minutes)

   ▪︎ Assignment to complete individually before the following Thursday (~60 minutes) 

The timing of the sessions will be confirmed during the selection process.


What is the expected outcome of the programme? 

Participants will leave the Academy with a practical understanding of the opportunities and challenges offered by AI technologies, examples of successful implementation, and a co-created action plan to guide the development of AI projects in their news organisations.


Who are the instructors? 

Each module will be led by a different expert from the extensive network of JournalismAI. All instructors are working journalists, researchers, and media professionals leading the adoption and implementation of artificial intelligence in the industry. The names of the instructors will be announced at the end of the selection process.


Where can I find out more about JournalismAI? 

Glad you asked! JournalismAI is a 3-year project created in 2019 by Polis, the journalism think-tank of the London School of Economics and Political Science, with support from the Google News initiative.  

JournalismAI is a global initiative that aims to create opportunities for journalists and media organisations to come together and explore solutions to improve the future of journalism with AI. We are on a mission to inform media organisations about the potential offered by AI-powered technologies and to foster debate about the ethical, editorial, and social impact on AI for journalism.

The design of the JournalismAI activities is based on the findings of the global survey we launched in 2019, which led to the publication of the report “New powers, New responsibilities. A global survey of journalism and artificial intelligence.”

To find out more, you can check out our website, sign up for the monthly newsletter, follow our updates via Polis on Twitter, and join our Telegram group.