AI, meet AL

Hanging with a robot in Korea

It was always going to happen. As the world speeds inexorably towards the internet of every-single-damn-thing and data dungheaps smother every corner of life, my career at the keyboard was inevitably going to run into artificial intelligence.

I suppose that it’s best that at least I’m writing about AI, and it’s not writing about me – yet. The project is called “Kulturtechniken 4.0” and is a major part of my new role with Goethe-Institut Australia, a German language and culture institute in Sydney where I now work part-time as online editor. Continue reading

Europe: Aussie style

DPA offices SydneyIt’s been a month now since I started my new role as an editor at the Deutsche Presse Agentur (the German Press Agency, dpa). Based in the Sydney suburb of Rhodes, our office is responsible for editing work that comes in from dpa’s correspondents in over 100 countries around the world.

The job involves lots of fact-checking, liaising with correspondents and – most importantly – an eye for detail! The texts we then put on the wire go straight to our customers – local newsrooms all across the world, who then use the information as a basis for their reporting, or publish our stories directly. Continue reading

When news stops …

When the news stopsAfter finishing my final day of work at DW in mid-June, ahead of my impending return to Australia, these last two weeks of my life have been a real seachange. To start with: it’s the first time I’ve stopped working as a journalist for nearly 10 years. It’s also the first time I’ve taken a self-imposed Twitter break for over five years.

In fact, since stopping work, I’ve even avoided watching the evening news. After all, there’s been no need to appear informed at the next day’s morning meeting, so why bother to put yourself through the non-stop happiness of a typical German evening news program? Continue reading

Social media = the news

It’s been a bit of a love-hate relationship with me for a long time: social media is really not my thing. You see – I truly, truly detest it when people showboat their achievements all the time as if they have got nothing better to do. I hated it 20 years ago when kids showed their painting to the art teacher in class saying, “it’s really not that good, Mrs McGregor, is it?”… and I hate it when people these days proudly show me how perfect their last Caribbean holiday was, even if I didn’t ask them to. I don’t know what it is that annoys me so much about it. Call it ‘tall poppy’ syndrome if you want – after all, I am Australian.

On the other hand, as a journalist, social media is becoming an important tool for my daily work. It helps me decipher what our readers, viewers and users want to find out about and it is a practical tool to really engage in dialogue with them. And, it can sometimes offer faster-moving news coverage than traditional media. Continue reading