If an AI powered chatbot can teach journalism skills to students, maybe AI can play a role in teaching blogging to lawyers.

Aaron Gifford in Government Technology reports The Journalistic Learning Initiative, in collaboration with Playlab Education Inc., has developed “Murrow,” an AI-powered chatbot designed to enhance journalistic skills among middle and high school students.

Named after the esteemed broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, this tool aims to instill high standards in interviewing, fact-checking, and reporting.

It operates on an open-source platform interfaced with ChatGPT-4 but is programmed to encourage critical thinking and ethical journalism rather than provide direct answers.

While the tool assists students in finding topics, organizing facts, and crafting stories, it also provides feedback, bolstering their verbal and written communication skills.

The initiative underscores the importance of journalism in various professions, including law in our case, where strong communication is important.

Most important is that the integration of AI in journalism is seen not as a replacement for human writers but as a supportive tool to enhance the quality and integrity of journalistic writing.

University Oregon Communications Professor Ed Madison details Murrow’s functionalities. A little long, but they demonstrate AI’s capacity to augment, not replace, human creativity and critical thinking in journalism.

First, it helps users find topics to write about and organize strategies for identifying sources and gathering facts. Next, it helps identify ways to create a story using those facts and sources in a unique fashion — one that “hasn’t already been done 100 times before.” Lastly, it reviews the story written by the user and provides feedback on how to improve it.

After responding to a series of prompts seeking guidance on writing a news story about a school district spending plan, Murrow was then asked what information from a proposed school budget should be noted. The chatbot responded: “overall budget size, major changes from the prior budget, impact on stakeholders, and reasons for changes.”

“Why have those changes happened? Is it due to changes in state funding, local property taxes or school district priorities?” Murrow typed in its live response. “Remember, in a news story, the most important information goes at the beginning, the ‘inverted pyramid’ model. So you’ll want to include these significant details in your article. Now, how about trying to write the first few sentences of your article? I can give you feedback on your work.”

This AI-driven method of teaching journalism could very well spark analogous advancements in the legal arena, offering lawyers a powerful tool to refine their blogging abilities, increase reader engagement, and bolster their reputation.

In the case of LexBlog and its AI-powered publishing assistant, Lou, maybe inspiration for a AI powered chatbot to teach blogging – and blogging with AI.