Dear Reader,

Can Artificial Intelligence disrupt journalism and replace journalists? The question became moot after it was reported by a leading newspaper that Google had developed a product that could generate news stories “based on current events”, on the fly. And, that they had pitched the product to three of the global icons of journalism – The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal!

However, Google itself clarified that the new tool was only to “assist journalists” and the tools were “not intended” and “cannot” replace the critical role that journalists play in reporting, analysing, and fact-checking. MediaNama delves into the issues and asserts that the anxieties of journalism being replaced by AI tools are still far-fetched. This is because i) the tools cannot re-create news and stories not yet reported (the essential job of journalists), ii) the AI-generated stories are riddled with inaccuracies with their penchant to “hallucinate” responses, and iii) as the tools scrape from already published content, the chances of plagiarism, as seen in two recent high-profile instances, is a clear and present danger.

Kashmir has seen record tourist footfalls in recent years with over two-and-a-half lakh holidaymakers flocking to it, just in the first two months of the year. Last year saw an all-time high of over 2.7 million tourists, including 3.6 lakh Amarnath yatris, making a beeline to the union territory.

However, the influx of tourists has not been without its downside. The tourism hotspots of Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Pahalgam, all ecologically pristine but fragile, have been trampled upon, with mounds of garbage and solid waste abounding – images of which recently went viral on social media and outraged people. Kashmir Observer asserts that unless a comprehensive waste management strategy is instituted on a war footing it threatens to undermine the lure of tourism, the source of livelihood for thousands.

India’s north witnessed a devastating deluge, with cities like Delhi witnessing a flood-like situation. Sunita Narain, India’s leading environmentalist and the Director-General of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), tells Mojo Story that this is a result of climate change and the “sheer arrogance” in defying nature. Since January of last year, the CSE has recorded at least “one extreme weather event every day” which is nature’s way of “screaming at us” to immediately transition and build “climate resilient infrastructure”.

Even as the promised doubling of farm incomes remains a distant mirage, the increase in food prices for rural households is real - with inflation-adjusted rural wages contracting for 16 consecutive months until March. Article 14 reports from the deep hinterlands of Maharashtra to tell the story of rural distress in India’s richest state.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Is Google Coming Up With An AI Replacement For Journalists?

Can AI replace journalists? MediaNama analyses the question, in light of the recent development of AI-powered ‘news tools’.

Read Here

Plastic Waste, Garbage Dumps in Gulmarg Forests Spark Outrage

The unregulated and unbridled pollution, especially of solid waste, in the Kashmir Valley, even as tourists flock in record numbers, is assuming alarming propositions, says Kashmir Observer.

Read Here

"Red Fort Flooded as Yamuna Rises I "Arrogance, Kindergarten Politics"

Mojo Story speaks to Sunita Narain, India’s leading environmentalist, on what goes to make the climate crisis in India and what needs to be done to repair it.

Watch Here

Amidst A Govt-Enforced Data Vacuum, Stagnating Wages & Rising Costs Increase Economic Distress In Rural India

Article 14 delves into the economic challenges faced by rural India, especially the unprofitable state of farming for nearly two decades, and the ‘information void’, which hinders an understanding of the true extent of the economic distress.

Read Here

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Supreme Court Observer examines the Apex court’s decision to not order the deployment of the army in Manipur, in response to a plea amid escalating violence, and points out that while the Court has issued directions to paramilitary forces in the past in certain instances, it has refrained from intervening in deploying of the army.
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