Mario Garcia: Getting AI help to create front page of the future

Sep 19, 2023 at 11:16 am by admin

How should a print edition of a newspaper look as more readers consume news on mobile devices (writes Mario Garcia)

Call this a combination curiosity and AI tutorial. I am always wondering how to best answer a question that I hear often in workshops and conferences: what do you think is the role of print in a mobile world, and how do you see print editions of newspapers looking when the majority of readers are getting their news via mobile and/or digital platforms?

As I envision the front page of such a newspaper, some thoughts come to mind:

-Bigger photos and illustrations, since that is what one can’t do on the small screen of the phone.

-Fewer stories on Page One, since nobody comes to a print edition for breaking news.

-The editor of a print edition reminds the reader that “we know that you know, but we are going to tell you more and show you the big photos that go with the story.”

-Longer stories, and hardly any briefs.

-Front pages that develop one major story, offering analysis and depth for a story the reader already is familiar with

A little help from AI

Armed with those thoughts, I prompted Midjourney, a programme that allows to get illustrations and visuals by prompting the bot with as many words as possible to get better results.

In this case my prompt read:

Poster illustration, newspaper front page, futuristic, print newspaper for readers in the mobile digital era, big photos, text for stories, logo Future Times, white paper, black type colour photos, the newspaper of the future concept, six columns. Cinematic.

Here is what Midjourney gave me in a matter of 17 seconds:

Then I took these four ideas and categorized them from A to D–

Version A

This front page capitalizes on a big image to accompany the main story of the day, followed by six brief items that can either be self contained stories, or summaries for stories developed in depth inside the print edition.


Version B

Here, entire front page is devoted to one story. Notice the major display of visuals and how story is divided into two segments to facilitate introduction of two topics related to the same story. Simple, clean and inviting—three elements that have always made for a good front page design.


Version C

This version also displays a major visual at the top, but offers a variety of stories on the front page, reminiscent of what home pages of websites do.


Version D

Here is where I incorporated the human element based on the inspiration of the AI version, still displaying one major visual at the top with story, and several short items in summary format for stories on the inside.

My AI-related interview with Dubai’s Khaleej Times

My interview with Vinay Kamat, editor of Dubai’s Khaleej Times, on the subject of Artificial Intelligence and its impact for journalists across the globe.

Highlight: “I have always been an early adapter of new technologies, especially those who facilitate how we communicate and consume information. AI represents a major revolution for how we will research information, draft stories and the way we carry out some of the tasks now carried out by humans. At the same time, my new book is not a love letter to AI. It is a guide for acceptance of the inevitable and a salute of respect for the human endeavor. AI holds a promise of revolutionizing the way we think, create, and share knowledge.”

Mario Garcia is putting the finishing touches to a new book, AI: The Next Revolution for Content Creation, which you can pre-order here. The first 25 copies sold will be signed.

Sections: Columns & opinion


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