Telum Talks To... Ben Moore Technology Editor at BusinessDesk

Telum Talks To... Ben Moore Technology Editor at BusinessDesk

What does your role entail at BusinessDesk?
I’m BusinessDesk’s Technology Editor. I write about technology businesses and business technologies in New Zealand.
What has been one of the most fulfilling stories you’ve worked, on in this round, to date?
Ironically it’s not a tech story, but I wrote a story about how potential licencing changes to Dungeons & Dragons were hitting local creators that I thought gave an interesting lens to a complicated situation.

As for a tech story specifically, I wrote a profile about a company that puts people’s ashes into space that I thought offered a great insight into when business savvy, imagination and dedication meet.
Do you think AI will change the face of journalism and if so, how?
AI has already changed the face of journalism. There are more things it will change than things it won’t. Look at transcription services - that’s a way that AI has changed journalism in a big way. Grammarly is another one that many journos use that acts as kind of a first-pass proofreader. 

ChatGPT as a research tool is pretty incredible as it is and it will only get better as more specialist versions come about. I wanted to know a specific chemical equation for something recently and ChatGPT spat it out instantly.

AI is also changing the way people consume news. Google News uses AI to choose what to present to readers. The algorithms that social media uses have changed the way we write headlines and our expectations of the length of copy in a digital form. Eventually, AI will become a tool that offers suggestions that we can take, amend or reject as we see fit.

The one thing that AI will never change is that the best journalism will always have a person or people above it all, writing, editing, guiding and using tools to tell important stories. It may write some of the copy but it will never write the story.
What tech trends you are watching in 2023?
AI continues to evolve and watching it do so will be interesting. Data sharing is a big one - consumers and businesses are gaining more and better control over data about them. Cybersecurity is massive and seeing what plays out in the coming year will be very interesting as New Zealand’s economy becomes more and more digitally focused.
How do you work with the wider BusinessDesk team?
We are a pretty collegial bunch. We share leads and contacts and give each other feedback all over the place. The wealth of knowledge and experience in the team is huge so I’m very much like Alexa - always listening, learning and chiming in whenever I can.
What are your top PR pet peeves?
My biggest one is just apathy. You know when a PR person doesn’t really want to help you as a journalist and when they do. Even if I don’t get the answer I want, if I feel like someone has at least tried it gives me confidence to go back to them next time, rather than seeing them as an obstacle that needs to be worked around.

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