It’s Time To Talk With Your Staff About Artificial Intelligence Tools

After a situation in my introductory class last spring where AI was used to create an opinion column, I decided I better talk about the use of Artificial Intelligence in my syllabus this year with all of my classes. The statement I chose to use was:

There are a variety of Artificial Intelligence tools available today. Many of those tools can be beneficial to learn new skills, solve problems or get ideas. Using AI tools to create work and pass it off as your own original work is prohibited. Doing such will likely cause you to fail the assignment and could result in you being removed from staff or not accepted onto staff. If you have any questions on using AI tools, please ask Mr. Manfull.

– Syllabus for each journalism class

While I’m sure the statement will evolve over time, it is at least a message from the beginning to start the conversation. While students shouldn’t be pawning off work like stories or illustrations that have been built with AI, we shouldn’t be closing off the tools entirely to them as there is a lot of good that can come from using them from ways to use the tools in the writing process to ways to use them in the video storytelling process.

While we will continue to explore ways on this site AI can be used, such as sharing resources like, we would love to hear how you are using it in your newsroom and how you are talking to your staffers about it. Please reach out with any stories or successes you have so we can showcase them on this site to help others.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 865 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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