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As it prepares for an AI-driven digital future, Germany’s largest newspaper is eliminating 20% of its workforce.

The regional branches of the German tabloid Bild will be reduced by hundreds of positions this year, and Bild will increase its use of AI in preparation for a digital-only future.

Earlier this week, Axel Springer, publisher of Germany’s best-selling daily newspaper, informed its staff via email that it would be eliminating six of its eighteen regional editions and closing two-thirds of its regional offices. It has been announced that regional newspapers for Bild will be produced and regional correspondents would be managed from Berlin.

The publisher stated in a memo that the positions of editor, picture editor, proofreader, and others in print production will “no longer exist as they do today.”

The Frankfurter Allgemeine reports that over 200 positions will be eliminated. While Axel Springer would not provide an official number, it did say that the number of layoffs would be in the “low three-digit[s].” About a thousand people work for Bild right now.

Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner foretold “significant” layoffs three months ago as part of the company’s transition to becoming a digital-only publisher, with artificial intelligence playing a key role in this transition.

When asked about the layoffs that came with the newspaper’s restructuring, a representative for Bild said that they had “nothing to do with the use of AI,” and that artificial intelligence would be utilized to aid journalists.

Journalists and editors have greater room to be imaginative thanks to AI. No matter how much help AI provides, a writer must always verify the information for accuracy.

However, Axel Springer stated in an internal statement that it was “starting a distinct AI offensive is necessary for our transition to a digital-only environment.” and that “the majority” of jobs associated with printing editions were at risk.

Axel Springer stated, “Unfortunately, this also means letting go of employees whose jobs have been automated away by digital technologies and artificial intelligence, or who simply cannot adapt to the new organizational structure.”

The business predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) would soon be able to replace human journalists in newspaper layout.

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