CommsCo Talk

The journalism journey: CommsCo Tech Chat with Aaron Hurst

Article by:Alex Maxwell


The talk of the media town – with no plans to quieten down – is AI. As the battle for AI dominance continues at pace, OpenAI has released yet another upgrade into the AI sphere with its new GPT-4o model. Delivering “new abilities to understand and create audio, video and images”, the model is another step towards creating AI assistants. 

As GPT-4o grabs the headlines, journalism’s relationship with AI continues to be a tale of two sides. The technology has dramatically shifted the news cycle and provided a whole new world of coverage and content creation capabilities. 

Yet it is also learning from this pool of content and spreading misinformation, bringing questions of copyright, ethics and the future of journalism to the surface. Scarlett Johannsson’s dismay at the likeness between GPT-4o’s voice and her own is a shining example of the problems that underscore AI’s development. 

With so much happening in the tech journalism space, former Information Age and now freelance journalist Aaron Hurst is at the forefront of the latest developments. He joined our latest CommsCo Tech Chat episode to dive into journalism and AI alongside his own journey and travel experiences. 

Note: the episode was recorded before GPT-4o’s release.

Introducing… B2B tech journalist Aaron Hurst

In just over four years as a reporter at Information Age, Aaron engaged with top minds in the industry and covered almost every type of tech. To put a number on it, he wrote “approximately 1,500 pieces of content”, with topics ranging from generative AI and blockchain to quantum computing and cybersecurity. 

Yet his journey into journalism began at much earlier age. He gained an interest in writing at around 15 years old and made his first steps into the industry by gaining work experience at a local paper. This was followed by studying journalism at the University of Hertfordshire, which included a year abroad in Denmark and the Netherlands. 

Now, Aaron is venturing into the freelance world as a B2B tech journalist and content creator. 

The journalism journey

After outlining his background and experience as a writer, Aaron dives straight into highlighting his favourite recent topic – ChatGPT’s release – and how the evolution of AI has impacted the news cycle. When it comes to journalism, he notes how AI is a double-edged sword; it can spread misinformation but also generate new ideas. To succeed, accurate data input is the key. 

This is followed by a raft of discussion points on the journalistic craft: Aaron highlights his early career challenges, the shift towards multimedia – with video, social media and podcasts forming an essential toolkit – and his advice for any aspiring journalists. 

On the theme of advice, Lee and Tom are of course keen to get Aaron’s view on what makes a good PR pitch. Adding to these tips, Aaron also picks out tactics for information gathering for news stories and effective ways to amplify a spokesperson. Finally, looking ahead to the rest of 2024 and beyond, Aaron spotlights the tech trends to look out for. 

During the discussion, Aaron also touches on his personal travel experiences, including his solo trips across Central Europe, and the differences in education systems between Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK. 

Keep an eye out for Aaron’s content in the B2B tech space!

You can listen to the full episode here.


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