Close Menu

Whitworth University Welcomes “USA Today’s” Jessica Davis ’08 for a Discussion about Artificial Intelligence and the Media

October 24, 2023

The Whitworth University Communication Studies Department welcomes Jessica Davis ’08, this year’s Flora Distinguished Visiting Journalist, for a public lecture on Monday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Hixson Union Building.

Davis, a Whitworth alumna, is the senior director of Artificial Intelligence (AI) & News Automation Product for USA Today. During her lecture, Davis will review the expected impacts of AI on news media, from content creation to misinformation. She will also explore the ethical implications of using AI in news. 

Experts predict that AI will have a profound impact on the way audiences consume news in the next few years. Some say it will bring more change in audience behavior in the next three years than has occurred in the past 30.

“We’ve only just begun to understand the impact of changing technology like AI on journalism,” says Erica Salkin, professor of communication studies. “It’s exciting to see how Whitworth alumni like Jessica are using their communication majors and liberal arts degrees to lead these conversations within our industry.”

Davis has led and inspired teams to develop sustainable revenue models for news throughout her career. She launched hundreds of local online news platforms for Patch in her early career and transformed 260 Gannett newsrooms with digital optimization and the application of automation and artificial intelligence tools.

The Flora Distinguished Visiting Journalist program brings a media professional to Whitworth every fall to visit classes, meet with students and deliver a public lecture on a topic relevant to their expertise. Funded by a generous donation from the Flora family, the program has brought such notable journalists as Stephen Thompson from NPR, Peter Rubin from Wired, Melissa Segura from Buzzfeed and Karama Horne from The Blerd Girl.

Davis’ lecture is free and open to the public. 

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of about 2,500 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or