To learn about the changes taking place, the DPP—the media industry’s business network—launched the Tomorrow’s News initiative, gathering 50+ contributors from major news organizations across Europe, the Americas, and Australasia.
The DPP approached Avid to co-sponsor the project. As a news solution provider for three decades, Avid helps news production teams adapt to changes in how news is created and consumed. Avid’s unified media production platform, MediaCentral, connects teams, tools, and media to create more content across more channels with speed and efficiency.
The results of the discussions were compiled into a three-part comprehensive set of reports—What’s the News?, The News Business, and Making the News—that details the conversation about the newsroom of the future and how to prepare for it.
This article is the fourth installation in a series of articles—summary report, newsroom collaboration, business efficiency, remote and distributed working, and cloud and hybrid working—that provide an overview of the comprehensive DPP reports.
The following provides highlights from the reports and how a remote and distributed TV newsroom team is creating opportunity.
A distributed, global work model
The move by broadcast organizations to a distributed production model is a major change. More newsrooms are following a hybrid version, where existing on-premises facilities and services are complemented by an expanding ecosystem of remote workers.
“Our news desk works on a ‘follow the sun’ model now,” explains JJ Eynon, Engineering Manager, Warner Bros., Discovery, CNN. “The editor’s defining constraints are the hours they’re working, not their location. That editor can work from home; they don’t need to be at a physical desk with two phones and a PC. They work from a laptop.”
For dispersed and global news organizations, the need to be inventive and discover possibilities regardless of geographic area, role, and purpose is driving new workflows. A one newsroom philosophy extends well beyond a single physical space, connecting the entire news operation wherever they are.
“Whether you are the reporter and crew on location, the online producer working from home or the program editor working in the office, it is clear that there is a huge need for all members of the teams to work cohesively to ensure the output is of the highest quality,” says Avid Product Evangelist Craig Wilson.
Round-the-clock news process
Today’s news cycle is 24/7; rather than waiting for a specific program, audiences expect to have access to news as soon as it happens. Audiences want their news to be accessible everywhere including on phones, iPads, desktops, or social media, meaning that news must have a presence across more channels and touchpoints than ever before.
“The way that has changed for us in the last few years is that when we deploy a reporter they might go to film a long form documentary that’s on a longer timeline, maybe two weeks,” says Katie Drummond, Editor-in-Chief, VICE News. “Then while they’re there, they will contribute dispatches for us on social. They will create short clips for TikTok and Instagram. They might write text pieces for the website, they might take photos that we use. The expectation is one journalist and their team in the field will deliver different assets for us for different platforms. They might also take audio recordings that we might turn into a podcast.”
The many benefits of remote and distributed models
The transition is revealing tremendous potential and offering significant benefits in how content is collected, edited, and delivered.
Unlike remote production, which transfers production from venues to a central facility supported by remote workers, the distributed working model is supported by talent that can be located anywhere in the world. Distributed teams collaborate and share production resources—including equipment, facilities, and talent—in real time.
Thanks to decentralized workflows and cloud-based production tools, distributed production is expanding, and users are experiencing a wide range of benefits including a more efficient and scalable workflow, a flexible and diverse workforce, less equipment and studio space, and lower costs.
Avid leads the innovation forefront
The hybrid newsroom needs workflows specifically built for efficiency, remote collaboration, and media control.
Breaking down the silos between traditionally different parts of the organization—on-air and online for example—enabling new workflows for remote and distributed teams, and making it easier to share content between teams regardless of their physical location, are ways that Avid’s news solutions have developed in recent years.
This is where Avid’s MediaCentral | Collaborate comes into play. It simplifies complex projects by enabling collaboration across teams. Stakeholders can work together regardless of location—they can plan items, track their status, and receive notifications about tasks through their browser or mobile app. Producers can create, manage, and track tasks in real time, adding and managing users and resources to ensure the efficiency.
Most importantly, MediaCentral | Collaborate enables story-centric workflows which regards stories as entities rather than just pieces of a news program.
“We’ve seen story-centric working grow in importance as stories are no longer just distributed on one platform,” Wilson explains. “They’re being broadcast and distributed online, including social. MediaCentral | Collaborate provides a single place where you can see everything that’s related to a story, helping all the different teams work together more effectively.”
Avid continues to drive new solutions to meet these needs; to enable remote workflows and support distributed teams delivering from anywhere to any consumer platform with collaborative tools on mobile, on the web, and in the office.
“Whatever approach is chosen, the importance of strategy, leadership, and change management cannot be overstated,” says Raul Alba, Avid Director of Product Management. “Even for new organizations, because you don’t recruit only people fresh out of school, you still recruit people who have experience and legacy. So, it requires some strategic vision from broadcasters and producers to embrace change from the top down.”
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