JANUARY 26, 2023

Newsroom Collaboration a Hot Topic at NewsTECHForum

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What does the newsroom of tomorrow look like? How will it be organized? How will newsroom collaboration be optimized? What role will the cloud play? Is there still a place for traditional news shows on linear TV? How will viewers access the content? What does IP mean for future studios? 

These questions, and more, were discussed at TVNewsCheck’s NewsTECHForum in New York by a range of contributors from major broadcast organizations in North America. Panels centered on the future of newscasts and what can be done to modernize them, from making shows more conversational to ensuring the anchor is seen as part of the community. Taking advantage of new streaming channels was also discussed, with panellists exploring the work of NBCUniversal’s LXTV news brand and its innovative approach to journalism, which is attracting and retaining a growing audience via the web and social media.

Other panels focused on the role of news presenters and the use of immersive graphics to better tell news stories. There was agreement around the need for enhanced metadata tagging at every stage of the workflow, and the need to maintain that information all the way from acquisition to archive, but the thorny issue of who owns and enters the tags was also raised. While most people recognize the need to add metadata, few in the production chain see it as a priority. For the journalist racing to get their story on air, or the camera operator ensuring they get the best shots, adding a tag may not be high up their task list.

As we look to build out systems in the cloud...they need to be cloud native, microservice based, and containerized so that they can dynamically scale as workflows change and users increase.

Ernie Ensign, Director of News Technology, Sinclair Broadcast

Change Management was a hot topic, with acknowledgment that implementing change is difficult to embed within working news organizations. Though an ongoing challenge, change is inevitable, with technologies such as the cloud playing an increasingly important role in news production.

In a NewsTECHForum Fireside Chat titled “The Collaborative Newsroom of the Future,” Craig Wilson, Avid Product Evangelist for Media and Cloud, talked with Ernie Ensign, Sinclair Broadcast’s Director of News Technology, about the vital role of the cloud in Sinclair’s plans. “As we look to build out systems in the cloud, I think they need to be cloud native, microservice based, and containerized so that they can dynamically scale as workflows change and users increase,” Ensign said.

Watch the Fireside Chat at NewsTECHForum with Sinclair’s Ernie Ensign


The fundamental goal for Sinclair stations is to deliver quality content on whatever platform viewers wish to consume it. But this content must be produced as efficiently as possible, with newsroom collaboration optimized for easy sharing between stations a top priority.

“There's a value to time, and if you are the first person to put a piece of content out there about a breaking story, that gets into search engines and social media, and it just then funnels back more content and more viewers into our platform,” Ensign explained. “So, on the digital side of things, we have to continue to invest in how we get unique content.”

He also said his ideal would be a single platform for content creation: “For me, it starts with a unified platform and a unified tool. I think there's value for content producers not to have to go to five different platforms to figure out what they need to do. A, it creates confusion. B, it slows down the process. Whether you're on a cell phone or a tablet, you should be able to shoot content and contribute it, edit it, and deliver it to other platforms so that everything's available in one unified platform for users.”

Ensign described workflows currently being tested in which crews in the field receive metadata from the NRCS that links the footage they’re shooting directly to the right story. Each time a clip is recorded, it is automatically uploaded to the cloud and made available to editing teams back at the base. They can begin working on it almost immediately, significantly reducing the time it takes to get a story published to any of Sinclair’s digital channels.

“The one constant there is content, and how do we get content to our viewers and consumers as fast as possible?” Ensign concluded.

See what Avid is doing to foster newsroom collaboration.

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