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 Americans, 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 second instalment 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 what it takes to collaborate effectively in the modern newsroom.
One newsroom philosophy
With today’s complex news distribution process and news teams remote and distributed, removing silos and uniting journalists, editors, producers in a collaborative workflow is critical.
“Merging into one newsroom is what most operations are talking about at the moment, where newsgathering and story management are centralized,” says Morten Brandstrup, Head of News Technology, TV2 Denmark.
Collaboration, sharing, and cross-skilling are among the approaches particularly with journalists. Their roles have stayed the same and changed. Reporters still must write well and be accurate under pressure. But today’s journalist must also be comfortable shooting video, using social media to assist in news gathering, and using data to tell a story. The expectation is that one journalist and their team in the field will deliver different assets for different platforms.
“They will contribute dispatches for us on social and create short clips for TikTok and Instagram. They might write text pieces for the website or take photos that we use. They might also take audio recordings to turn into a podcast,” explains Katie Drummond, SVP, Global News and Global Editor-in-Chief, VICE News & Vice World News.
As technology makes it easier for journalists and others to manage their own tools, the crossover between technology and journalism may be most relevant.
“We’re looking to create a unified workflow across all platforms, with unified roles and responsibilities. We’re hoping that we can cross-train technology and editorial people,” says Aditi Pandey, Head of Vendor Management and Partnerships, NRK.
Major news organizations like the BBC have incorporated common planning systems to create a more united team and workflow. The result is that the story kicks off the entire process. With a workforce of thousands, getting everyone to use the same planning tool seemed impossible but currently TV and radio teams are doing it. The digital teams will soon be added as well. The success of this initiative has led to exploration into other universal tools that can be incorporated.
Story-centric news solutions
That concept of story-centric planning in which the right experts—whether experienced broadcast journalists or TikTok specialists—work together in collaborative teams is a key factor in uniting a newsroom.
Story-centric news workflows allow distributed news teams to push stories out instantly to the appropriate platforms.
To be truly story-centric the content must be tailored to the platform and the audience, especially younger audiences who consume news differently than other generations.
“What news [organizations] did for quite a while was to try and just simply transfer material they’ve done for elsewhere, on to the internet, first… and then social sites,” Kamal Ahmed, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of The News Movement. “And, that doesn’t work.”
Linear television remains popular posing a predicament for news teams as they determine workflow formats to best create and deliver content to so many more outputs. Over the last decade, broadcasters built up digital teams and workflows in parallel to those of linear news outputs and now face a heavy burden of legacy to overcome and change management challenges.
“The workflows for linear and non-linear are still quite different,” says Robert Amlung, Head of Digital Strategy, ZDF. “This is not a necessity in my view, but it’s about legacy and people. We have different people in the linear and non-linear parts of the newsroom, and to bring that together needs work on a unified workflow that would think anew.”
News operations are working hard to create combined teams, develop unified workflows, or implement systems that allow news staff to publish to multiple outputs.
“It has to be a seamless workflow and not platform dependent. We need to have a workflow and ability to broadcast news across any platform,” explains NRK’s Aditi Pandey.
Through innovation, Avid is helping the industry to adapt to changes in team collaboration, content creation and audience consumption. The rapidly shifting landscape is driving Avid’s areas of development, particularly around story-centric workflows that enable greater sharing and collaboration between teams regardless of their location.
“Avid’s web-based tools and mobile apps play a key part of that collaboration, providing an open approach to the news ecosystem with a wide array of partners and cloud-based solutions,” says Avid’s Craig Wilson.
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