APRIL 1, 2021

How Does a Distributed Team Help or Hinder News Production?

distributed teamwork for news organizations

What measures have news teams taken to keep staff contributing creative ideas through the pandemic, while balancing the need to have some working from home and others working in the studio?

Ilkka Ahtiainen, Editor in Chief of the Finnish commercial broadcaster MTV3, told the Making the Media podcast that they felt they had lost part of the creative process by moving in-person meetings to Zoom or Teams.

"The news conference has become shorter, perhaps more effective, so you get something because of this. But also, you lose something, and that is the psychological, the social part of our work."

He said it was important to make sure everyone had the opportunity to put forward their point of view.

"Here in the newsroom, people talk to each other. They exchange opinions, they give ideas. And so we have lost part of that. But we launched a new conference just for giving ideas. So it's free to come up there and tell what you think. And in that sense, we have tried to preserve something from this social and creative part of our work."

Ahtiainen also told podcast host Craig Wilson that audiences had grown through a demand for news and that broadcasters had benefited through higher ratings as a result.

"It's harsh to say, but at least here in Finland, the media has profited from this pandemic, because all the ratings they are 20 percent up and we do better than ever in a way. The emphasis on news has been more important or the news has become more important than it used to be, because people are in need of information."

You can hear the full interview on episode seven of Making the Media, available on Monday, April 5.

  • Craig Wilson headshot

    Craig Wilson is a newsroom specialist with over thirty years of experience in the broadcast industry. Craig has held various roles with Avid and is now the Global Media and Cloud Product Evangelist and host of the Making the Media podcast.

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