As reporters file stories out in the field from what amounts to their own personal remote newsroom, news producers have an increasingly complicated task ahead of them: maintaining a firm grip on all of the elements that go into a newscast. In the third installment of this three-part series on equipping newsroom roles for remote work, we're looking at the person holding it all together back at home base: the producer.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated broadcasters' plans to embed reporters more deeply in the communities they cover. Even before that, though, the job of a news producer demanded a unique blend of journalistic skills and personal traits, such as the ability to work under pressure and pay attention to myriad details.
As reporters spend less time in the station, they're getting less face time to coordinate with producers. That places new demands on reporters, but it also ratchets things up a notch for producers. A key concern for producers is recreating that personal interaction as they produce newscasts, news content for the web, and stories for social media.
Collaboration and Coordination Coexist in the Remote Newsroom
News is collaborative. When core members of the news team such as reporters and photographers go remote, however, it can turn a tightly coordinated news production workflow into something much more diffuse.
Since directing reporters and news photographers to spend most of their time in the field, newsrooms have turned to video conferencing apps to maintain communications and promote collaboration. These tools can support face-to-face conversations, but they may be poor substitutes to command the coordination typical in TV newsrooms.
Designed for use by the public, these sorts of apps make no provision for aspects of a producer's daily work such as routine planning and coordination—nor should they. After all, they were built for the public at large.
However, newsrooms deploying tools like Avid's MediaCentral | Collaborate to support their workflows get the best of both worlds—up-to-the-minute collaboration with journalists in the field as well as the ability to manage personnel and assign, track, and coordinate the many details and resources that go into an efficient news workflow.
Available as a browser-based or mobile solution, MediaCentral | Collaborate enables news producers to track the status of stories at each turn, assign or reallocate newsgathering resources, and stay in control while they help reporters work more efficiently.
The Remote News Producer's Tool Kit for Success
Fostering tight collaboration is an art, and it starts with the team. Far-flung producers and reporters have to want to put their heads together—when they do, common creative tools step in to make the geographical separation irrelevant.
Solutions such as Avid's MediaCentral | Cloud UX bridge that gap and make it simple to put the story at the center of the workflow. Using creative tools for news editing, graphics creation, and asset management, producers and embedded reporters alike can integrate the news workflow to collaborate from anywhere.
MediaCentral | Cloud UX facilitates story-centric workflows—allowing teams to search for media, edit, and publish content regardless of device or distance. Direct integration with newsroom computer systems such as the MediaCentral | Newsroom Management helps speed up news production.
Seizing the Need for Speed
In the fast-paced TV news environment, getting a story up online or on air before the competition is key to building an audience. MediaCentral | Publisher, streamlines how content is tailored to various distribution platforms during publishing. By automating transcoding, content staging, and publishing to destinations like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or a station CMS, Publisher lets reporters focus on newsgathering and producers concentrate on their most pressing priorities.
TV newsrooms continue to place a premium on embedding reporters deeply in their communities; after all, it's a path to raising story count and quality. This strategy succeeds when news teams have assets, tools, and their peers within reach—rather than an excuse to loosen news managers' grip on all the tiny details that get stories to air, these collaboration tools ensure that level of involvement continues regardless of the distance separating producers from reporters.
More in This Series
A Survival Kit for the Remote Newsroom, Part 1: The Reporter
The remote newsroom embeds reporters in the communities they cover—but it requires a new approach to mobile technology and remote collaboration.
A Survival Kit for the Remote Newsroom, Part 2: The MMJ/Video News Editor
Video news editors and MMJs working from the field can leverage a wealth of tools and content in the cloud to work effectively.