Newsroom Insights and Updates

  • With David Kirk

Newsroom Insights and Updates

News has long been the most popular element of on-air and online entertainment and information media. If credible, it encourages the loyalty of viewers, listeners and readers - by David Kirk...

This report highlights advances from some of the leading specialists in newsroom computer systems, software and internet-connected services, including April 2024 NAB Show announcements where known. Automated content recognition continues to be the main direction of development.

Associated Press describes its new AP Storytelling as a comprehensive solution that streamlines the news production process, from wire ingest and content discovery, through planning, story creation and publication, enabling journalists to adapt quickly to the dynamic news cycle. Freeing journalists from the time-consuming tasks that often distract from storytelling, it allows them to experiment with new narratives and formats and engage more deeply with their audiences. It is designed for seamless integration with over 140 third-party technologies, including cloud-optimized infrastructure for ENPS. "Whether operations are on-premises, entirely in the cloud, or a hybrid, AP Storytelling together with ENPS addresses latency, cybersecurity and data-processing concerns," says Brian Doyle, Director of Product Management, AP Workflow Solutions.

"By harnessing AI, AP Storytelling automates the routine and mundane tasks that often bog down journalists, such as media discovery and content organisation, allowing them to focus on the creative and critical aspects of storytelling, such as fact-checking and keeping communities informed."

Chyron's Prime 4.9 live production processor is designed to support data-driven sports and news production workflows. The update introduces several enhancements aimed at improving operator experience and efficiency in designing and executing complex graphics that use real-time data sources. "New features, such as the Duplicate Effect and expansion of the Table Resource to integrate with the full range of industry-preferred data sources, provide uniquely efficient tools for tackling time-consuming, complex graphics," says Prime Product Portfolio Director, Nikole McStanley. "Meanwhile, the fine-tune adjustments we’ve made to the design and playout interfaces yield major time-savings and quality-of-life improvements for day-to-day users."

Fonn Group company 7Mountains has added chat support to its Dina newsroom system. "We are constantly thinking about how we can make reduce broadcasters’s stress and workload, especially in on-air and close to on-air-situations,” says Chief Product Officer, Mads Grønbæk. "In Dina-operated newsrooms there is no need for third party chat-software. Clever chat-solutions are now a part of the newsroom and rundown system, tailored for the specific needs of a broadcast operation. Chat in Dina is designed with the specific needs of broadcasters in mind. One of the features is the rundown chat where you can have separate chats for separate rundowns. When you toggle between rundowns, the chat will switch accordingly, eliminating the risk of confusion and miscommunication."

"From a producer's perspective it’s a dream," adds VP of Product Marketing, Bård Hansen, who was producing the 24/7 news and nightly news shows at TV 2 in Norway before joining 7Mountains. "You can chat with reporters or directors regarding content in a certain rundown, without having to waste time making sure people understands what show you’re talking about. Dina can be used as a story-centric newsroom system as well as a rundown only solution, meaning that you can publish directly to any platform: linear, a web site or social media. Reporters from different departments of the newsroom can work together on the same story regardless of which platform content is being published to."

"Story-chat is another feature which gives staff working on an assignment the ability to have conversations regarding only the story itself, without the non-topic clutter which typically is the case in traditional chat channels," details 7Mountains CTO, Andreas Whiteley. "In a story-chat you will not be bothered with distractions. The need for old-school chat channels is eliminated in Dina. But of course Dina gives the organisation the ability to establish functions such as group chats or private messages. The chat functions will further improve in the upcoming Spaces concept we are developing.”

Octopus Newsroom has introduced the latest version of its news production system. Octopus 12 unveils the power of comprehensive news production management, showcasing streamlined story-centric workflows, improved planning, advanced Octopus search capabilities, a dynamic assignment map, and much more. The Octopus team is also proud to showcase at NAB 2024 the new Octopus Web Client, designed to facilitate seamless collaboration for teams worldwide and streamline the entire production workflow. News teams can now access essential Octopus 12 features effortlessly from the web browser while enjoying real-time collaboration with the team. "Thanks to its real-time multi-user script editor, journalists can create collective masterpieces at remarkable speed. Octopus lightweight web client, seamlessly connected to the robust Octopus 12 server, empowers users with real-time collaboration across platforms," says Product Manager, Milan Varga.  "No longer confined to on-premises limitations, broadcasters can now harness the essential features of Octopus from any location. The Octopus web client seamlessly merges future-facing remote access with its robust backend, empowering modern newsrooms with maximum creative control." The integration of an enhanced AI assistant enables functions such as creating stories, summarising text, fact-checking against public resources, facial recognition in videos, converting audio to text through speech-to-text functionality, and providing translation capabilities.

Qvest has been active in scoping the digital media supply chain from concept to consumption.

"No longer is it only the large broadcasters and studios focused on producing and distributing quality content in an efficient manner but consumer products companies, higher education, and niche content producers creating content with the goal of creating a great direct-to-consumer experience," says Jon Christian, EVP at Qvest USA.

"Following the global pandemic where companies needed to figure out a way to get work done in a remote fashion, we are seeing this trend continue with the acceptance of a true hybrid approach. We will see more studio control systems being operated remotely, more direct camera-to-cloud workflows, and more studio productions being virtualized using the latest VR and AR technologies."

Ross Video's Inception is a browser-based Newsroom Computer System that allows easy access to content from any operating system or device. Its Media Object Server interface integrates with third-party devices such as graphics processors, video servers, media asset management software and teleprompters. Content can be created and published to multiple platforms from the same interface. The Inception Mobile App offers journalists secure remote access to stories, messaging, rundown and assignments. Version 2.0 includes additional features such as Rundown view and Story groups, keeping journalists connected to the newsroom and in the loop while reporting from the field.

SI-Media's newsroom solution now includes an option allowing clients to decrease their dependency solely on cloud providers, particularly when handling sensitive content unsuitable for cloud storage. The company's Yes! platform includes CG and graphics tools plus studio automation. It integrates with editing programs such as Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve and Grass Valley Edius as well as offering connectivity with social networks.

Vizrt describes its Viz Flowics as an HTML5 graphics system for use with MOS-compliant newsroom computer systems. It simplifies the newsroom MOS workflow to create and manage graphics playlists for playout via an internet connection. Viz Flowics includes a web editor with drag-and-drop features plus the facilities required for the creation of graphics. These includes a customization palette and animation tools.

"We want to make it easier for customers, especially broadcasters with simple graphics requirements, to incorporate HTML5 graphics," says Gabriel Baños, co-founder of Flowics.

"Viz Flowics' MOS support in combination with our native integrations with local weather, traffic and markets data providers makes this solution a perfect fit for regional broadcasters and local stations who are looking for more cost-effective graphics systems, and we have signed up several customers who are implementing this solution."

Using the Viz Flowics web-based editor, graphics designers can create templates and place them in the relevant projects as graphics packages for their respective shows. Creative assets are stored in the cloud in the assets library.

There is no change to users' existing graphics editing workflow when working on a particular story in a rundown inside the NRCS. They log in just as they do today into the NRCS. Then they can open the Viz Flowics plugin to access the templates and create, save and drop graphics into their stories in the news rundown."

So More Media brings together products from VSN, Woody, and M&I Broadcast Services.

"VSN Explorer, VSNCrea, VSNOne TV, IN2IT suite and Omniplayer are the core of our business," says Head of Product, Toni Vilalta.

"So More Media means more power, more creativity and more reliability for all. Our newsroom products have some functionalities directly related with the news area that allow users to increase their productivity and speed up the publication of news. We not only address the current demands of media professionals but also anticipate the future, ensuring that our partners are always ahead of the curve, with infinite possibilities at their fingertips."

x.news offers a software-based news and information monitoring tool which scans across news sites, social media feeds, video and internal archives, such as PDFs and email. Users can create the topics they want to monitor, set search and source parameters, and customise display preferences.

x.news’ own database of information sources is designed to exclude known providers of fake news and misinformation. A mobile app version is also available. Features include automated analysis of emerging topics, collaboration between contributors around the globe and subscription-based premium news service. Content can be transferred from social media sources or ingested from URLs or WeTransfer files.

"x.news is a powerful live story research tool that transforms the way journalists and users work by monitoring all the different sources (news agencies, social media sites, web and internal sources) on one screen," says CEO, Andreas Pongratz.

"Version 3.0 enables searching within PDFs, internal IPTC/EXIF image libraries, emails and WhatsApp chats. Summarizer uses AI to search and summarise emerging topic related articles. Co-Pilot includes an Emerging Topics feature which suggests trending topics from customers' sources every 15 minutes within a user-definable group. Clicking on one of the trends makes all articles and assets available for inspection. Users have the option of receiving summaries to speed up the selection process."