Newsroom Systems

  • By David Kirk

Newsroom Systems

Accurate and up to date news reports have long formed a core element of successful television and radio channels, allowing linear broadcasters to retain attention in a world of repeats and game shows - by David Kirk...

Newsroom systems continue to improve in flexibility and efficiency, as evidenced by the following summary of new developments from some of the leading product and service providers in this field.

“A key focus for us this year is to support our customers’ transition to the hybrid newsroom,” says Brian Doyle, Director of Product Management, Associated Press. “2021 was the year of the virtual newsroom. 2022 is very much about delivering secure solutions that unite teams and support hybrid workflows. We want to be able to give newsrooms the ability to collaborate, communicate and plan stories wherever they are in the world in a secure way. A big part of that is ensuring that our products are now accessible via SSO and have support for SSL at all levels. In addition to key security enhancements, our flagship news production system, ENPS, now has a fresh look and feel. Customers can choose to switch between ‘classic’ ENPS or upgrade to experience a more intuitive navigation, designed to mirror web-based communication tools users are already familiar with. With the latest version, we’re continuing to support customers publishing content on multiple platforms, wherever they are in the world. Users are now able to configure custom menus for use throughout ENPS, allowing them to seamlessly reformat and repurpose stories for digital output. In addition, ENPS mobile is now upgraded with a simplified UX giving users the ability to receive notifications from the newsroom direct to their location out in the field via ENPS messenger. AP Playbook, our cloud-based planning solution, has lots of new features including a variety of new views that can expose cost incurred per story or assignment; story and staff location; and greater staff productivity. AP Playbook is extremely secure; views can be locked and accessed only by those with authorisation. This is critical if journalists are working on embargoed or investigative pieces. Multiple teams can plan stories across multiple formats. With our powerful API, we can also support teams who also choose to publish via CMS, social media and the web. Additionally, our new web-based reporting solution allows ENPS and Playbook users to generate detailed reports on any editorial data that has been entered into either system. ENPS and Playbook are proving to be a perfect combination for organisations looking to build a bridge between broadcast and digital teams. Integrating both technical worlds is key to eliminating silos and increasing productivity within news teams.”

CGI reports that Version 5.0 of OpenMedia series, scheduled for May 2022 release, will contain an update to the webclient portfolio with NewsBoard and ReporterApp. Both are based on a new cloud-native micro-service architecture. “Covid has a major impact on newsroom workflows and products,” says Michael Pfitzner, Vice President, Newsroom Solutions, CGI. “We started 2022 together with our partner, Condat, showcasing the usage of AI and demonstrating the abilities of this technology in a modern newsroom, leveraging it to aggregate incoming messages and agencies around topics. We have seen an increase in demand for the integration of communication platforms. Many of our customers have opted for Microsoft Teams. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we took the chance and initiated a tight integration of Teams with OpenMedia. Any communication related to a specific topic, story or rundown is brought back into OpenMedia showing the related Teams communication directly beside the object. Bringing the two communication and data streams together in this way is of huge benefit for journalists and everyone needing to have key information about the status of a story or topic. The integration is straightforward and immediately accessible.”

Dalet describes its Pyramid as a unified news operations solution which provides a natural evolution for newsrooms running Dalet Galaxy five, expanding their workflow with next-generation news production capabilities. “Customers today want the same feature-rich experience in an affordable, easy to consume and to deploy offering, says Dalet CTO Stephane Guez. “They want minimal overhead plus the flexibility to manage the fluid movement of resources whether they are working remotely or in the office, or continually onboarding and offboarding. We have taken decades of expertise in broadcast, news and media development and reimagined it into budget friendly pre-configured, convenient, yet secure workflow offerings with state-of-the-art UX and UI experiences customers expect. Available on subscription, Dalet Pyramid plug and play solutions bring convenience and efficiency for centralized planning, remote editing and digital production. A kanban-based news planning tool that allows news organisations to visualise, manage and assign stories at the corporate level. Fast web-based news editing can be performed in a browser even with limited bandwidth. Editors can upload rushes, gather source materials, edit videos from anywhere, and publish remotely.”

7Mountains’ Dina makes its debut at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this year, where the company will co-exhibit with Mjoll. 7Mountains and Mjoll are both part of the Fonn Group which has launched several SaaS products for journalists and editorial staff in recent years. “Newsroom technology has changed dramatically over past five years,”says Robert Strand, 7Mountains’ co-founder and VP of Sales. “Broadcasters have found themselves in a place where there is a significant opportunity to simplify and streamline journalist and production workflows. This is where the concept of the story-centric newsroom comes in. We defines story-centric as a newsroom organised around the story rather than the underlying technology and delivery platform. The current proliferation of tools in newsrooms worldwide requires simplified and unified tools where all storytellers work with one interface regardless of where stories get published at the end. Greenfields projects, such as GB News in the UK, have broken down the silos between digital and linear news delivery, with Dina at the core of their newsroom. Traditional broadcasters like TV2 Fyn in Denmark, Canal9/Kanal9 in Switzerland, and TVNZ in New Zealand have taken giant leaps towards an entirely new approach to storytelling with Dina. Any storytellers, whether they work in a newsroom or at a social media desk, can plan, create, collaborate, and publish across multiple destinations with Dina. Dina focuses on how the story is crafted and covered across all media. With our new Dina mobile app, we allow journalists and storytellers to create stories from the palm of their hand.”

Octopus Newsroom has launched the newest version of its newsroom computer system, Octopus 11, at a major online event held on April 13th, 2022. The team presented the highlights of the system and its latest features, leaving customers eager to see it in action. Being visually perfected and functionally enhanced, this latest version offers a new take on storytelling for broadcasters around the world. It facilitates swifter workflows and offers an even more user-friendly approach to news production, no matter if it’s in a rundown-centric,  story-centric workflow, or a combination of both.

Octopus 11 introduces a completely redesigned user interface and a great number of new features to be showcased at NAB 2022. Production efficiency enhancements include greater plasticity of important UI sections including the toolbar and menu, a greater capacity to react to rapid changes in production pieces, and support for dark mode to serve low-light workspaces.  

These changes will undoubtedly accentuate the system’s leadership in the newsroom market. According to Gabriel Janko, COO & Sales Director at Octopus, the system upgrade will provide clients with more freedom. “Octopus 11 is more flexible and robust than ever before” , he adds. “We listened to and incorporated customer input into our roadmap and created a product that meets their demands. Our system’s traditional and new features bring a new take on storytelling.” 

Octopus NRCS is a flexible and robust system shaped by customer demands. It can run both in the cloud and on-premises, providing the customer with a flexible option to run operations. Being robust, scalable, and efficient, the system enables businesses of all sizes to streamline their news workflows with cutting-edge technology and to grow indefinitely. It works with close to 100 different technologies to create unique workflows with teleprompters, MAM systems, CG devices, playout and automation systems as well as content management systems, social media and various planning tools.

Grass Valley’s GV STRATUS is a video production and content management toolset designed to simplify workflows for news broadcasters, with intelligent automation functions and customisation options. It allows localised and distributed teams to collaborate across news production workflows easily and scale operations based on evolving requirements. “In today’s digital era, news broadcasters need to create content for repurposing across a range of platforms including social media, and they need to be able to do this at the touch of a button,” says Grass Valley’s Director of Business Development,Trevor Francis.

“Cloud-based news production systems offer our users a tremendous amount of agility and scalability. With the cloud, you can scale up your services based on spontaneous or evolving requirements. Organisations can spin up services for planned production spikes, like major sports events or to respond rapidly to breaking news stories and then scale back down later to maximise cost savings. As part of our vision for a cloud-first future for the media market, we are integrating solutions such as GV STRATUS into our cloud-based GV AMPP (Agile Media Processing Platform). AMPP Connected STRATUS enables existing customers to gradually transition to the cloud through seamless integration with GV AMPP Asset Management. AMPP Connected STRATUS gives operators the flexibility to combine existing on-prem functions with the new workflow opportunities provided by the cloud, enabling a transition at the pace that suits each customer’s business needs. The immediate benefits for existing GV STRATUS users are content federation across sites, browser-based remote editing and integration of AI services.”

nxtedition this year launched nxt|cloud for a fully cloud based newsroom production suite. This can also be integrated as a hybrid disaster recovery solution. If the newsroom on the ground is unavailable, the newsroom teams switch to the cloud and carry on. “We are not just servicing linear news bulletins any more; we operate in a digital first environment now,” says Adam Leah, Creative Director of nxtedition. “We pioneered the digital first concept at KNR in Greenland over five years ago and are constantly evolving the product to be even faster and more intuitive. We have also been developing ‘virtual assets’ that allow newsroom teams to search newswire organisations and import the video clips without leaving the user interface, effectively bringing reliable news sources into nxtedition directly. By starting with secure web technologies and microservices from the beginning, nxtedition doesn’t carry all the legacy unsecured protocols, code and hardware requirements that traditional workflows have, and still do, demand. We’ve been focused on creating a solution that allows our newsrooms to work in an agile way, where they can tweak workflows and try new things with minimal risk. It’s all about building a bridge from the past through the present and into the future using better technology that learns from the past.”

SI Media’s YES! News comprises several modules for creating and managing stories and rundowns. These form a newsroom computer system with integrated character generation and graphics plus studio automation. The system can handle video, audio, text and graphic projects simultaneously from a single interface, with fully integrated production and non-linear editing. An MOS gateway allows integration with third-party devices. YES!Wires is a wire aggregator to import content from sources such as social media. Content can also be published to websites, YouTube and social media. The NRCS client interface is entirely web-based and enables journalists to work from anywhere and with any device.