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02.24.2005
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
SNN to roll out IT-centric news workflow next month


Sarasota News Network is transforming its newsroom workflow, which will rely upon a newsroom computer system from Dalet Digital Media Systems.

Training is underway at SNN Channel 6 (Sarasota News Network), a 24-hour local cable news network on new technology that’s intended to improve the operation’s workflow and deliver greater efficiencies in newsgathering.

SNN, which is owned by The New York Times Company, is replacing its existing cameras and editors with Panasonic P2 tapeless cameras for field acquisition; a central server from Omneon Video Networks; a newsroom computer system from Dalet Digital Media Systems; and field editing with Apple’s Final Cut Pro. If all goes as planned, SNN will begin using the new equipment and workflow for news and commercial production March 18, said SNN general manager.

The new workflow offers several benefits to SNN. Tapeless acquisition means reduced maintenance and media costs. Retrieving video, audio clips as well as metadata from a central server will improve productivity and reduce the time needed to edit a story.

One of the most important aspects of the workflow conversion is the ability to redeploy editorial resources to shoot more footage and enhance creativity. Shooting with the P2 will do just that. Not only does the Flash-memory based system offer a convenient way of ingesting content in the newsroom, it also gives SNN a lightweight, highly portable way to redeploy its shooters with laptop-based news editing and transmission capability. Journalists in the field will be able to acquire footage on the P2, import it into a laptop and edit finished pieces with Final Cut Pro. The laptops can connect to Verizon’s wireless network and transfer completed story files to SNN.

SNN currently employs 27 people on its editorial staff, three commercial producers and nine in its advertising department. The new workflow will affect how all of them do their jobs in the future. Of the 27, five are somewhat unsure of the changeover, but the rest have embraced the IT-centric approach to news creation.

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