Newsrooms Adapt to Social Media Trends

Next-generation software takes integrated approach
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ALEXANDRIA, VA.—Social and online media platforms are not only changing the way people consume news, they’re impacting the way TV newsrooms work. To build their audience, and raise the visibility of their trusted news brands beyond broadcast, today’s newsrooms increasingly publish their news stories on social networks.

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Ross Video’s Inception newsroom system integrates tools for creating and publishing news content to multiple platforms from within a unified work environment. News teams also need to monitor and track the onslaught of user-generated content, video and commentary trending on social media and websites, and pull newsworthy assets into their newscasts. This can mean dealing with non-standard file formats or unusual aspect ratios, like square or portrait (9:16) orientation, that can stymie news production pipelines.

To deal with these new pressures, broadcasters are turning to advanced newsroom software designed to support and automate social and online media newsgathering so journalists can focus on telling timely, relevant news stories for multiplatform distribution.

PARADIGM SHIFT

“The best approach is to build a newsroom software ecosystem with the flexibility and versatility to react, adjust and adapt to technology shifts—and the connected viewers’ changing preferences—without disrupting the user experience,” said Jenn Jarvis, marketing product manager for Ross Video in Iroquois, Ont.

The company’s Inception newsroom system integrates tools for creating and publishing news content to multiple platforms from within a unified work environment. Ross releases Inception software updates on a very aggressive schedule intended to keep pace with changes in the way that viewers now access and consume news.

Compared with separate, silo-ed approaches, Jarvis said, “Inception users can control how content moves from acquisition to multiple platform distribution from within this flexible ecosystem. This enables them to make sure they’re publishing content in a way that maximizes audience exposure on any given platform all at once. And it lets them adapt to disruptive technology and market changes without having to leave the comforts of their familiar newsroom software environment.”

STREAMLINED WORKFLOWS

NewsMaker Systems’ NewsCaster software offers automated integration that bridges the newsroom computer system with the NewTek IP Series and TriCaster integrated production systems. NewsCaster makes it easy to link the news rundown from any of the major newsroom computer systems on the market to the TriCaster, along with video and other media assets needed for the newscast.

The IP Series’ and Tricaster’s integrated production environment, which includes video switching, graphics, audio, virtual sets, camera robotics control and text, can then be used to produce the newscast. Once the news rundown, graphics and other media assets are ready, TriCaster can produce a live program for broadcast live to air, as well as stream the media directly to YouTube, Facebook Live, and other platforms.

“Social media is just one of the many challenges facing today’s TV newsrooms, and they often can’t add personnel to deal with the growing workload,” said Lan Merrill, vice president of sales and marketing for NewsMaker Systems, in Moorpark, Calif. “Our solutions automate the workflow between MOS-based newsroom computer systems and the IP Series and TriCaster production systems so that news people can spend less time dealing with technology and more time developing compelling news stories.”

UTILIZING USER-GENERATED CONTENT

Grass Valley’s GV Stratus video production and content management system has tools for media asset management and publishing to digital media platforms, and new tools are in development that will make it faster and easier to bring file-based user-generated content (UGC) into the on-air news pipeline.

“Today’s newsrooms face many frustrating challenges when it comes to decoding sparse media files,” said Drew Martin, product manager for GV Stratus, in Hillsboro, Ore. “The methods used in the acquisition of media from users or social media sites have often been overlooked. We want to change that.”

UGC is often acquired in unusual, nonstandard file formats that professional transcoders are not equipped to handle. “This leaves newsroom personnel to use time-consuming, laborious methods to convert these files into formats their news operations can use,” Martin added.

While the Edius NLE was the first product to showcase these particular capabilities, they are also being integrated in GV Stratus and will be highlighted at the 2017 NAB Show.

GATEWAY TO NEW CONTENT

Vizrt offers Viz Story, a stand-alone newsroom storytelling tool, and Viz Pilot Edge, which can be embedded in any newsroom system. Both browser-based solutions give news journalists an intuitive environment for producing content from anywhere, that can be published anywhere.

“Our software serves as a gateway to create story timelines with a broad array of high-quality 3D graphics, video and media sources,” said David Jorba, president of Vizrt Americas. “News content originating from different sources can be quickly distributed to your on-air and online audience. Journalists can work in a collaborative way from any browser and work with live feeds, voice overs, and create and distribute high-quality news stories to online and social networks from within your existing newsroom workflow.”

Jorba added that their newsroom tools also enable news stations to use the same graphics, text and animated elements they’re using for the on-air product, which preserves consistent quality image branding and efficiency across all targeted networks.

GAINING MOMENTUM

Snell Advanced Media’s Momentum workflow/asset management system can automate and streamline newsroom workflows including finding and moving video and other media assets to the intended destinations, including publishing directly to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to the company’s SAM News newsroom software, Momentum interfaces with all industry-standard newsroom systems, and automatically manages and archives newly acquired media assets, along with their metadata.

“Momentum’s automated workflows can be set up and modified dynamically to support operational requirements,” said Lew Blanchette, senior system architect for SAM. “It can also deliver content to a producer for review/approval, or send it directly to the destination after adding workflow elements, like video branding. It sends the file to available transcoders, along with the output file formats needed for the targeted broadcast, social media and website destinations.”

According to Blanchette, if video needs to be posted to different online platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or future social platforms, “Momentum automates every aspect of what would otherwise be separate, time-consuming manual processes—to conform to each platform’s unique video format—saving valuable newsroom time and effort.”

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Snell Advanced Media’s Go! is an HTML5 browser-based editor When using SAM’s Go! HTML5 browser-based editor, video can be shot in the field using a smartphone or another HTML5 device, and transferred to a companion product, the SAM News server at the station. The video can be edited anywhere, including in the field, adding cuts, dissolves and voiceovers, even with less than optimum internet access, because of Go!’s adaptive bitrate transcoding. Momentum social media workflows can also be triggered directly from the Go! interface, launching automated workflow processing that has been pre-defined for that type of video file.

STORYCENTRIC WORKFLOW

Built on Avid’s MediaCentral/UX platform, the Avid iNEWS system provides an integrated toolset and environment that lets broadcast journalists monitor and manage news content originating from and moving across multiple platforms from a single user interface. With the Avid Everywhere strategy enabled by MediaCentral, journalists can manage news resources, such as personnel and equipment, and have browser-based access to shared information from any device, including smart phones and tablets.

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Built on Avid’s MediaCentral/UX platform, Avid’s iNEWS provides an integrated toolset and environment that lets broadcast journalists monitor and manage news content originating from and moving across multiple platforms from a single user interface. “Broadcasters are looking for ways to engage and motivate viewers by consistently delivering timely, relevant, and even personalized news content across multiple platforms,” said Alan Hoff, vice president of market solutions for Avid Technology in Burlington, Mass. “We support the news rundown process, but also give news teams the freedom to develop all aspects of the story from creation to distribution using a nonlinear, collaborative story-centric approach.

“We certify that partner tools will integrate seamlessly within iNEWS to extend the capabilities and customize the environment for users,” Hoff added. For example, x.news is a third-party product that helps manage incoming news feeds. And new features are regularly added, such as the new Social Media Hub that enables tracking, filtering and usage of trending social media from a windowpane on the MediaCentral/UX platform.

“Newsrooms can access content from multiple sources, including social media and citizen journalists as well as publish what they produce to air, to the web and to social media all from within iNEWS,” Hoffman said.

RECORDING LIVEU FEEDS

As a provider of advanced workflow and media asset management systems, Masstech interfaces its technology with popular newsroom computer systems, such as Avid iNEWS and AP ENPS. The Toronto-based company recently partnered with LiveU, a leading provider of live video acquisition, management and distribution over IP, to have all LiveU live video streams—shot in the field and transmitted via bonded cellular—automatically recorded on a Masstech server back at the station. Once on the Masstech server, a notification containing a link to the video is sent to the newsroom computer system as a wire story so journalists can watch it.

“Since this LiveU solution is natively integrated within the newsroom computer system, the process is fast, easy and transparent to the user,” said Mike Palmer, vice president of business strategy for Masstech. “While it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly when a press conference or other news event will begin, journalists and video crews never have to worry if their LiveU video feeds are being recorded because they’re always being recorded automatically, every time.”

The Masstech server stores long recordings more cost-efficiently than a production server can. The Masstech workflow also tracks and manages the media assets and metadata.

GREATER AGILITY

With its Unified News Operations solution, Dalet Digital Media Systems gives broadcast newsrooms a platform that’s more agile and responsive to rapidly changing audience viewing habits and news consumption.

“Since today’s news operations need to be very fast, collaborative and responsive to remain competitive, they are much better served by an advanced platform that delivers all the components of the needed ecosystem in a very consistent and agile endto- end workflow,” said Arnaud Elnecave, vice president of marketing for Dalet Digital Media Systems, in Los Angeles.

According to Elnecave, “When it comes to producing and distributing news content to social media, TV news teams need a more effective way to plan and assign stories, make editorial decisions and collaborate. Elnecave said, “These decisions should be based on new data insights being made available in real time at every level of the chain. That’s why social will become an organic part of our news solution going forward.”