DNA2008 – Day2: Multi platform

Vlaamse Radio- en TelevisieomroepImage via Wikipedia

UPDATE: Oliver Luft has got a much more detailed report on the session and Ed Roussel’s comments in particular.

I’ve just sat through a session at DNA called Multi-format input, multi-platform output – does this work?

The majority of the discussion was based around multimedia in the sense of radio, TV looking to converge. As the chair Brigitte Vermeersch from Belgian broadcaster VRT, put it having all the content together but separate when it needs to be.

The first part of the session was mostly presentations about process. Using technology infrastructures to build combined output -integrated media and newsroom systems. VRT for example are using Avid’s inews as the management element feeding separate radio, TV and online output systems.

Interestingly one theme, from the European contingent, was the idea of doing away with feeds in to the organisation and creating an internal news feed. Atte Jääskeläinen, Director, YLE News outlined a reliance on an internal ‘news agency’. Each journalist has a requirement to add any story to the news feed.

Speaking of requirements. One thing that did seem to go unchallenged where comments by Ed Roussel, Digital Editor, Telegraph Media Group, about contractual requirements for delivery of content to their system.

In an interesting overview he outlined what may be a typical approach to a breaking news story:

  • 11:15 Alerts sms email desktop
  • 11:25 150 words, solicit reader help
  • 12:15 Updated story, images video
  • 13:15 Analysis, topic page
  • 15:15 Multiple angles – multimedia analysis etc.

Shades of Paul B’s newsroom model in practice here. Good stuff.

The system that drives this is one of story ownership. So a senior editorial staff member is the ‘story owner’ for their area. They plan and commission content for a story, managing it in a system called the grid. And here’s where the contractual thing appeared. The impression seemed to be that once a story was commissioned, the story owner was “contractually obliged” to deliver it.

This seems pretty scary – a kind of performance related pay. Still, he did say that good results on a story where also rewarded. Anyone at the telegraph tell me if I got the wrong end of the stick here?

Ed also came up with a phrase that I will carry with me. In dismissing the idea (perhaps a myth) that the web was simply about breaking news and the paper about analysis, he said that the strategy for your website was to be about the first and the last word on a story.

Good advice.

6 Replies to “DNA2008 – Day2: Multi platform”

  1. with Youtube/Google announcement this week of live streaming by year end I have another scenario:

    11:15 story breaks
    11:15 post live video on youtube
    11:16 video responses and comments start pouring in
    11:25 Youtube deposits ad royalties on to your credit card
    11:26 Use funds to short newspaper stocks
    11:27 retire


  2. ‘First and last word’ i.e. speed and depth. He’s definitely been reading! Although I’m still grumpy no one invited me…

    Interestingly just had a phonecall from a regional newspaper journalist about the news diamond asking ‘how do you get it done?’ answer: investment. But how many regional publishers are simply asking their existing staff to just do more?

  3. It is interesting to see this model adopted by newspapers. This is exactly how we would handle breaking news when I was a news editor at the BBC News website. This was always the approach from when the site was launched in 1997 and it was honed down to a seamless operation by the time of the Paddington rail crash in 2001.

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