The news Engine: How a new experiment in newsrooms can change process, product and people. News media conference, Barcelona June 2015

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Abstract

The News Engine

How a new experiment in newsrooms can change process, product and people.

 

By Ralf Andersson

 

In fall 2012, the news department of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation,decided to implement a new workflow called ”The News Engine” - in order to workfaster, more freely, flexible and with fewer resources. This was done to raisethe productivity.

The fundamental principle was that all stories should fit all platforms(content sharing) - and that no one did their own story anymore.

DR News introduced 8-10 mobile live teams who are responsible for doinginterviews, record pictures and sound for the story and to do live stand ups –on location.

Teams feed footage (pictures, sound and interviews) with low-cost satelliteequipment to DR. Here, other reporters edit the material to stories for allplatforms. The workflow is split into several parts.

This is a fundamental change with many implications: Journalists aregoing from craftsmen doing the whole story by themselves to being specialists –only doing a certain part.

This paper present results from summer 2013 based on newsroomobservations for one week, interviews with more than 70 employees and contentanalyses of productions for one week at all platforms. It discusses challengesof new practices of news production, cross-media reporting and mediaconvergence, resulting from DR’s new experiment, the news engine – with differentaspects:

Product:

The main news program 6:30 has fewer stories, but each one has moreelements. It’s not just one single pre-edited piece anymore, but consists ofmany elements: live reporting, voice-over, graphic, interviews etc., guided bya profiled anchor. Number of live reporting has increased dramatically with 50%.

Process:

The editorial process has changed completely: no editorial meetingsanymore, no brainstorm sessions for ideas etc. Reporters have limitedpossibilities for making own stories and less time for research - each live reportercovers 5-7 stories during a day.

People:

In a survey, most reporters replied that the new workflow was afundamental change of their work and had major impact on their identity asjournalists. They felt less satisfied, had less professional pride; the job wasless relevant with fewer opportunities.

 

Newskills and qualifications:

This new way of working requires new skills that have impact on the wayin which new TV journalists are taught and trained.

-      Live reporting: ever-increasingimportant part of the news broadcasting.

-      Mediaconvergence/multimedia skills: live reporters now produce for all platforms.

-      Cooperation: the ability todeliver accurate information to colleagues and work together, share andcommunicate is becoming increasingly important, since each feature is producedby many reporters.

-      Technological change/new technicalskills: in relation to recording and editing with the latest equipment andhaving the ability to integrate and understand new and fast-changing technicalworkflows.

 

Changes in DR News are already an inspiration for many other TV newsstations in Europe, who are implementing the news engine as workflow.

 

This challenges us to rethink and reconsider new practices of newproduction, potentialities and experimentations.

 

Translated title of the contributionNyhedsmotoren: hvordan et eksperiment i nyhedsredaktionen kan ændre processer, produkt og folk
Original languageEnglish
Publication date18. Jun 2015
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 18. Jun 2015
EventShaping the Future of News Media conference - Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 17. Jun 201519. Jun 2015

Conference

ConferenceShaping the Future of News Media conference
LocationPompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
Country/TerritorySpain
CityBarcelona
Period17/06/201519/06/2015

Keywords

  • Television news production, newsroom, experiment, industrialization, media convergence, workflow.

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