Here’s the question I hear most when I speak to newsrooms: does your newsroom computer system (NRCS) support digital-first workflows for production and distribution?
That’s no surprise, since the need to ramp-up digital news production is growing exponentially even as newsroom budgets continue to shrink.
The early, linear, days
When dedicated newsroom computer systems first came out in the early 90s, they were designed purely for the linear broadcast – mainly TV. Ever since, unfortunately, the rundown has been the centre of attention.
Planning was introduced pretty early in NRCSs, and newsrooms started to implement story-centric workflows in the late 2000s. But planning and rundowns are often disconnected. In most cases, the rundown comes really early in the workflow, and digital workflows come second – once TV production is completed. Once you fall into this pattern, there is no easy way to go digital-first, no way to run an efficient digital newsroom.
Set the script free
Let’s look at another key aspect: the story script. A story is almost always tightly associated with a TV (or radio) script. Until very recently, I had hardly ever seen (I am tempted to say never) a digital script or CMS script in a newsroom! There is this 1:1 relation between a story and a TV script. This is a real issue — you need to dissociate the two early in the process if want to have the same story go to digital and TV (or radio).
So how can a NRCS provide clever, integrated digital production workflows? Or can an NRCS be primarily a digital newsroom?
This really is one of the biggest challenges of our time, and we constantly work to overcome it with Dalet Pyramid.
Dalet Pyramid brings you angles and queues, creating a true digital newsroom
In Dalet Pyramid, a story is not just a TV (or a radio) script. It has this built-in notion of story angles. These story angles can be multiple instances of TV, radio and digital angles. For example, say I want 2 versions of my story, one for the headlines, and another for a package. I also want to script my video for distribution on social media networks and my CMS. That’s potentially 4 different angles! (and each might have its own assignments and production needs).
Complicating matters, you need to distribute these story angles in a non-linear way — you need a “non-linear rundown.” Sounds like a contradiction in terms, right? In Dalet Pyramid, we handle this with Digital Queues. Digital Queues take care of all the logic around multiplatform distribution so that users have the real-time editorial control they need.
Empower your teams
Dalet Pyramid opens up new opportunities for your digital newsroom:
- You can now go digital-first: empower your digital teams to take the lead on a story
- You can give these digital capabilities to any user and onboard the digital team with the rest of the digital newsroom
- You can provide your newsroom staff with the digital newsroom tools to increase collaboration at the story level and move away from rundown-centric workflows
- You gain the capability in the NRCS to write digital scripts (top slides, narration script or TOS, CMS script, etc)
- You can streamline digital workflows and make them part of the mainstream production process
- And of course, you can run Dalet Pyramid as a digital newsroom.
Digital production capabilities and digital-first workflows are at the core of Dalet Pyramid. Sometime soon, I will post a follow-up blog that explains how Dalet Pyramid lets you connect the NRCS with digital newsroom production and editing tools to accelerate newsroom workflows.
Intrigued? Let’s talk about it. Reach out to me and get your demo of Dalet Pyramid so you can better understand what digital production in NRCS is all about.
Raoul Cospen is a Dalet pioneer, and played an integral role in driving the transformation to IT-based, fully integrated newsrooms for the past two decades. He has always felt passionate about being at the heart of newsroom operations, a passion that has driven his vision across multiple roles at Dalet. In his current role, Raoul works closely with Dalet’s customers and partners to define and deliver the most suitable solution to address their media workflow and newsroom requirements.More Articles By Raoul