Journalism 2.0: Implementing Centralized News Planning

Let’s face reality: most Newsrooms are still using rundowns as the main tool for story assignments. At Dalet, we believe there’s a much better way and that’s what we offer with Dalet Pyramid‘s centralized news planning solution. From rundowns to centralized planning, a new era for news production is coming.

By Raoul Cospen | 03/24/22

There is a thrill when change is coming where it is needed. While sometimes there is fear and trepidation in changing a processes that has worked for years, there is also a raw excitement in taking on an entirely different approach, and television news is no different. As long-term innovators, at Dalet we are introducing a news planning solution that can help modernize news organizations everywhere: Centralized Planning.

While the rundown approach has reigned supreme for decades in news broadcasting, it does not always meet today’s digital-first, multi-outlet, and Storytelling 360 requirements in terms of work organization and planning. And that’s exactly what we are helping our customers solve with the Dalet Pyramid solution for centralized planning – a modern approach to news planning that is also compatible with a rundown-centric workflow, so newsrooms can evolve at their own pace.

Remembering Your Roots:
The Rundown’s Reign

When Newsroom Computer Systems (NRCS) emerged, workflows were centered around the “rundown”, also called running order in some newsrooms. With digital distribution (i.e. non-linear distribution) taking increased importance that requires an efficient news planning solution, the newscast is no longer the key and final product – we don’t see entire newscasts published on the Internet. Impactful stories are now the final products, and they need to be published on multiple, varied platforms to maximize audience potential.

For this reason, the notion of “story-centric” was introduced in the early 2000s. The idea was to manage stories individually within the NRCS, and to be able to redeploy stories across multiple platforms. In reality this has remained mostly a theoretical concept because most newsrooms are still organized around the rundown. Stories are, still, TV stories first, later repurposed on different platforms.

There are many limitations to this workflow: with such approach digital-first news storytelling is hard to attain. Digital teams mostly inherit a TV story edit, specifically created for television – and difficult to transform into a richer and more interactive digital format.

Hello Brave New World!
Bringing your news organization the Centralized Planning Superpower

Changing directions and strategies with familiar workflows can be a touch unsettling. This is why at Dalet we are offering integrated news planning solutions as a bridge between long-standing newsroom workflows and a gradual digital transformation to storytelling.

We have translated the idea of a story-centric approach into action through the concept of news planning-centric workflows powered by Dalet Pyramid. This concept allows our users to simultaneously approach linear (TV and radio) and non-linear (OTT, social media, digital outlets, ..) platforms. No need to wait for the TV story to be finalized to repurpose the content for digital platforms. Your digital team can also cover an important story as soon as it breaks.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of news planning-based workflows:

  • Facilitate digital workflows. The planning-centric workflow becomes the primary organizational tool for digital production teams. They can assign stories, set deadlines, add tasks, and share editorial status while increasing visibility, collaboration, and maximizing outcomes. The news planning solution tool becomes the main organizational device for story creation; it facilitates the entire digital production workflow, making it more collaborative and visible than ever before, through assignments, deadlines, tasks, and editorial status.
  • Go digital-first. As we mentioned before, there is no need to wait for the TV story to be broadcast to repurpose the content for digital platforms. The digital team can take the lead and cover the story before it is broadcast on TV.
  • Address multiple platforms for any given story. The notion of the story is radically transformed in a planning-centric workflow. The same story now hosts all its different versions for other platforms with their specific needs. For instance, the script and the VO are different on a TV story than on YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter.
  • Personalize content for multiple audiences. The centralized news planning solution allows you to always keep the source media and related projects under the same umbrella. It is therefore easy to reuse existing media and projects to further develop a story in a longer format for digital media. With the latter approach, audiences can consume news on different media and have different story versions: shorter or longer, and with the right amount of graphic engagement.
  • Foster collaboration. Our solution offers a fantastic collaboration toolset that enables teams to be organized around important stories for actual collaborative production.
  • Streamline production workflows. Enable real visibility on who does what, deadlines, why and by when the delivery must be done, what is the next assignment, and with whom you will collaborate. This is a solution designed for communication and intuitive interaction between team members.

But there’s more… Dalet Pyramid’s centralized planning enables newsrooms running Dalet Galaxy to visualize, manage, and assign stories at the corporate level, using multi-platform and multi-site intuitive news planning. Having a centralized planning solution running on a Dalet Galaxy system will give visibility on all of the other Dalet Galaxy systems a broadcaster owns globally. No matter where the “news” is, you will be able to assign tasks in real-time and communicate with your journalists in and out of the field in a wholly intertwined user experience.

Adopting change: How Broadcasting Workflows Evolve

Many of our users come to us with the question: are rundown-centric workflows compatible with planning-centric workflows? The answer is yes!

We designed Dalet Pyramid’s centralized news planning solution to start a story from anywhere: rundown, planning or digital. A story is created in the rundown for the newscast while it’s already on air. Meanwhile, your digital team can create a digital version of that same story, all managed through Dalet Pyramid’s centralized planning.

The goal is to make it quick and easy for news storytellers get their news to audiences everywhere and anywhere, anytime!

Dalet Pyramid’s centralized planning also provides a natural progression for newsrooms running Dalet Galaxy, expanding their workflow with next-gen capabilities. Available as subscription, the “plug and play” solution meets the needs of multi-platform and multi-site news operations.

Dalet has been in the news industry for more than two decades. We have understood and created tools to solve difficult newsroom problems and to keep your audiences informed. With Dalet Pyramid we aim to help our users thrive on their news storytelling journey. The centralized planning solution is just the tip of the iceberg of what Dalet-powered newsrooms can accomplish.

To learn more and understand how Dalet’s news planning solution can benefit your operation, book a demo or contact us.

Featured in: Centralized Planning | Dalet Pyramid | Digital Newsroom | Digital Transformation | News Production | Newsroom | Storytelling 360 |

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By Raoul Cospen

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.

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