The rapidly changing face of today’s news

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SAN FRANCISCO– If the last year has proven anything, it’s that broadcasters are a resilient bunch. In March 2020, when editorial stations began to shut down, news staff searched for ideas for making home productions.

Despite a few hiccups, many stations across the country pulled off a successful runaround on the fly because newsroom production technologies proved to be up to the task – the ability to extract content, modify the proxy material, download graphics, cache locally – all with the end goal of covering the latest news faster even if they weren’t in the newsroom at all.

Be aware of the obstacles: security restrictions, VPN obstacles and related issues of insufficient broadband connections, license limitations, disruptions to the news workflow, and more. Despite all of this, there is still work to be done.

THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF THE CLOUD

“While anyone can bring an editor to their home, it’s team collaboration, news workflow, and file management that are the issues. There is simply no editorial or metadata management process [in place]Said Raoul Cospen, Director of Product Strategy for News at Dalet.

For any station pushed into a pandemic workaround, cloud access has proven to be essential, as has a way to manage many journalists and editors in multiple locations.

“We have had a number of new clients who have requested help supporting their remote workforce and adjusting their infrastructure to support home assembly,” said Bea Alonso , Market Director at Dalet. The company’s response to newsroom closures has been Dalet Galaxy xCloud, a cloud-based writing solution, she said.

Mo-Sys’ StarTracker Studio virtual system is combined with a preconfigured switching, input, and graphics power rack to support photorealistic, real-time virtual environments. (Image credit: Dalet)

“[It] has allowed our clients to offload some of their teams from working on the infrastructure hosted by Dalet while away from the physical newsroom, ”Alonso said. “Other customers have used it as an extension of their on-site Dalet facility, to ensure business continuity for journalists, producers and publishers.”

One interesting thing about Galaxy xCloud, Alonso said, is that it provides familiar tools for anyone familiar with working in a physical newsroom. This meant that no additional training was required to enable people to produce, edit, script and collaborate with their teams from home, Alonso said.

One broadcaster who made quick use of this tool was France Télévisions, France’s national television network, which used Galaxy xCloud to enable home news workflows. The SaaS system has helped facilitate end-to-end remote news workflows, giving them the flexibility to support remote work for its more than 300 journalists.

In addition to bandwidth, security, and licensing issues, working from home created another accelerator: How does a broadcaster handle team collaboration, news workflow, and file management when your team is no longer in the same room?

By working with Amazon Web Services and their cloud capabilities, Galaxy xCloud has securely connected home staff to the Dalet Galaxy Five on-premises media asset management system. This gave journalists during the pandemic access to tools like news editor Dalet OneCut so they can research the production system, collaborate with producers, and edit growing files.

The cloud-based Galaxy xCloud newsroom system gave journalists the ability to work away from the physical newsroom.

The cloud-based Galaxy xCloud newsroom system gave journalists the ability to work away from the physical newsroom. (Image credit: Dalet)

“It’s a seamless integration whether you’re at home, in the newsroom, or in the field,” Cospen said.

News agencies have also exploited new mobile apps such as the Dalet On-the-Go mobile writing app, which allows a remote reporter to log into their newsroom with a mobile device and write scripts. , upload content in the newsroom, and use the mobile device as a teleprompter.

“User demand during the pandemic has accelerated the development of this mobile application,” Alonso added.

BECOME VIRTUAL

But newsroom production technology wasn’t the only tool that sank into the abyss during the early days of the pandemic.

When UK radio station talkRADIO wanted to create video programming to broadcast online alongside their radio programming, they considered using a virtual set system, but this was made trickier by the fact that guests had to stay socially distant when they were in the studio or had to call. by Zoom.

“We were looking for innovative solutions to engage our audiences and satisfy our advertisers, beyond what other broadcasters do,” said Nick Prater, head of broadcast technology for Wireless Group Media, which operates 11 radio stations in the world. UK. determined that virtual studio technology was now mature and could provide the unique advantage we needed. “

The answer turned out to be a StarTracker Studio virtual system from Mo-Sys. The broadcaster only had a small space to convert into a studio, said Prater, “but we wanted it to look big, to look luxurious,” he said. As part of the virtual package, talkRADIO installed Panasonic PTZ cameras and the Unreal Engine from Epic Games running on standard HP workstations.

The system is combined with a preconfigured switching, input and graphics power rack to support photorealistic real-time virtual environments. Using three crawler cameras, one on a rolling tripod, one on rails, and one on a boom, customers can set up a variety of shots and scale up to 16 cameras.

PART OF A

Beyond the new realities imposed by the pandemic, advanced visual storytelling remains a key focus for many writing systems. Vizrt’s Newsroom Solution Suite, a cross-platform newsroom content creation system, enables journalists to prepare, script, plan and create independently with graphics, videos, stills, data visualizations and maps. With this system, a reporter can be a one-person production team.

Journalists can scale and adjust the tools they need based on the volume of production required and the type of content required for a specific platform, and can also create data-driven election charts and submit reports. breaking news and publish as needed on different platforms.

It’s the simple reality: the pace of the news cycle has never been faster, said Daniel Nergard, President of Vizrt.

“Journalists today need to be able to create in multiple output formats, often at the same time, in order to reach and engage their audiences,” he said. Nergard added that Newsroom Suite simplifies workflows and provides easier access to a comprehensive set of tools, allowing journalists to focus on what matters most: telling the story.

“Vizrt Newsroom allows journalists to scale and adjust the tools they need based on the volume of production required and produce any type of content for any type of show, program or platform. Said Gerhard Lang, Technical Director of Vizrt. “Content production teams can create anything from data-driven election graphics and breaking news, to social media aggregation, and repost and adapt to any combination of output needs. “

Using Vizrt Newsroom’s browser-based interfaces, journalists can plan, create and edit stories from their newsroom, on the road or from home. This characteristic proved to be vital during the first days of the pandemic.

“During the pandemic, we have seen creative use of virtual technology not only from broadcasters but also from the corporate world,” said Andre Torsvik, head of marketing strategy at Vizrt Group, referring to a corporate event hosted by Janssen, an immunology company that saw its Covid -19 vaccines receive emergency use authorization in the United States in early 2021.

The three-day corporate event took place using Vizrt virtual environments. The company used Viz Arc to control graphics and manage virtual camera transitions. All material was produced in the Amazon Web Services cloud and controlled from three international locations, Torsvik said.

“We have seen brilliant work from our customers to take advantage of software solutions to break old hardware limitations,” he said.

Vizrt also recently released the Vizrt XR Extended Reality System, which provides reporters with virtual, augmented, mixed and extended reality storytelling capabilities. Used in the studio or at home, the virtual set can be reset from show to show in minutes. A wall at home can serve as a blank canvas allowing interaction between presenters and graphic objects.

According to Nergard, the system is designed to facilitate the making of immersive and expansive reality shows. State-of-the-art camera tracking and AI capture technology create ultra-real and crisp graphics. Virtual views, 3D camera flights and a myriad of analysis tools allow the presenter to break down a sporting event interactively, either by offering information on a touchscreen or virtually inserted directly on the wall.



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