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6 New Superdesk Features to Keep Your Newsroom Humming

Keep innovating with Superdesk
Keep innovating with Superdesk

While 2020 was forgettable in many ways, it also produced its fair share of newsroom innovations – from apps to enable remote reporting to enhanced digital security. And, just like the field of journalism itself, we used the last 12 months to strengthen our products and adapt to the new normal. 

The result: Superdesk 2.1. Coming fresh on the heels of Superdesk 2.0, our newest version of Superdesk is packed with features and tools to make your newsroom – whether virtual or physical – hum with efficiency.

Integration with iMatrics’s auto-tagging tool

One of the coolest new features in 2.1 is an integration with iMatrics, an automated keyword tagging tool. This third-party software is currently being used by NTB, our partner news agency in Norway, and allows for content in Superdesk to be auto-tagged, increasing the content’s reach and targetability.

Here’s how it works: as Superdesk users feed copy into the CMS, iMatrics works in the background to evaluate the text and tag articles with categories, people, places, organisations, events, objects, topics, and more. As part of a larger metadata project at NTB, integration of iMatrics into Superdesk is meant to improve newsroom efficiency, increase content relevancy, enhance SEO, lead to better referrals, and help target and distribute content with more precision. 

Best of all, thanks to NTB’s development, this integration is now available for any Superdesk user.

Video editor (beta)

Another great new feature is a video editing tool developed for Belga, the Belgian news agency. With this feature, journalists and editors can trim and crop video files directly in the Superdesk editing window, eliminating the need to switch between software applications. This feature is inactive by default but can be installed using the instructions at the module’s dedicated GitHub repository.


Introducing the Superdesk Masterdesk
Introducing the Superdesk Masterdesk(Photo: Gregory Bruno)Copyrights Sourcefabic

The Masterdesk dashboard, which is accessible via the main hamburger menu, is a new tool that gives newsroom managers an overview of all content in production. Created for The Canadian Press, the Masterdesk enables editors to see what is happening at various stages in a news organisation’s workflow, eliminating the need to toggle between desks to check on specific stories.

For instance, editors can now follow the progress of specific stories based on their “slugline” – Superdesk’s internal naming convention for articles – a handy option for managers wanting to keep tabs on breaking or developing news. In a future release we expect to allow users to save searches and make them available with a single click from the Masterdesk overview.

Automated export of events and planning items 

Another important time saver, especially for larger news organisations that frequently share editorial plans with customers, is the automated export of events from the Superdesk Planning Component. In the past, advisory editors using the Superdesk planning add-on needed to do much of the work manually – filtering content, selecting each item individually, and exporting them as an article. Now, editors can set a schedule and the system will generate advisories automatically. The goal of this feature is to improve the efficiency of Superdesk newsrooms, and one of the best ways to do that is by automating menial tasks.

An alternative corrections workflow 

Previous versions of Superdesk did not allow for corrections – updated items that have already been published – to reenter the editorial workflow. In other words, when one user submitted a corrected piece of content, they could not send it back to an editor for review; they could only publish it directly. An update in 2.1 gives newsrooms the ability to customise how corrections are handled within their editorial workflow. 

Keycloak integration 

Rounding off the new features in 2.1 is optimisation with Keycloak, an open-source identity and access management solution used by Belga. Similar to Microsoft Azure and Google Authenticator, Keycloak enables a single sign-on solution to enhance security and access to the Superdesk suite of software.

Last year was difficult in many ways, but there are bright spots appearing on the horizon. Here at Sourcefabric we’re proud to introduce one of them. 

What can Superdesk do for you? To schedule a demo, click here.




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