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ETC.se goes live with Superdesk

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ETC.se, one of Sweden’s most progressive media companies, has joined the Superdesk family of publishers. ETC’s newsroom operation is now fully managed by Superdesk, our award-winning open-source headless content management system, and its three digital titles are published via Superdesk Publisher, Superdesk’s integrated frontend.  

Founded in 1978 by Swedish journalist and author Johan Ehrenberg, ETC was launched as a left-leaning magazine committed to social and environmental justice. Its mission has grown since. In addition to publishing daily newspaper Dagens ETC (Today’s ETC), a weekly news magazine (ETC nyhetsmagasin), and a home and lifestyle publication, ETC has expanded its portfolio to include carbon-neutral residential construction, solar energy production, a climate compensation fund, and other eco-focused initiatives.

Before migrating its media operations to Superdesk, ETC powered its newsroom with Drupal 7, an outdated open-source tool that will stop being supported next year. “We desperately needed some new solution to replace Drupal,” said Anton Borgström, ETC’s Chief Technology Officer. “We’d grown from a young daily news organisation to something more mature. So, our editorial tools needed more features than Drupal could offer. 

“Previously, the entire editing workflow was managed using Google Docs. As we grew as a media organisation, it became more and more obvious that we lacked a lot of the stuff that a modern, online news organisation has. Given this need, Superdesk and Superdesk Publisher were a perfect fit.”

ETC’s journey to Superdesk was unique among Sourcefabric clients. Typically, Sourcefabric works with clients to integrate legacy systems with Superdesk, as well as advising on workflow set-up and customisation. But with a strong IT department and vast editorial expertise, ETC handled most of these tasks in-house.

For instance, Borgström’s team first built a cloud-based repository for Superdesk using Docker, an open-source container technology. This helped separate applications from infrastructure, freeing up server space and speeding up delivery, and to integrate legacy services (such as subscription and user management) into Superdesk.

With multiple “containers” of Docker code to orchestrate, ETC then turned to Kubernetes, another open-source tool that makes it easy to scale up using Docker. They then integrated this new system into their infrastructure by setting up persistent volumes and databases to process and store data.

If that all sounds complicated, it was. Borgström said it took about two years for his team to go from ideation to full production – delayed in part by Covid-19 and staffing issues. But in the end, Borgström says the hard work is already paying off. “With Superdesk and Superdesk Publisher, ETC is now positioned for long-term success,” Borgström says. “As we grow, our new CMS will scale with us, which is exactly why we chose Superdesk as our next editorial system.”

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