Is Your Newsroom Software Ready to Innovate?
In today’s media industry, news organisations have to be able to respond quickly to competitive pressures as well as the changing needs of their audience.
But even the best ideas are not worth much without the ability to execute them. News organisations can develop new offerings quickly as long as they have the right newsroom software system. In our view, two elements are especially important as building blocks for innovation that translates into competitive advantage: the first is structured data, and the second is APIs.
How Structured Data Enhances Discoverability
In the typical newsroom, a lot of content gets created. Even at the level of 100 stories a day and associated images, a large database of news content accumulates over time. With a traditional newsroom CMS, there is no easy way to take data out of that database system or even identify what it contains in a systematic way. For many newsrooms, finding past stories can be difficult even with an archive.
The reason is that all of that data is unstructured. It’s like a roomful of books without covers: there’s no easy way to know what kind of information is inside.
We designed Superdesk to be digital newsroom software built on a foundation of structured data. Every story created in Superdesk has metadata that defines it in different ways for individual newsrooms. Metadata makes it much easier to find content because you can use metadata as search filters. For example, you could request news articles that have the topic or tag Summer Olympics, an urgency level of 3 (which your newsroom might define as a gold medal win), along with a specific range.
Another advantage of structured data is the ability to reuse content and combine it in different ways. For example, a photo of someone holding their gold medal is stored as an individual item. That means that it might illustrate one article about the Olympic finals, but could then could be reused in a separate story about the athlete or as part of an image gallery of Olympic highlights.
Building New Offerings with APIs
Another way we built innovation-readiness into Superdesk was by taking an API-first approach to open source media management. Having an API that outputs content is a great way for a newsroom to think of new products and services. If we go back to our example of covering the Olympics, it’s easy to imagine that apart from the current Games, a news outlet might want to provide historical facts from previous Olympics. Because they have metadata associated with all of their content, they can just go to their archive and apply the filters to find winners in a previous Olympic category, such as the 400 meter dash. This data can then be extracted from the archive and put into a new package that can either be published by that news outlet or sold to customers.
APIs are especially important for news organisations looking to get more out of their existing content and develop new revenue streams. If our example news organisation wanted to develop a mobile app for their Olympic coverage, all they would have to do is provide the Superdesk API and authentication information to the app developers so that the developers could take the relevant content out of the archive. Now that news organisation is not only reaching new audiences on mobile, but also opening up new ways of attracting advertisers.
The possibilities opened up by APIs are almost unlimited. There are a lot of great tools out there for presenting content and visualising data. By connecting them to the Superdesk digital newsroom via an API, our customers can use them to do whatever they want.
Want to know more? Find out how Superdesk can help your newsroom innovate.