Newsroom Management

We first became involved in Newsroom Management back in 1984 in support of contracts with major news services and networks. The development goal back then was to introduce satellite technology, and later Electronic News Gathering technology into the existing newsrooms. The leap in technology was frustrated by the fact that nobody really knew where the terrestrial links (EuroVision for instance) were and how they would interfere with satellite feeds, or how to manage the content and multiple styles of delivering the news. This led to a worldwide analysis of satellite feeds, newsrooms and news content funded by the US Government, and earlier under contract to Visnews, BBC and the fledgling CNN.

Newsrooms were visited, news directors interviewed and hours of boring television watched around the world. Later the same procedures were followed in the United States, with far less hassle and travel. Throughout the 1990's news gathering and news presentations were carefully monitored, as were the new advances in technology. In the mid 1990's it was decided to develop our own newsroom for technology based news, and in Washington, DC for political news. This gave us the opportunity to practice what we preached.

ComLinks has maintained a news gathering and reporting operation since 1996, in support of business development and political intelligence activities. The ComLinks Newsroom in Washington DC was originally housed in the National Press Building, yards from the White House. In 2003 the adoption of a digital set format meant the location could be moved to anywhere having a high speed broadband connection, and Communication Links, Inc. chose Easton, Maryland, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

The news gathering capabilities of any news organization are mainly digital these days. Every day tens of thousands of News Releases, photographs, statements, speeches and breaking news stories come down the wire. Where we once had banks of BetaCam and Umatic cassette tape recorders we now have Terabyte drives, a fraction of the weight, cost and much, much more reliable.

Like the evening news the pictures on the screen come from a computer, and the Green, Blue, Red and Black curtains and paint makes all this possible thanks to Chromakey. Since back in 1984 we have constantly been at the forefront of news development, and monitoring technology for users, or managers of news. The sheer volume of breaking news has outstripped the ability of humans to read text listings, and we now have a partnership with the the company that created the revolutionary News Patterns technology.

The News Patterns computers now drive the newsroom software and beside the thousands of stories and news releases available to us and the other news bureaus, we have hundreds of millions of data sources around the world that can be accessed to analyze the mood and direction of breaking news and opinions. This capability even stretches to Twitter and posting boards to input the latest news from the tens of millions of "Citizen Journalists". This translates into the next generation of digital news/intelligence services for corporations and organizations.

Alan Simpson is a leading International Consultant and developer of news operations for clients around the world. They want the opportunity to task the networks, and view only the news, information and intelligence they need, and not spend endless hours wading through lists of text articles. The new technology is akin to comparing DSL and broadband with 14.4 modems. This graphic positions the technology:

As news gathering organizations, and users of news are confronted with the explosion of news sources this new technology, and the many others in the pipeline can make their job much easier, and more profitable.

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