April 22, 2024 - Ross Video Team, Education

Strategies for Efficiency in the Modern Newsroom

Traditional news media is under increasing scrutiny, critique, and often attack from administrations on both sides of the aisle and an ever-more distrusting and distracted populace.  

Even small mistakes are highly visible, but news directors don’t have the luxury of slowing down. Not unlike riding a motorbike across a tightrope, broadcast news production requires speed, efficiency, and accuracy — and now more creativity than ever. 

Ross Video works with some of the top news producers around the world to produce engaging, immersive, highly efficient news productions.  

These are the top three strategies we use to help top-tier media studios like NBC and Fox balance creativity, speed, accuracy, and efficiency in their newsrooms. 

“The biggest challenge [in news production] has always been to be faster, and still stay reliable.” 
Hans Martin Paar – Head of News, ServusTV

Strategy 1: Empower Reporters to Wear Many Hats 

As the media landscape evolves, the role of reporters is evolving as well. 

The desire for more regional, on the ground content from audiences and the growing number of distribution platforms is putting increasing strain on reporters and newsroom teams. Reporters must wear a variety of new hats, which often requires them to spend hours fighting unintuitive and inefficient workflow and creative software. That’s time they could be finding great stories or simply recovering from fieldwork.  

Many reporters now shoot their own interviews and add graphics to their stories from the field. This creates a new challenge for newsrooms: finding video production, media asset management and broadcast graphics software that’s easy to use, so reporters can spend their time reporting, not learning how to use new tools and wrangling with graphics software. 

The right production tools can make high-quality, dynamic visuals and storytelling accessible to even the smallest local newsrooms.  

Strategy 2: Enable Consistency and Creativity 

Consistent branding conveys credibility and professionalism, which can help increase retention and boost ratings. Templates and automated workflows go a long way to ensuring consistency.  

For example: are the titles of over-the-shoulder graphics always in the same font? Are lower-third graphics consistent with your brand’s visual identity? Templates help live video producers avoid idiosyncrasies that can distract viewers. 

Workflow automation tools and graphics templates boost creativity by freeing up creative professionals’ time. By using deeply integrated tools (like XPression, Streamline Pro, and Inception), news broadcasters can develop polished, reuseable graphics that allow reporters to make last-second updates with the confidence that they are ready-for-air and error-free. 

Local news network Graham Media Group uses ‘super-templates’ to create and distribute high-fidelity, on-brand graphics for their network of stations from a single creative hub. 

“We’re supporting seven [new stations], so we have one template that does at least ten different things. Producers can get to what they need faster. They give our users a lot more flexibility and a lot more options to use the graphics they want to use” 
— John Robbins, Graphics System Specialist, Graham Media Group

Watch the video below to see how Graham Media use XPression to enable more creativity and better storytelling with fewer resources: 

Strategy 3: Virtually Expand Studios 

In a traditional newsroom studio, most on-camera elements are also present in real life, on a physical set. Virtual studios use chroma keying to blend real-life elements (such as reporters and news desks) with interactive and digital multimedia visuals, and augmented reality elements. 

This strategy is already popular in sports broadcasting and weather reporting, where meteorologists frequently present the weather in front of a greenscreen, with visual elements like graphical representations of weather, maps, and real-time data being added digitally. However, this technology isn’t limited to the weather — it can enhance election coverage, sports stories, and other segments with sophisticated graphics that would be impossible to replicate on a real-life set. 

News stations like Servus TV/Red Bull Media have achieved incredible results using virtual studios powered by Ross Video’s technology, including XPression, Voyager and Lucid.  

Learn more about how virtual studios can be a strategic advantage for modern newsrooms in this article.

Balancing an Adaptive, Creative, Competitive Newsroom 

One thing is constant in news production: change. 

There is no playbook for succeeding in news because success is not static; the bar for quality is always rising. To rise above the competition, your station must be able to adapt to and embrace change. Consumer behavior and audience patterns are short-lived, so appealing to viewers has less to do with a one-time change and more to do with having the agility to change constantly. 

Ross Video’s newsroom solutions are designed to work together seamlessly (together or as part of a multi-vendor stack) to help stations create the accurate, compelling news broadcasts audiences expect, without crushing their teams. 

You do more than just deliver news. The ‘fourth estate’ is responsible for educating and engaging a population that is swamped with misinformation and propaganda, from often very questionable resources with far less integrity or concern for accuracy.   

The only way to keep up with that media tidal wave, newsrooms must invest in technology that allows them to be flexible, efficient, and creative, without crushing their teams.  

To learn more about how Ross Video solutions help news broadcasters big and small find the right technology to bring their stories to life, reach out to one of our production experts here.

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