If you happened to read my interview Jan. 15 with CNN’s Michael Koetter “Rethinking TV News For Digital Realities,” you may have conceptually understood the idea of a story-centric approach to news creation, but perhaps you have had a hard time visualizing what that actually looks like.
A day after that story ran, I received an email from Joe Trainor, X-Art ProDivision sales director, who sells a product called x.news, which happens to be a cloud-based app that enables a story-centric workflow.
I certainly am not endorsing this product, but x.news may be getting closer to what Koetter was talking about in the interview — both from the point of view of managing multiple news resources and transitioning to a time when digital is every bit as important as the on-air product.
The x.news product tackles the tough issue of aggregating disparate news resources, including wire services, Twitter feeds, the Web, still images, newsroom computer content and video clips — all things that currently exist in distinct data silos, within easy reach of journalists from a single interface.
Reporters and producers can instruct x.news to bring all of these disparate resources together for a reporter assigned to cover a specific story topic simply by doing a search on the topic’s keyword.
During my phone call today with Trainor and Simon Andrews, a former BBC journalist involved with that news organization’s transition to digital and now a consultant to X-Art ProDivision, the pair demoed how a journalist using x.news could enter a search term, such as “State of the Union Address” and immediately be presented with the wire stories, Tweets, images and other editorial resources related to the speech as they become available.
A reporter assigned to the speech, would have the ability to choose which elements will help in creating a story and drag them down to a work area at the bottom of the interface. There, the reporter can begin writing the story and move the text along with any other editorial elements to the desired publishing platform used to disseminate the story to the public — whether it’s a newsroom computer or a digital platform like Facebook.
In the words of Trainor, x.news allows “the story to become the hub from which everyone publishes regardless of the output.” It also reduces the chance multiple reporters are working on the same story and speeds up story creation, he added.
So far, x.news has been tightly integrated with German newsroom system ANNOVA Systems. Others integrations are possible, Trainor said.
Take a look at the interface. While Koetter and CNN are not affiliated in any way with x.news, the product may make it a bit easier to grasp the concepts he discussed in last week’s interview.
An online video explaining x.news is also available for those who want more information.