Sushil Shetty
President of Sahana Films Private Limited,
Jai Maharashtra and Sahana News

Of Shrinking Newsrooms, Smart Technology, And Evolving Newsrooms

Being a regional channel newsroom, we always tend to look at workflows from a relatively different perspective. Ease of doing business, has to be less complicated demanding fewer clicks.

As we speak, our television channel Jai Maharashtra’s newsroom and content management system is going through a churn.

Technology has undergone a sea change in the modern newsrooms. It is the hybrid newsroom with digital content gathering and processing systems that has overtaken the traditional ones.

Stories from the traditional newsrooms and channel playout systems speak volumes about the lag in acceptance and adaptation to the newer methods of integrating the workflows.

The way we hear and see news has been drastically changed with the introduction of path changing enhancements with image and voice recognition softwares and devices. Technology innovators are seeing a major opportunity in both content gathering and their dissemination methods. Technologies related to consumption of content have far more acceptance than the pre-publishing methods, within the current media organizations.

If the current challenge is to be mitigated, then the gap between old school and the millennial generation, has to be addressed by acclimatization and training while on the go.

Already shrinking newsrooms have announced that the future of button-based production control
rooms will be out of touch. That is the beginning of the era of swipe-based or touch-based content consumption.

The best times are for the newly emerging newsrooms that can afford to go with future ready artificially intelligent newsrooms with a scope of scalability of 3D content presenting abilities.

The older newsrooms have to face the challenge of unlearning, phasing out and adapting to the digital and smart phone friendly consumption patterns. Archiving and migration from older formats to high-definition and 4K will be a tough ask.

Regional channels in particular have to adapt to the change faster.

The way reporters have become multimedia and multi-dimensional professionals for digital newsrooms, cameramen have to adapt to be all-rounders.

The sudden shift from outdoor broadcast vans to internet bandwidth dependent backpacks have posed dramatic challenges for newsroom environments. We see that satellite bandwidth has become a thing of past as multiple options have emerged as newsgathering systems.

We are keen to see if smart phones with multiple sim-cards can multiplex two or more signals to improve the available bandwidths.

Above all, the faster the rate of improvements in creating sophisticated and sharper cameras built in smart phones, the easier will be methods of electronic news gathering.

Another major benefit that we are seeing in modern newsrooms is the technology with which fake or morphed images could be flagged even before or while they are used for faking news. With the use of technology if we could address a large part of this problem, before human intervention ensures its cleansing, it would be a trend setter.

Smaller, smarter, and simpler newsroom technologies to address the evolutionary challenges of news gathering and dissemination are the need of the hour. It is for the wizards of technology simplifiers in the broadcast industry to come up with easy to use technologies that address these concerns in one or few bundles.

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