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How are media companies moving forward in the digital age?

A common theme in the modern analysis of journalism is that the old ways of production and distribution are falling apart and taking the traditional models with them. Some of the brightest minds in international media recently gathered in London for the Journalism Innovation Summit to demonstrate how this shift has opened the door to creative destruction that fosters both innovative production and distribution.

How do media companies innovate? It’s about going out of their comfort zones and not just following the pack. That was one of the principle messages of the summit hosted by City University London. Björn Rosenthal, Strategic Product Manager at DW, was at the summit as part of an expert panel titled, “How news organizations are pushing innovative forms of content.” During his presentation, Rosenthal introduced DW’s development of new media, including mobile apps and how DW is improving second screen functionality to enhance audience experience with linear television content. The panel was moderated by Nathalie Malinarich, Mobile Editor of BBC News Online. Other panel speakers included Nate Lanxon, Senior Editor at Bloomberg Media and Subhajit Banerjee from the Guardian.

“Innovative work really depends on the participants,” said Rosenthal. “We work hand in hand with the editorial team to think about what could come up next – because this differs around the world.” After the panel discussion, Rosenthal led an app development workshop using the  DW app as an example. He emphasized the apps must have features for all types of audiences from the high level of functionality provided by the Apple Watch to offline and text modes for mobile apps. He also introduced the new DW app, which will be available for download for Apple and Android devices in June. The app is more user-friendly and packed with new functions like chromcast that transfers audio and video content directly to a TV, push-notifications for breaking news, offline, and low-bandwidth text mode.

Sponsoring partners of the Journalism Innovation Summit include Wayra, Telefónica’s startup accelerator and BBC News Labs.


2015-05-15 | 2:33



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Where does the rabbit hole of user generated content lead?

runde_mod3_2_rbWilfried Runde

Head of Innovation Projects at DW

Couch potatoes aren’t inactive anymore. The days of uninterrupted attention are long gone, replaced by multi-device interaction on a massive scale. On average,  61 percent of TV viewers worldwide scan more than one glowing rectangle at a time. For news broadcasters to fully realize the potential of using the second screen, it is important to maintain a high-standard of conversation and discourse as a complement to informational content rather than simply providing an expansion on entertainment.

The advantages of using the second screen to both expand the audience base while providing them with a richer user experience will best be realized if the conversation takes place in an information-rich and well-organized environment.

Building and maintaining high-standard second screen platforms is a new part of the journalistic responsibility for accuracy and verification as the public forum has moved away from editorial pages and onto social networks. In contrast to the anarchy of the comments section, developing the conscientious use of the second screen as a public forum and promoting an intelligent exchange is an important value of public service media.

So what is next for the second screen? The EU co-funded project SAM (Socialising Around Media) is developing a Social Media delivery platform based on second screen and content syndication. It delivers content to the user rather than the user having to “pull” relevant material from digital sources and social networks. Since there are currently no standards for users, SAM aims to develop a standardized way to discover and syndicate media content interactively while providing users with content that is directed at their interests without them having to search for it manually. One part of this is creating dynamic social “hangouts” where people share interests, socialize and build virtual communities.

But the second screen is more than just a one way street and it has long been a way to access users’ thoughts, opinions and approval. It is also a place to mine for content and create real-time user experiences based on what is happening on television and on the streets. But broadcaster beware: How can we ensure that everything that is contributed is real and not some type of catfish scheme?

Here is where verification comes in. The REVEAL project focuses on verification technologies, tools and strategies in order to help journalists identify trustworthy user generated content on social networks. This includes assessing aspects such as the credibility of contributors, their reputation and influence, the quality of content items, establishing the right context and much more.

For journalists and broadcasters alike, mastering the flow of content through online networks is a primary focus of development and innovation. DW’s Innovation team is contributing to projects like SAM and Reveal to make sure the future of digital media looks as bright as we think it should.


2014-10-29 | 9:49



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