Never has an industry evolved so quickly.
Over hundreds of years, the world of print has been a continuous source of innovation – one that has moved so rapidly, that there are few journalists who operate now in the same way as they did when they first started.
Publishing software is littered with time-honoured terms: slug, case, press, spike…all echoing manual operations that were in place not that long ago.
Technology, however, is part of the journalistic toolset and will never replace the craft of investigation, uncovering the truth and giving a voice to the public.
But it is however, changing the way journalists work, source information and go to print.
Journalism and Covid-19
A job that already required a high level of speed and focus, had the valve tightened with little respite throughout 2020.
The restrictions certainly presented an obstacle or three, but what was more evident, was that news levels were reaching critical and facts and figures were changing on an hourly basis – all making a difficult job even harder to perform.
Earlier in the year, Forbes reported that journalists were turning to RPA to help them streamline their processes, for example in producing their marketing reports as well as handling responses to enquiries.
AI is also playing a significant role for many journalists in the rapid abstraction of data (along with a certain level of analysis) as reported by the BBC’s NewsLabs division – this also brought attention to the many ways in which technology has facilitated communications and fact sharing throughout this difficult year.
How Have Communications Changed?
Of course, one of the biggest developments we’ve seen this year, is the move to a predominantly online world as a means of coming together while in isolation.
And audiences have been very forgiving of this: while home lighting may not be up to studio scratch, the fact of the matter is, we are all in this together and the virtual, is indeed, our reality.
Moreover, this rather resourceful approach has opened doors in terms of diversifying those who we connect with and who we can bring to the table.
Just recently, Microsoft Announced Teams now has more than 115 million daily active users (up from 75 million daily active users reported back in April 2020):
“When the pandemic first instigated a global shift to remote work, videoconferencing emerged as an immediate solution to work-from-home restrictions. But as the initial era of ‘remote everything’ has given way to durable, hybrid models of work and learning, we’ve entered a new digital age that is completely transforming how we work and learn—today and for the next decade.”
Microsoft Teams for Journalists
Microsoft Teams is much more than a video conferencing tool – and this is a major reason as to why millions are choosing to use it on a daily basis.
Furthermore, Teams has some more specific features, allowing journalists to streamline the processes involved in going to print:
Using Teams, interviews can be conducted online, recorded and saved, not just making it easier to search and reference conversations but it also makes individuals a lot less reliant on specific reporters’ documentation and shorthand.
Meetings can also be recorded so if an editor is unable to make the next update, they can simply catch up with everything through Stream.
Recorded calls are automatically transcribed making it easy to search for specific quotes for articles. Recordings can also be played back at half speed, helping junior reporters with their shorthand.
And audio files can be uploaded into Microsoft Word for length quotes – or even full transcriptions – making interview transcription and analysis much more time-efficient.
Security is a fundamental part of Teams’ architecture. Calls, meetings and recordings cannot be hacked and all Teams to Teams calls (including guests using the Teams web application) are encrypted.
Retention policies for backup can also be clearly defined. This means, if you need a secure backup of a document that no one can delete, or if you need to permanently delete a document to protect a source, we can ensure you have the correct setup in place. Office365 DLP policies can prevent data that has been classified as ‘sensitive’ to an organisation from leaving the organisation.
With SharePoint integration, Teams gives file sharing options with collaborative viewing and editing, allowing editors to check copy in progress should they need to.
Teams allows for webinars as well as live discussions and events, ideal for creating an online platform for communities to come together for discussion, questions, talks and education.
And with Custom Layouts, presentations can be much more tailored for your organisation.
Set Your Status
Working to a tight deadline? Teams allows users to set their status so that they won’t be disturbed when writing last minute copy to a tight deadline.
Meetings at the click of a button
Share knowledge and keep relevant files together within separate channels across the newsroom. Meetings with section editors can be organised at the click of a button, for dailies as well as breaking news events.
For more complex features, designers can use the screenshare function within Teams to get guidance from their editors. This function can also be used for on the spot cutting and editing to avoid the back and forth of emails and page pdfs.
There are multiple times throughout a journalist’s day when you need to share something quickly or ask an urgent question. Teams Chat is perfect for this and can be directed at a specific group of people or individuals depending on what you need. This also helps reporters get what they need, as well as see who’s available at a particular time. These notifications can also be turned off for interviews or simply when you don’t want to be disturbed.
Back Up Shorthand Notes
Shorthand is an incredibly useful tool and there are certain instances where it has to be used. However, keeping piles of shorthand notebooks around the office is neither secure, nor practical. Microsoft Office Lens will convert all of your notes to PDFs just by taking a simple picture, giving you a soft copy which, with the right infrastructure in place, can be backed up securely. Speak to us about Veeam backup for Microsoft Office 365, to find out more.
A New Digital Era
It’s clear, 2020 has brought with it many new challenges. However, it has also opened many doors and allowed us to find new ways of working and connecting with each other.
And technology is wonderful for empowering industries to help them do what they do best – and get the most value out of their time.
Find Out More
Read more about the different features within Microsoft Teams as well as how different applications can be integrated into the platform.