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Case Study

Newsdesk drives BBC’s ambitious collaborative journalism platform

The StreamAMG Newsdesk platform has been in the spotlight as the New York Times and others reported on the BBC’s Local News Partnerships to support regional journalism.

The stories focus on the LNP’s editorial impact in the face of dramatic changes to the economics of local media. But there’s another angle to the story: how StreamAMG technology enables the BBC to deliver content in one of the world’s largest collaborative journalism projects.

The LNP is a hugely ambitious project that uses BBC resources to foster independent local reporting by other media organisations. In just over a year, a national public service news agency has been created from scratch, local newspaper reporters have started to work alongside BBC staff for the first time, and BBC news video is being seen by the online audiences of local newspapers and broadcasters.

“This level of coverage has never been undertaken by any news agency,” Matthew Barraclough, BBC Head of Local News Partnerships, told NiemanLab.

How it works

Functioning like a newswire, the LNP features a News Hub which offers approved partners from the regional media access to BBC TV news content shortly after first transmission. It also features the Local Democracy Reporting Service, via which up to 150 reporters upload content for use by partners. The LNP produced over 50,000 stories in its first year, with reporters now filing around 6,000 stories each month.

So how do you share so much content among almost 900 local news organisations from Aberaeron to York? The answer is StreamAMG Newsdesk, which drives both News Hub and the Local Democracy Reporting Service. Newsdesk lets regional reporters download BBC content and upload their own with minimal technical training.

When the BBC Media Factory produces content, the BBC Content Ingestion System enables it to be processed and published through Newsdesk. It provides flexible features including notification when content has been successfully received, processed and syndicated.

Content owners’ digital rights are protected through integrated third party authentication. Authoring and editing tools, including multi-language support, enable users to create and share their own content. Downloads can be searched, filtered, previewed and accessed in multiple formats.

“This takes us a step closer towards an exciting time for local journalism,” said David Holdsworth, speaking when he was Controller of BBC English Regions at the time of the LNP launch. “StreamAMG currently helps the BBC World Service deliver content to its network of partners and we’re confident it will provide a simple and smart solution for domestic news providers too.”

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