Building New Real-Time News Products

by Gregory Bruno |  April 28, 2020

Since launching its Covid-19 Live Blog early last year, NTB, Norway’s leading news agency, has continued to integrate the live blogging platform into its editorial workflow.  

New Live Blogs have included a December 2020 feed to report on the aftermath of a massive landslide near Oslo, and another in January to report on the riots at the US capital.

For editors in Oslo, this has enabled more immersive storytelling, bringing clients and their readers richer content in a more efficient, streamlined process. 

“In the last year we’ve been a lot more focused on news bulletins and live coverage,” says NTB technology and development editor Magnus Aabech, who is spearheading the agency’s live blogging strategy. “The format itself has become really important for NTB based on client feedback. And, with the Superdesk-Live Blog integration that we launched in early 2020, we can give clients what they want in an easy-to-digest and publish format.”

Replicating Benefits: Building New Products and Services

Because the integration with Live Blog is CMS-agnostic – it can be configured with any content management system – news producers of any size can use the Live Blog platform in much the same way as NTB. For instance, if a news agency or other content creator was covering their region’s elections, stories from their CMS could be published to their Live Blog via an API, and this content could then be syndicated to subscribers as an extra service. 

This is exactly what the NTB Sports Desk is doing. During the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships this winter, an NTB reporter worked the event live, providing readers with real-time coverage of the races and events. Editors, meanwhile, were able to feed the Live Blog with articles and features sent directly from the CMS. And because Live Blog enables multiple users to work together on a single blog, NTB’s photographers were able to file their pictures directly to the Live Blog, providing on-the-ground insights that not even the television networks could manage. 

Together, this collection of live updates, fresh photos, and in-depth reporting gave readers comprehensive coverage of one of skiing’s most important annual events. It also became another product NTB offers its customers.

“The Live Blog integration with our CMS has given us a new area of publishing capability,” says Aabech. “Live Blog is customisable and can do a lot of the work for us. Even internally, it’s been a great way to get people to think more visually about the content we distribute.”

NTB’s Live Blog Journey

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Norway, NTB turned to Live Blog as a means to distribute content quickly and in a more targeted fashion. As Norway’s biggest news agency, NTB’s bread and butter is short wire reports and breaking news, content that was being produced at a rapid clip during the height of the outbreak. But most of NTB’s clients – newspapers, news websites, and other traditional publishers – could only make use of a fraction of the agency’s output. There were simply too many stories on the wire for a news publisher to slot into their website in real-time.

To solve this challenge, NTB technologists, working with Sourcefabric, developed a simple configuration to connect Superdesk, the newsroom’s CMS, with Live Blog, our professional live blogging platform. The goal was to make it easy for NTB’s content users to integrate curated blog feeds into their own website, eliminating the need to trawl the NTB wire and update content throughout the day. Clients could either embed the NTB Live Blog feed directly into their website, or, by using an API, adjust the look and feel of the NTB Live Blog to match their own visual brand.

“Live Blog has allowed us to provide our clients and subscribers with richer content, mixing photos, graphics, and visually driven elements in a single feed,” says Aabech. “It’s really been a great way to tailor content to our clients’ needs, and to find new ways to deliver our journalism.”

To do more with less, news organisations need tools that increase efficiencies and streamline content output. Tools like Live Blog can help.

Looking for a better live blogging solution? Try out Live Blog from Sourcefabric for seven days free, no strings attached. Get your trial version here.

Ready to begin liveblogging?

Getting started has never been easier.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.