NAB 2017: How leading TV broadcasters organise their workflows

By   |   April 13th, 2017   |   Reading time: 4 minutes Digital Journalism

Ahead of the NAB show in Las Vegas later this month, we found out some more about leading production system for broadcasters.

ENPS is a market leading news production system, used by broadcasters to create their on-air packages, and to create the run-downs on TV.

We talked to ENPS VP & General Manager Brian Hopman to find out more about how leading newsrooms and broadcasters use ENPS systems to coordinate how they reach their viewers on air, and what challenges modern broadcast newsrooms face in their workflows.

NewsWhip and the Associated Press will be at the NAB Show in Las Vegas later this month to showcasing technology solutions for newsrooms – if you’re planning on travelling, be sure to get in touch in advance. 

Can you describe what ENPS does, and how it’s used at TV stations?

ENPS is a system that’s at the heart of around 900 newsrooms around the world. Principally, it’s used by broadcast newsrooms. It’s the central place that people come to create their content, where stories are written and the order of output for broadcast is managed.

ENPS in use in a newsroom

ENPS plays a critical role in live broadcast and live events because it talks with all of the other devices that help put those programmes on air. As well as that, it serves as a research and collaboration tool, and it has a full feature set of mobile applications that go with it to help journalists to access the information in real time.

Is this almost a CMS for broadcasters?

It’s almost like a CMS on steroids, because it handles broadcast workflows. The on-air piece involves run-downs – preparing an ordered list of what goes on and when.

In addition to writing, creating and packaging that content in our system, our system integrates with broadcast technology such as video servers, asset management systems, on-screen graphics and teleprompters. That means that when a broadcast is going out on the air, the producer is running the show from inside the system.

That’s at the heart of it, but because broadcast isn’t just about TV anymore, we have other areas such as social media integrations and APIs.

Do users also get a content feed inside the system?  

You can use our system without being a subscriber to AP content. It’s a production tool beyond anything else, but it does work very well by bringing those feeds into it.

ENPS has been built for the modern newsroom – does this consolidate things for editors?

Yes. I think there’s a natural fit in bringing rich analytics and insights into a tool where journalists are spending a lot of their day. Through the years, we’ve brought in current news information, but we haven’t cracked in to bringing in data that might help them makes decisions about what content is trending, or help them to make decisions about what they should be devoting their resources towards.

Some of the insights available through Spike and other NewsWhip products make an awful lot of sense to appear within the journalists’ workflow. I think it’s also important to get that data out to the wider newsroom, and not just the person who’s in charge of analytics.

What are the challenges that the newsrooms you work with face?

A lot of them are faced with the challenge that the digital and broadcast teams within their organisations are using different tools, are sitting far away from each other, and have very different workflows. That leads to overlap and inefficiencies in work.

Many broadcasters are very strong online. Figuring out how to make sure that they’re competing strongly online is a key concern. Anything that extends the digital capabilities of the broadcast native teams seems to have a lot of appeal in every newsroom.

How do journalists use the service in the field?

You could take the example of ESPN, which uses ENPS at their headquarters in Connecticut, and they have journalists dispersed around the country and the world. In the case of covering an event like the Super Bowl, they’ll set up a remote mini newsroom, and they’ll connect their team using ENPS so they work seamlessly with the team back at headquarters.

AP's ENPS mobile screens. (Photo by Santos Chaparro)

Another use case is that they could have a single reporter out in the field doing a live shot. They can open our system on their iPad and follow along with the broadcast that they are contributing to. They can write their script there, use it as a prompter, and they could also decide to capture some extra video, and upload it into ENPS.

It works in the field very much as it would back at headquarters.

NewsWhip and the Associated Press will be at the NAB show in Las Vegas, from April 24 to April 26 2017. Get in touch if you’d like to meet and learn more about how leading broadcasters use our technology. 

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