REVOLUTIONIZING SWISS NEWS
How 20 Minuten Became a Rich-Media Powerhouse
STRAWBERRY AND SKIES BY PROJECTIVE HELP MODERNIZE EDITORIAL WORKFLOWS
20 Minuten is the most popular news medium in Switzerland with over 1 million print readers and online users across all three parts of the country. Its media brands deliver news from home and abroad, politics, business, sport and personalities. The heart of 20 Minutes lies within the modern newsroom of the TX Group wooden building in Zurich, where a young, committed, curious and creative editorial team works around the clock to provide the right mix of news and entertainment, available at any time via newspaper, web and mobile app. With a large audience and a young approach, the outlet prides itself in informing Switzerland as quickly as possible, always offering a neutral, non-judgemental perspective.
Over the past few years, the 20 Minuten newsroom has been transformed to meet the needs of an increasingly connected audience and with the explosion of video consumption and become a rich-media organization. Their technical team focused on modernizing their workflows and technology to give each editorial team the competence to produce their own video content.
- Traditional broadcast technology was no longer flexible or responsive enough
- Editorial chaos with an “each to their own” approach to editing projects
- Time wasted locating existing content
- Non-existent framework for remote editing and collaboration
- Strawberry’s independent framework provided the foundation to build scalable workflows
- Efficient structure production makes it easy to find content from previous projects
- Strawberry’s Contextual Search empowers editors to find raw material based on project context
- Efficient remote access and editing capabilities with Skies by Projective
THE CHALLENGE: Introducing Editorial Structure
Refreshing their traditional video infrastructure was the key requirement that the company’s Strategic Projects team needed to tackle to meet the constantly evolving demands of an expanding audience. With new consumption habits, content had to be made available anytime, anywhere across a wide range of devices, and this could only be achieved with the right technology solutions in place.
Secondly, there was a need to remove editorial chaos from the newsroom. Until then each editor or reporter would take a local project approach to story production working on their own workstation with local projects. This meant content was not easy to find or manage, collaboration was difficult and media would be spread everywhere, from project volumes to local laptops to removable drives. This was exacerbated during breaking news, when the need to deliver the story to viewers as soon as possible introduced further turmoil.
THE SOLUTION: Collaboration at the Core
With these requirements, in 2019, 20 Minuten engaged system integrator Jordi AG to build the infrastructure that could address such challenges. Together with 20 Minuten’s internal strategic projects team, they created a highly customized solution composed of very specific technology pieces that delivered their desired results.
As part of this technology overhaul, Strawberry by Projective was introduced to bring editorial structure to the newsroom, providing a framework for shared projects. The collaboration platform underpins all post-production workflows at 20 Minuten’s newsroom in Zurich, integrated with ten Adobe© Premiere Pro editors and an additional five remote Premiere workstations.
Newsroom users arrive from the field with their newly acquired content. With Strawberry they generate a new project, which is automatically set up based on templates, and ingest their content into centralized storage, making it immediately available for editing with Premiere. Once editing is complete, the piece can be exported and published. Teams are also able to quickly find existing content and recover old projects easily.
Efficient collaboration is where Strawberry has had a major impact in the 20 Minuten newsroom. When a piece of content needs to be taken over by another editor, or changes are required after the initial edit, Strawberry makes it extremely easy to pick up an existing project and continue working with all of the required assets.
Users enjoy features such as linking media from existing projects into their new project, as well as having a thumbnail preview of all projects so you can scroll through and quickly locate what you need.
Ultimately, Strawberry enables editorial teams to work faster and eliminate time-wasting steps that previously dogged the newsroom. No more frantic searching for that piece of raw footage from two months ago, making space when local drives are full, deleting old projects or, even worse, having to go out to buy a new external drive.
“We are very happy with Projective and their remote support. If we have an issue, they have an answer for us almost immediately.”
Lisa Flagmeier, Video technician, 20 Minuten
WORKING REMOTELY: Skies Are No Limit
Recently the 20 Minuten team has been looking at ways to enable users to edit remotely off their production storage, to allow editors to work from any location with their Adobe Premiere client, when needed. Skies by Projective provides this connectivity, enabling remote users to securely connect to the on-site media infrastructure and internal project structure, without the need for technical expertise or VPN access.
And unlike other offerings in the market, you do not need to provide separate cloud storage to manage the flow of material between locations – it’s all taken care of by Skies.
With this connectivity, users can download the entire Adobe project onto their laptop, continue to work from home or on the road, and only synchronize the changes back to the facility. Equally, they can start a new project remotely and Skies takes care of uploading all the content back to Strawberry.
PARTNERING FOR SUCCESS
20 Minuten had specific workflows and integration needs, and the Projective team has worked closely with them over the years to ensure that their needs were met. The openness of the Strawberry framework lends itself to taking user input that helps the roadmap to deliver practical benefits.
“The Projective team listens to our feedback – this is something we don’t see often. With other vendors, you ask for a new feature, which goes on their backlog and may show up two years later. Projective took our input onboard and made significant improvements to the product, transforming a project based on its real business needs – this has been truly helpful and unique.”
Beat Krapf, Head of Strategic Projects & New Business
CEO Office, 20 Minuten
Going forward, 20 Minuten has new strategic projects in the pipeline. One of them is the ability to connect their offices across Switzerland through a federated Strawberry architecture that enables them to share content rather than producing the same video in each bureau. This could potentially include AI-driven speech-to-text transcription, translation and subtitling as part of Strawberry’s metadata.
“Our business is going to evolve a great deal over the next three years and working with Projective gives us the confidence that their offerings will evolve to meet our needs. This futureproofs our technology.”, continues Beat. “It is always difficult to decide whether to build or buy. In 20 Minuten we tend to build our solutions because, often, nothing in the market meets our needs. This is counterproductive because it’s hard to maintain and integrate. With Projective, we know that they will deliver new capabilities quickly and help us achieve our business goals.”