4 Great Tools to Improve Your Newsroom

Staying informed is extremely important. Many people rely on sources such as their social media news feeds to stay abreast of what’s going on in the world. If the news is being reported by reputable news sources, which factors facts into their reporting, this can be a good thing. If, however, your social media profiles are filled with unproven and non-factual “news’” stories, then that can be a bit more problematic. The best way to get the type of content that you need and to receive objective news is to find those sources that have a dependable newsroom. A newsroom is an area in a newspaper, magazine, or broadcast news office where the news is disseminated, written about, and edited. These places are the lifeblood for many newsgathering organizations and provide the relevant content that you need to keep abreast of what’s happening.

Though the newsrooms of many publications work towards the same goal (disseminating news content that comes replete with credibility), they do so in different ways. The practices or how news is broadcast at CNN are going to be a little different than how it’s done at another newspaper, like The New York Times. For those seeking the best way to produce this type of content, we’ll provide some tools which you can use to improve your newsroom.

1. Technology


Advancements in technology have changed news reporting methods for many organizations. For those organizations who’ve been able to keep up with such advancements, it has spelled continued success in getting out their reporting to readers and viewers. For example, one popular technological component which has been used by newsrooms to improve workflow is VDP software (Variable Data Printing software). A VDP solution can be utilized to help newsroom editors and graphic design artists streamline their news campaigns and keep up with the rising volume of graphics required for multi-channel publishing.

The software also allows for building a powerful and flexible document editing solution that runs in a computer browser, while also converting static documents into smart templates. This system fit allows end-users self-service, no matter what their particular skill level is when using this software. Other forms of technology that are used in newsrooms include social media platforms such as Slack, Tweetdeck, Buffer, Social Flow, Twitter, Facebook, and Chartbeat. Many Microsoft Office programs are also utilized by many journalists to report the news. Keeping up with technology advancements is a great way to improve your newsroom.

2. Employee Engagement

As with any business, your employees are the lifeblood of your company. The best way to ensure that your newsroom stays in the best condition is to ensure that your news organization thrives is to promote employee engagement. This is a great way to keep a quality workflow moving in your newsroom, so stories can continue to be reported about in a timely manner. When you institute an employee advocacy program you’re making sure that you are opening a valuable line of communication. This allows for you to receive insights on what your newsroom is doing well, along with what’s not working.

Having the intuition of tenured reporters and other newsroom workers at your disposal can help your newsroom to grow. Creating an employee advocate position allows for the concerns and feedback of your newsroom workers can be heard. An employee advocate might be a good way to encourage such engagement. Employee engagement is a great tool that can be used to improve your newsroom and boost employee retention.

3. Transparency


As mentioned before, when seeking those tools to improve your newsroom, you can install the best technology in the news reporting, including programs like Workiva. You can also improve employee engagement in your office. At the end of the day though, one of the best ways that you can continue to improve your newsroom is through audience engagement. Your newsroom is providing a service to readers, through news reporting. You have to stay connected to your readers, and a great way to do this is by being transparent.

One of the criticisms often lobbed at many news organizations is that they have a bias in their reporting—they’re too far left or they’re too far right. They represent this corporate entity or that corporate entity. A way that you can ensure that these criticisms aren’t lobbed at your newsroom is to be transparent with how such stories are curated and reported on. Providing insights into how “the sausage is made” (so to speak) goes a long way in ensuring trust with your readers or viewers. It might even help to change your company culture for the better.

4. Hope

It might sound a bit sappy, but we need hope in our newsrooms now more than ever. As mentioned before, many people get their news from social networks. These sources are often biased, not trustworthy, inflammatory, and biased. Rather than reporting what’s actually happening, these news sources browbeat readers into seeing a skewed version of the world. This can be extremely daunting to reporters and journalists who have made it their career to report the truth. As a newsroom director, do your best to bring hope back to your newsroom to ensure that the facts are what is relayed to your readers.