INDEPENDENT news agency, SWNS, has launched a “revolutionary” news content delivery and syndication platform.
Developed with funding from the Google Digital News Initiative (DNI), the service transforms the speed at which contributors can submit, distribute and receive payment for their material.
Begins a spokesperson: “It offers total transparency for professional and amateur photographers, freelancers, eyewitnesses, citizen journalists and corporate syndication partners.
“A sophisticated digital matching system reports usage in ‘real time’ as material is published.
“Nothing as quick, seamless and integrated exists in the current marketplace.”
Once it is fully operational, the system – called SWNS.rocks – will make payments to contributors in under 24 hours.
The AI driven-system, developed by Omni Digital in Bristol, also links together copy, images and video to create packaged news to fit the demands of modern publishers.
This can be delivered via an API directly into content management systems, enabling instant publishing.
Martin Winter, managing editor of SWNS, said: “There has been much talk of citizen journalism but, until now, the reality has fallen short of the promises.
“Powered by the SWNS.rocks engine, a community of creators – supported by the huge editorial team at SWNS – can play a part in shaping the news and can be rewarded within minutes when their images, videos and words are used in the national and international media.
“The system will also bring huge benefits for publishers and we have received very enthusiastic response from publishers who have seen it in action.
“We can now deliver packaged content in a web-ready format which can be published with the click of a button.”
Jon Mills, picture editor at SWNS, added: “The best news pictures come from many different sources, the future of news gathering is always going to be a mix of professional and non-professional creators, we’re confident that we’ve built a system that work for both.
“The digital news business demands that we deliver content at great speed. We’re grateful to Google for providing the funding so we can achieve this.
“It is really exciting to be able to bring the benefits of innovation to our many talented contributors and many we are yet to find.”
Sam Hearn, managing director of Omni Digital, said: “Rarely does any company get the opportunity to innovate at this scale within an established industry like journalism – so we’ve really enjoyed the task SWNS set us.
“Understanding a business like SWNS, operating as it does in a rapidly-changing industry, was possibly our greatest challenge. SWNS allowed us to use innovative consultancy methods – like staff shadowing and agile rapid product development – to fundamentally understand their processes and the flow of their underlying data.
“The system transmits content to news desks in a faster, more holistic manner than ever achieved before.
“Through creative use of cloud infrastructure, machine learning, and automation, our platform gives SWNS and its partners and clients unprecedented control over the use of their content in real-time and at a scale that meets the requirements of the online publishing market.
“We’re delighted to be a part of something which helps local news publishers, contributors and local news heroes find their voice in the national and online publishing space.
“We’re also delighted that this ground-breaking innovation comes from Bristol – yet more proof of the thriving, creative and forward-thinking nature of the region’s tech scene.”
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