broadcast video

Reuters Can Do It – An Interview With Munira Ibrahim, Global Head of Custom Video Solutions

Elizabeth Koraca - actionElizabeth Koraca

There’s much more to Reuters than the traditional wire service. As Global Head of Custom Video Solutions at Reuters News Agency, Munira Ibrahim manages three different departments within content solutions which help agency clients to produce exclusive content, and also produce content for broadcasters and brands.

We asked her whether she is tapping into a growing market.

I come from a broadcast background, so when I arrived at Reuters I was impressed by the infrastructure but realised that we need to further enhance it to make it more customer centric, as well as hire more broadcast journalists. I love what I do here at Reuters. It’s a brand that has credibility around the world and that can open so many doors for us, and our partners too. The reason we think there is a growing market for producing bespoke content is because of the demand for international coverage. Broadcasters come to Reuters and we can produce content or cover events or breaking news on their behalf, while utilising our access and global infrastructure to do so. We produce content in multiple languages, so we work with a variety of clients across the globe and we produce lives, updates from various locations, or fully finished programmes. Reuters has nearly 200 locations around the globe, so we can leverage this infrastructure. If there’s a breaking news story in Tunisia and our client doesn’t have a presence there, we can use a Reuters journalist to report live for our clients. That saves them money and we’re ensuring that our content and our people are being effectively utilised.

How does what you’re doing differ from the traditional TV wire service that you have?

Reuters World News service (the TV wire) is extensive raw footage, with video constantly arriving from our video journalists around the world, covering a whole range of topics and events. It is available to all clients in a non-customised form. Custom Video Solutions edits, packages and customises content for the client. For example, Kimberley Lim’s package for a client won’t be seen anywhere else (Kimberley heads up our team in London). This is different to the World News Service content where the broadcaster or media publisher will take the video and package it as their own. In most cases we commission new content specifically for our clients.

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Kimberley Lim

Do those clients know what they actually want?

It varies. Sometimes they have a very specific need and know exactly where they want to go but just don’t have the resources to do it. One of the big projects this year was a channel who had the studios and systems in place, but didn’t quite have the people in place to actually get going. So we launched the channel for them and that meant flying out 19 people who had the expertise to get the programme on air, on time and on budget. We continue to produce an additional one and a half hours’ worth of programming from London, which enhances their programming schedule. We built a new studio for the client and leveraged Reuters resources to help them launch the channel. On another occasion it was a very specific brief: “We need to have a live news and market update from these very specific locations, can you do that?” Our answer was “Yes, we can.”

Where does editorial control lie?

Editorial control remains with Reuters journalists: we abide by the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Everything we report is balanced, objective and unbiased. We adhere to the Trust Principles at all times, but if the client decides they don’t want to broadcast a particular piece of content, they can make that choice. We also have to follow our editorial guidelines. This makes us stronger because people know what Reuters stands for, it gives us and our clients credibility. There are some broadcasters who specifically want to work with us as it will give their news operations further credibility: because it’s the Reuters team producing the content. I think the only time that we’ve had challenges is with coverage of protests. We had to say: “Unfortunately this is it. This is how the rest of the world is reporting it. This is how we’re going to report it. You can choose not to air it.” And they didn’t. People take us seriously. For me it’s a must that we have to comply with the editorial integrity guidelines.

Does the Reuters brand appear on all work?

It varies. It really does depend on the client. Some clients want to utilise the Reuters brand, while others have their own branding. We are able to give clients a choice because the content we deliver is in line with the Trust Principles.

So if I wanted to set up an international TV news station, I could come to you?

Yes, and we’ve already done this. We offer end-to-end solutions, from the very first stages of building studios and setting up technical infrastructure, to training, branding and enhancing coverage through Reuters News Service and custom programming. A couple of weeks ago I met with someone who wanted to launch a TV channel but didn’t quite know how to go about it. Maybe they’ll use our services, but in any case it starts a conversation, it’s a door opener. Even if it doesn’t lead to us launching the channel, hopefully it will lead to us providing content for them. But mostly it is about supporting our existing clients, enabling them to do things more cost-effectively while improving their coverage and programming. One example is COP21, the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. We can support our broadcast clients by providing custom content for them so that they don’t need to send teams of people to cover the event. Another example is a client who sent over 200 staff out to the World Cup, but still commissioned us to do a series in the run-up to it. There’s a lot that the Custom Video Solutions team can do to help broadcasters, from new startups to established partners, there is a plethora of ways we can help them.

So is Reuters becoming a production company?

Yes, absolutely, but the difference is that we have video teams and bureaux around the world that we are able to utilise, passing on our cost-effectiveness to clients. We don’t need to fly people here there and everywhere, as the chances are we already have a team on the ground. Therefore it’s more cost-effective for us to do it than a production house, and clients have confidence in our quality and expertise. Additionally, because we already have people there, we can utilise their local expertise and the global recognition of the Reuters brand to gain access to events and high profile personalities.

Where’s the biggest growth?

This year as well as last, the biggest growth has been our work with broadcast clients. Additionally there are opportunities with online publishers. This is something that we haven’t actively gone to market with yet, but we are starting to do so this year. We’re providing video coverage that they can’t necessarily gather themselves.

How do you make your content fit in with the rest of clients’ programming?

It’s constant engagement, which we encourage. We work closely with our clients because we need to understand the context of the programming to ensure the output is relevant to the audience. If we are working with a TV station we often have somebody stationed there as our liaison point so that we understand exactly what they are trying to do.

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Matt Gooderick

What’s your message to broadcasters suffering budget cuts?

We’ve redefined the news agency to better serve broadcasters going through these exact problems. There are a whole host of services and solutions utilising the Reuters network and infrastructure, that our clients can take advantage of. If you have challenges ask us, challenge us. Let us come back to you with a cost-effective solution.

What changes do you see ahead?

We are solutions orientated but as broadcasters are more than just TV now, we also need to think about content for online. I think it’s going to be more graphics-based and focused on shareable content. People want to have multiple views and like to get their news in bitesized chunks. That’s going to be the challenge: how will we deliver to multiple clients in all the different formats that they need to engage with their audiences on multiple platforms. One of the challenges we have is that the broadcasters we work with differ greatly in terms of how far they have progressed and how their audiences engage with content and consume news. However, with our global presence we understand the needs of a given locality and therefore we’re able to tailor solutions that meet their requirements.

Could an organisation like the Huffington Post become a competitor to established broadcasters through a partnership with you?

International online publishers are already competing with established broadcasters. For example, they are equipping their journalists with iPhones to deliver video content. Online publishers partner with us for the quality and breadth of our global coverage and because we have journalists and infrastructure all over the world: the same reason that broadcast channels partner with us.

Munira Ibrahim, thank you.

This interview first appeared in Channel magazine and is published here with their kind agreement. You can view their article here

 

 

Reuters becomes the first news agency to offer up to four simultaneous live video feeds

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Reuters becomes the first news agency to offer up to four simultaneous live video feeds

Reuters is proud to announce the launch of Reuters Live Service PLUS – becoming the first news agency to offer up to four simultaneous live feeds to clients.

Reuters Live Service PLUS allows Reuters television clients who take up the service to choose from three additional live signals over the single live signal offered by Reuters Live Service, giving them and their audience increased access to the people, issues and events that are changing our world – often at the same time.

Delivered over the internet, Reuters Live Service PLUS is the perfect complement to Reuters flagship satellite live service, featuring additional showbiz, sports, regional events and breaking news coverage.

Reuters Live Service PLUS features:

  • More live coverage: Clients can choose from three additional live feeds of the events that matter most to audiences. Reuters is the first news agency to offer more than one live feed to clients at the same time.
  • Never miss a story: Events list, coverage diaries and advisories to aid programme
  • Smooth playout: Delivered over the internet using HTTP Live Streaming and adaptive bit rate technology, ensuring smooth playout.
  • Formats to suit you: Feeds delivered in High Definition through your Reuters server.
  • Help at hand: Direct access to our journalists and a 24/7 global helpline.

(more…)

Reuters-TIMA provides Location Services to over 25 broadcasters across four continents

IMG_0364Since launching in February, Reuters-TIMA has provided global Location Services to over 25 clients across four continents, with CNN, Nippon TV, Euronews and Seven Network among the first broadcasters to use the new service. 

Reuters-TIMA Location Services provides newsgathering facilities and support services on the ground during breaking news stories, most recently the Germanwings crash, the Tunisia museum shooting, border unrest between Saudi Arabia and Yemen as well as migrant boat disasters in the Mediterranean. The service also provides coverage from planned events including the 87th Academy Awards, the recent royal birth of Princess Charlotte, as well as the upcoming UK general election, G7 Summit in Bavaria and Russian Victory Day parade.

Reuters-TIMA Location Services was created in response to the increased demand for live content, combining Reuters’ unparalleled global editorial content, with TIMA’s cutting-edge technology and considerable experience of service delivery for the international media industry. From New York to Moscow and Rio to Singapore, plus a network of Middle Eastern offices, including TIMA’s facilities in Tehran, Reuters-TIMA Location Services has been set up to help broadcasters cover every major world event.

Tim Santhouse, Reuters’ Global Head of Video Products, says: “We’re delighted that such a broad range of broadcasters – large and small, public and commercial – have taken up the service, letting them focus on covering the story while we take care of the operational side, including technical and local knowledge.”

Alla Salehian, CEO of TIMA, says: “With strategically placed broadcast and satellite resources in regional hubs around the world, we’re able to respond quickly to breaking news. Since our partnership launch, the last two months have been exciting and fast-paced, responding to important global stories and working with key broadcasters.”

Find out more about Reuters TIMA location services

Reuters-TIMA hits the red carpet at the Oscars

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Martin Veal not only looks sharp in a tuxedo, he also has the mammoth task of overseeing coverage of special events for Reuters-TIMA Location Services. We asked him to keep a diary detailing our coverage of the Oscars, the inaugural event of our partnership.

Friday February 20th

The eyes of the world will be on Los Angeles this weekend as the 87th Academy Awards take place in Hollywood.  Reuters-TIMA Location Services have landed in California and begun to set up the live facilities on site.  This is the exciting culmination of weeks of careful planning and coordination between the Reuters bureau in Los Angeles, and staff in Washington DC and London from both Reuters and TIMA.

Our base in Hollywood this weekend’s far from glamorous. It’s a trailer sitting in a car park behind the scenes, but it means we have everything we need close at hand. Over the day the parking lot fills up with identical trailers and satellite uplink trucks, as well as catering and bathroom facilities. (more…)

Announcing the launch of Reuters-TIMA Location Services

Watch a video about Reuters TIMA Location Services

Reuters, the world’s largest international multimedia news agency, and TIMA, a global content service provider, today announced a major new global partnership designed to offer location services including studio facilities and logistical support to broadcasters and online media outlets. Reuters-TIMA Location Services combines Reuters unparalleled global editorial content, seen by over a billion people every day, with TIMA’s cutting-edge technology and considerable experience of service delivery for the international media industry.

The new service, created in response to the increased demand for live content in a shifting media landscape,will form a vast news and editorial network providing every aspect of news gathering facilities and support services. It will combine invaluable local knowledge with strategically placed broadcast and satellite resources in regional hubs. The service will launch at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony on 22nd February 2015, where live positions overlooking the red carpet will be provided to clients.

Watch an interview with Tim Santhouse, Reuters Global Head of Video Products and  Alla Salehian, CEO of TIMA.

Reuters-TIMA Location Services will offer experienced production and editorial staff on the ground at key global events, rapid access to events of regional significance, logistical services and dedicated customer support. The service will also give clients access to high-tech live studio facilities around the world, many with stunning city backdrops. (more…)

Reuters-TIMA Greek Elections Diary

IMG_2568Reuters-TIMA Location Services, which officially launched on February 11th, was on the scene for this year’s general elections in Greece. TIMA’s Operations Coordinator, Samuel Perriman, joined the team in Greece and documented his experience over the 4 days on location.

Samuel is in charge of booking and coordinating a range of TV services for international broadcasters worldwide, as well as being involved in planning and coordinating special events coverage, such as the Greek Elections.  From the initial setup to final results, Samuel’s entries give an in-depth look at exactly what is involved when covering an historic event on location.

23 January

Greece is heading to the polls on Sunday 25th January as the country votes in an election that may have wider consequences for the Eurozone. We arrive in Athens a few days early to set up the Reuters-TIMA live facilities.

The live position is located on Syntagma square, right in the heart of Athens, and the balcony position has a great backdrop of the Greek Parliament building. Due to access restrictions, the uplink dish has to be placed on the opposite side of the square, on top of the Reuters building.

This event has been a good opportunity to try out the new fly-away unit. Packed into 15 flight cases, the system is relatively compact and travels easily. With the help of the rest of the crew, Mark, our engineer, quickly sets up the dish as crowds gathered in the square below for a political rally. We’ll be transmitting live from the balcony in HD and SD and also offering tape playouts on the dual path uplink. All that’s left to do is wait for polls to open on Sunday. (more…)

Reuters and Perform partner to syndicate Sports Video News Services

Reuters, the world’s largest international multimedia news agency, and PERFORM, one of the leading digital sports content groups, are proud to announce a long-term global strategic partnership that will see the two companies syndicate and distribute content across their respective platforms.

The ground-breaking alliance will see Reuters sports footage integrated into Omnisport Ready, PERFORM’S digital sports video news service. Omnisport journalists will select several stories per day from Reuters output and voice it in multiple languages – providing Ready customers with world-class footage as the biggest stories break around the world. Reuters content is created by 2,600 journalists in more than 200 locations around the globe, providing unparalleled international and national news coverage with speed, impartiality and insight.

Content will also be available via ePlayer, PERFORM’S market-leading embeddable video player for publishers and Reuters will also have its own non-sports video news channel within ePlayer.

(more…)

Q&A with Kathey Battrick, Director of Operations, ITN Source

Kathey Battrick TW242small (2)ITN Source has been Reuters archive video licensing partner since 1998. They recently opened up the Reuters video vaults and discovered a goldmine of rare and unseen archive material and have just completed digitizing 69,000 clips. We spoke to Kathey Battrick, Director of Operations to find out more.

Thanks for your time Kathey. Could you tell us a little about ITN Source?

ITN Source is the footage licensing division of ITN and represents some of the world’s largest and most diverse archive footage libraries across the globe, including Reuters (and its historic newsreel collections), ITV Studios, NBC, Fox News, Fox Movietone, Asian News International and many specialist collections. ITN Source is a gateway to an incredible source of moving imagery, from news to drama, celebrity, comedy, music, wildlife, natural history, entertainment programmes and film, captured over three centuries. The archive is vast, with over 2.8 million clips online and growing at a rate of over 20 hours of digitized content a day. We are an international business, our headquarters in London and main sales offices in New York, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Singapore.

Could you tell us about your role at ITN Source?

As Director of Operations for ITN Source, I plan, define, develop and lead the operational and technical strategy for the business. This incorporates management of the archiving and cataloging teams and the workflow and infrastructure associated with the Reuters video management services.

How does  ITN Source work with Reuters? (more…)