Sweden’s Direktpress integrates digital and print news production with a hyperlocal focus

Sweden’s Direktpress experienced dramatic growth last year, almost doubling its portfolio of hyper-local weekly newspapers to a total of 40. With those newspapers and associated websites Direktpress now reaches almost 15% of all Swedes.

Not only did Direktpress grow, it did so without having to expand its staff to match the increase in circulation. That’s because it adopted creative content management tools that let it integrate digital and print content creation and management.

Those tools are Roxen’s REP and Web publishing systems. They allow a local Direktpress reporter to write a story that is published directly to the web and also immediately formatted for publication in the weekly newspaper with a centralized system. Thus Direktpress can provide the news to its readers through both print and digital with little additional cost.

In a story in Editor & Publisher, the news industry’s leading trade publication, Direktpress Editor-in-Chief Helene Claesson said the company’s goal was “to find a way to work that ends up in a good print product in the end of the week and a constant flow of stories on the website.”

“We really needed a good website, but we knew that we didn’t have the money to hire new reporters,” Claesson said. “The challenge (was) to find a workflow that works for a weekly deadline and constant deadlines at the same time…we had to find a way to make the reporters do two things at the same time — write for print and Web.”

Claesson said Roxen’s systems enabled Direktpress to meet its goal.

Roxen’s Johan Hansson said its systems are being adopted around the world. However, Hansson said, “I would say that the digital transformation has come further along in Scandinavia. There is a greater adaption of technology to automate manual and repetitive tasks to free up journalistic resources for content creation. Even the smallest newsroom has over the last years gone from being a once-a-day or once-a-week publication to a 24/7 news outlet populating multiple channels. At the same time they have had to manage this transition with fewer resources than ever before.”

Roxen is focusing on small and mid-size publishers that don’t have the resources to develop their own systems. Now Direktpress is working closely with Roxen on online strategies and other projects that will improve traffic, efficiency and keep reporters on the street in the neighborhoods they cover. One project is to roll-out Roxen Roamer in the organization, a mobile app that allow reporters to use their smartphones with a cordless keyboard connected via Bluetooth to write stories. They then can take photos and shoot videos and post it all on the website directly from the app in real-time.

In other words, journalists can remain on the go in the places they cover without returning to a newsroom to write a story. It can’t get more local than that, which is what Direktpress is all about.

Read the full article in Editor & Publisher (centerspread in the January issue): http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/swedens-direktpress-finds-digital-and-print-solutions/

Meet Roxen and other Scandinavian developers of technology for the media industry in booth 34 at America East Media business and technology conference in Hershey Pennsylvania, April 2-6.

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