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Product of the Month - Newswrap from 4C Plus

22 December 2016

NewsWrap makes workflow integration in a newsroom look easy. Ashish Aron of Delhi-based 4C Plus, who has developed the editorial workflow solution, explains the salient features to Rahul Kumar.

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New New Delhi-based software company 4C Plus developed the editorial workflow solution, NewsWrap, in 2000. Today, the workflow solution has its users in 18 countries and two continents, Asia and Africa. One of the largest local language newspaper houses, Jagran Prakashan, was the first customer for the workflow.

NewsWrap is a digital newsroom system that integrates with social media platforms, news portal content management systems, Quark XPress/Adobe CS plug-ins to drive content to the print editions.

Since its beginning in 2000, the software has undergone many changes. The latest version of NewsWrap works for print and broadcast media. It has tight integration with digital media as well. The technology used is Microsoft .Net for the front end. “NewsWrap support all standard RDBS like Oracle, MySQL and MS SQL,” Aron says.

According to Aron, the development of the workflow was initiated because overseas developers could not handle Indian requirements, such as fonts and the other available options did not have the features and functionality for domestic needs. “And finally, the cost of overseas workflows was too high for Asian and African clients. Cost was a big factor given the number of licences involved,” he adds.

For newspapers
4C Plus’ latest version of NewsWrap ingests content from wire services, bureau offices, reporters and citizen journalists. The content formats supported are stories, photos, images, graphics, audio and video files. “The software supports WhatsApp and emails as well. All content sent via email to predefined emails or to a mobile number is ingested into the database,” Aron says.

According to Aron, it is a flexible workflow, where all the elements of a story that may be required for digital media, social media, TV or Radio or print can be tagged to a story. “Users can create different packages for the various media platforms,” he adds.

The software offers support for leading wire and syndication services, a web-based interface and ability to receive inputs from multiple sources. “This allows reporters, columnists, stringers, bureau offices, photographers and citizen journalists to file content as well as receive inputs from them. The single interface supports multiple languages, making it possible to support publishing houses that have multiple publications in different languages,” says Aron.

The story can be edited in a text editor inbuilt with the workflow. It also supports Adobe InCopy/Quark CopyDesk/MS Office as text composing and editing tools. “This helps you reduce investment in third party software,” Aron says, “It also provides what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview of the article as it would appear on the page of the pagination software (Adobe InDesign/ Quark XPress). Also, the style sheet of the pagination software template can be mapped to the text editors. This allows users to specify headlines, sub-heading, byline and insert images. If the publication follows the content-led workflow then the length of the story and the number of columns can be defined while the story is being written.”

Integrated multimedia
NewsWrap has a photo manager, video manager and audio manager, where users can preview the multimedia input and search for required inputs on the caption or description. Aron says users can also apply filters to search for inputs from a specific agency or source. Another level of filters can then be applied again to make the search more specific, for example, the first level can be AP and the second level can be sports.

“An approved or completed story can be submitted to a single or multiple publications or editions being published from the printing site. It is also possible to broadcast the story to multiple centres in other geographies,” Aron says.

Articles with related inputs, individual stories, images and even pages can be transmitted to the other printing centres using the software’s communication module. The module automatically routes the files to the destinations and provides a confirmation to the centre which has sent out the file. “The process is automated based on the one-time setup. The communication module also allows administrators to change the priority of dispatch,” he adds.

Aron claims that 4C Plus is an authorised Quark XTensions developer and Adobe Solutions Network (ASN) member. NewsWrap can be tightly integrated with all versions of Quark XPress from version 4.1 onwards and all versions of Adobe InDesign from InDesign 2 onwards.

Dealing with content
In a content-led workflow, all approved articles appear in the ‘Story Palette’. The headline, size of the story in column centimetres, word count and an icon to indicate an image (if the story has a related photo or graphic) is shown to the layout editor/ designer. The story can then be dragged and dropped on the page template where the style sheet gets applied on the fly. “There are multiple XTentions and Plugins available in both Quark XPress and Adobe InDesign/CS to facilitate layout editors to speedily make changes to number of columns, place rules around the article or place it in a cabinet or to fit a story to a box,” Aron elaborates.

Aron says 4C Plus has also developed XTensions/ Plugins to handle ‘jump page’ for stories continued from one page to another page.

Once the page is completed in the newsroom, Aron says, it is converted into a PDF automatically and can be routed to the pre-press workflow or sent to the press over the LAN/WAN.

Online workflow
For newspaper houses which also run online portal or radio and TV newsrooms, 4C Plus has developed a workflow called MediaWrap web content management, through which content can be shared by the print newsroom. “A TV specific MOS protocol compliant newsroom computer system is also possible,” Aron adds.
Meanwhile, the company’s new NewsWrap Nomad App workflow allows two-way communications – reporters can submit content to the newsroom and reverse updates allow them to monitor status of submitted content. Similarly, editors can assign tasks and approve articles pending for approval. The system supports photos and videos.

“The App supports photo/ video filing along with caption; support typing and editing in all languages; converters to convert Unicode to non-Unicode print; user will be able to see status of filed articles; facility to senior editors to view, edit and approve; broadcast to other printing centres; work online and offline; pending articles should show on homepage as notifications,” Aron concludes.

NewsWrap Customers

In India
The Indian Express Group; The Tribune Trust, Hindustan Times Group; Daily Thanthi; Dinakaran; DNA; National Daily; Mail Today; The Times of India Group; Bhaskar Group; Dainik Jagran; Rajasthan Patrika; Prabhat Khabar; Dainik Navjyoti, Rashtra Deepika, Pudhari, Raj Express and Daily Ajit

International
The Post (Zambia); The Nation (Malawi); New Vision (Uganda); Bukedde (Uganda); The New Age (South Africa); The Punch (Nigeria); Daily Trust (Nigeria); Le Matinal (Mauritius); Republika (Indonesia); Namibian Media Holdings (Namibia); The Namibian (Namibia), Prothom Alo (Bangladesh);, The Himalayan Times (Nepal); Annapoorna Post (Nepal); Kantipur (Nepal)

Specifications

Integration: Print and broadcast media with digital

Software integration: Quark Xpress and Adobe InDesign

Front: Print and broadcast media with digital

Support: Standard RDBS like Oracle, MySQL and MS SQLl

Contact: Ashish Aron, ashish@4cplus.com

Customer Speak

Our publication house is using NewsWrap editorial workflow system developed by 4C Plus for the last four years. We found it an efficient and reliable system that integrates the Adobe InCopy and InDesign that we were using previously, with its own additional features that have improved our workflow process. According to our editors and designers, NewsWrap is not only effective but also easy to use and has made their work easier. Overall NewsWrap has increased our efficiency.

Mannir Dan-Ali, editor-in-chief and executive director of Nigeria-based Daily Trust

The alternatives

Content-X by ppi Media
Content-X has been specifically designed for publishers who focus on digital diversity and wish to create good journalism, irrespective of the medium. Content-X helps the editor focus on the content and to keep everything in one place - texts, videos, photos or infographics can be easily transferred to the content management system DC-X and are kept there in a media-neutral manner until they will be edited for a specific channel. Even external freelancers can easily be involved thanks to the InDesign server. Content-X adjusts to the different requirements of print and digital solutions with a minimum of administration, making it the ideal solution for implementing new projects.

Contact Annika Schulz
Annika.Schulz@ppimedia.de

Liberty by Summit
Liberty is the new age cloud optimised news media editorial workflow management solution for print, digital and mobile news media. Liberty facilitates content creation, workflow management and production to the intended media channels such as print, website, ePaper, social media and mobile news app. Liberty efficiently manages the multimedia content (stories, photos and videos), eliminates errors and controls and monitors the editorial processes. Liberty is the only new age newsroom solution from India which manages both print and digital/mobile media with equal ease and is developed using the latest state of the art software platforms.

Divyendu Gupta divyendu.gupta@
summitindia.com

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