NTV Uganda is one of the African country’s leading TV stations with acclaim on having the fastest, most objective and comprehensive news service within Uganda. Owned by the Nation Media Group, they strive on having unrivalled quality programming.
Since being launched in 2006, NTV has seen considerable growth and decided in 2019 that they had to streamline and modernise their news productions and stop relying on manual processes.
They needed to better share resources, automate the creation of rundowns and improve efficiencies with automated workflows and improve collaboration by sharing of content between different members of the news team. They decided that they needed to implement a proven and cost-effective Newsroom Computer System (NCRS).
In 2019 after a comprehensive review of the market, NTV Uganda chose and invested in Octopus as its first-ever NCRS. The Octopus system needed to transform the way NTV operated – its primary objectives needed the news team to structure its operations and manage the staff that were growing in numbers. It ultimately needed a quick return on its investment measured by its improved operational efficiency as well as on the increase in news delivery to an ever expanding audience on a variety of different platforms.
The Octopus newsroom system that was implemented has 20 concurrent desktop licences but because the application can work over multiple autonomous operating system, Octopus is used by many of NTVs’ roaming journalists on location with the use of hand held devices such as iPads and tablets. The interface is simple and intuitive to use by all members of the team, regardless of technical ability, which allows so much more collaboration then was previously possible. This has resulted in vastly improved news quality and breaking stories can be managed and delivered quicker by NTV. The system includes a comprehensive reporting tool for the management staff to manage users, as well as different stories and different news genres.
Smartphones can also take advantage of the Octopus app. It is possible for the management team to send instructions, locations and notifications to journalist in the field and they can respond with stories, video and photos that can then be added easily added to run-downs.
Both acquisition of new stories and the delivery of news and how it is consumed by consumers is constantly evolving and the Octopus solution accounts for this. NTV utilize the Octopus social media tools which is a multi-faceted and feature-rich module that allows both ingesting of content from social media, and the ability to schedule the publishing of content to media platforms that could include YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. This alone helps increase audience viewing figures. It also tracks and highlights trending topics on Twitter, which allows journalists the ability to be alerted on breaking or other newsworthy items.
One major requirement from NTV is that they wanted to protect existing hardware investments and to utilize seamlessly the history of media that they had archived over the years. Octopus is fully MOS compliant and was integrated within the existing VizRT graphics platform, Editshare storage platform and playout system. Technology integration into an existing set-up was relatively straight forward.
Octopus Sales Manager Gianluca Bertuzzi explains ”Switching NTV to their first-ever NRCS was exciting and NTV were pleasantly surprised with the variety of options available to them. They can now collaborate in real-time from multiple locations, and journalists are able to work remotely with the Journalist app. I was thrilled to support them on this exciting journey.”
On completion of the installation, Octopus provided not only full on-site training for all their staff, but also consulted them on a range of new media workflows that was now open to them that previously was impossible to achieve. This ensured that NTV obtained the maximum benefit from the new tools they had deployed and so dramatically improved operational efficiencies. This allowed them to continue on their mission of providing the best and most responsive news and TV coverage in Uganda.
Daniel Nankunda, Head of Engineering at NTV concluded “We were really excited to start this new venture with Octopus Newsroom to positively transform our business. Thanks to Octopus we have boosted our daily workflow and enhanced the quality of the news channel in order to deliver the best news to our audience. It has been better and more productive than we ever expected.’’