Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cross-Media News Systems: Take Two

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cross-Media News Systems: Take Two

Article excerpt

Hong Kong's 'South China Morning Post' signs with CCI Europe

The first newspaper companies to venture into all-new media-neutral publishing platforms are at it again. One has contracted with an established vendor for its next-generation system. Another is expected to announce as early as this week that it is at work with a name new to the industry.

Hong Kong's English-language South China Morning Post reached agreement with CCI Europe, which has largely supplanted Atex at the high end of the editorial and pagination market, to implement a system for creating, processing, and delivering content destined for print and electronic outlets.

Joining new ad and business software and additional pressroom hardware, the NewsDesk rollout -- slated to coincide with the SCMP's centenary next year -- will require training more than 200 journalists working on products ranging from news to features, from a student tab to a Sunday magazine. It is the first East Asian site to contract for CCI NewsDesk Release 6, and the 10th to order it since the version launched at Nexpo last year.

While most sites use NewsDesk "to feed multiple media with almost- ready-to-publish content," CCI Technical Account Manager Morten Schousen said, "some actually export content to Web products directly from NewsDesk without any intervening steps necessary." Those include a Release 6 user in England and a daily in Norway. The Danish supplier developed a prototype of what it calls a "true content-management platform and integration architecture" in collaboration with USA Today and Norway's Aftenposten and with periodic input from eight other dailies, including six of the United States' largest.

Announcing SCMP's contract, Managing Editor Colin Kerr, who leads the systems project, said that, with publishers under great economic pressure, "tools used to produce their newspapers and online products must achieve very aggressive goals for cost savings and provide low long-term maintenance charges." CCI said round-the-clock access to its engineers will provide emergency backup and support for SCMP.

CCI's system relies on XML (extensible markup language), which enables use of content in any format, minimizing rehandling for print, for the Web, or for wireless channels. …

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