The legacy media publication house is transforming to meet the digital challenge while its print growth curve continues.
A year after HT Media announced a major rejig in the top management in order to be digital-ready, the legacy publishing company has unveiled an integrated newsroom. The media company has undertaken significant transformative measures to meet the digital challenge while simultaneously growing the traditional print medium.
Some of the changes that the company has incorporated include integrating print and digital news operations across titles, bring Hindustan Times, Hindustan, and Mint in a single newsroom in Delhi, and share common digital asset management and content management systems.
Meanwhile, print ad-planning is being migrated on the same core platform for seamless edit-ad deployment that is directly integrated with SAP. Mobile apps are being delivered through a new in-house capability called 'App Foundry' that is being further augmented with video capabilities. The new SOA (Service Oriented Architecture)-based middleware seamlessly integrates edit, revenue, ad-planning and production systems, laying the foundation of technology and practices that enables quick roll out of new services, and support HT's journey in the changing world of mobile, social, cloud and big data.
From the technology perspective, the company has incorporated a smart zone based town-hall capability which allows localised audio collaboration with built in bridging across locations. Pervasive video conferencing, including retractable VC pods at hub tables, allows both hardware and software based enterprise grade VCs across locations and devices, including smartphones.
Nicholas Dawes, chief editorial and content officer, HT Media, explains that the new newsroom is a way to share capabilities and leverage rich content.
"The idea is to ensure cross pollination between various properties of HT Media. This is a sustainable approach to build resources which will work across platforms both digital and print," says Dawes.
Essentially a print publication, HT Media is also focussing on video as a medium to tell stories. The company has hired engineers, product managers, and video specialists for the same. It is currently focussing on sourcing videos from news wires, viral videos on social media, and videos on Facebook.
There is major focus on messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Hike as a medium to disseminate and share the news.
The media company is also providing training to help teams brave the challenges of a digital-first processes and technology, learning new production systems, and classical reporting and editing skills.
HT Media was launched in 1924. It publishes Hindustan Times (English newspaper) and Hindustan (Hindi newspaper through its subsidiary Hindustan Media Ventures), as well as the national business newspaper Mint. The company, in a consulting partnership with Virgin Radio, runs FM radio channel - Fever 104. Internet businesses of HT Media, incorporated under Firefly e-ventures, operate portals such as Hindustantimes.com, Livemint.com, Shine.com, Desimartini.com and www.HTCampus.com.