Without much fanfare, Reuters launched an app over a year ago which has profound implications for the rest of broadcast news.
For those of you that don’t know, Reuters is the invisible backbone of most broadcast news. They have thousands of journalists and camera crews across the world ready to film the globe at a moment’s notice. Most broadcasters across the world have a subscription allowing them to pick and choose raw Reuters video coming in from the other side of the planet for use on their news programmes.
They’re fast, reliable and punctual. In fact, to my knowledge, they are the only news agency who can report something and the BBC do not even need to double check the source, if Reuters report something, it is reliable. That’s that.
The BBC started work on a little project not too long ago which allows automatic slicing of news reports to length and requirement of a particular editor, you can read a short description on their website, but the project is actually far more powerful than that. The project is so impressive that it leads to what Reuters have made. When you’re talking about automatic editing and repurposing of news stories, there are limitless possibilities, apart from changing what the subject matter is.
The BBC ambition appears to be quite small really, it allows you to pick packages straight from broadcast and put it straight onto the website, for instance. It’s Reuters who are showing the true power here.
Upon launching the Reuters TV app, available on iOS, tvOS and Android, it asks you how much time you have. The most common time to select is 10, 15 or 30 minutes. You click, it shows. It even gives a time check like a real news bulletin on any news channel. If you don’t like the current story, you can skip it, you can always dive back in later.
Newspapers may be dying, 24 hour TV news culture may be going online or even wiped out too, so what’s better than harnessing the best of personalised news? News apps already mostly have a ‘for you’ section, this just extends that to the point that it is genuinely useful.
The app is free, it provides an ad-free version for £1.49 a month, or it’s free to use with limited advertising. I highly recommend you get it.