German regional daily Schwäbische Zeitung is doing more than just getting readers to submit reports and pictures… a new portal encourages them to lay out the content as well.
One of the largest paid-sale regional newspapers in Baden-Württemberg, it worked with software house ppi Media to develop StoryBox, a structured system for sports and music clubs, schools, churches and other local institutions to contribute editorial.
User-generated content is an important feature of the 76-year-old paper’s regional coverage in print and digital, and was previously sent by email, or even post or fax, requiring manual processing within their editorial workflows. Text and images were manually imported into the editorial system, and then adjusted to fit pages, while it was often difficult to clarify rights to images.
The project with ppi Media began in spring 2021 for a user portal was jointly first coordinated in workshops and then taken to a summer trial phase before the portal went live this northern autimn.
Formats in the browser-based StoryBox allow users to send three different sizes of article, with the portal providing information and suggestions. Images can be uploaded at appropriate resolution, and users have to confirm that they are legally entitled to use the content before uploading it. Once the material has been uploaded, the content is automatically imported and made available as a complete article in the editorial system.
Editorial transformation manager Hagen Schönherr (pictured) says time to create a full newspaper page from submitted content has been cut by about 80 per cent.
Following the go-live, a team has remained on hand to offer the operators advice and support, ensuring continued reliable operations for daily production.