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Dortmund University Installs News Desk

Monday, January 19, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

Germany's most modern cross-media newsroom is set to open in the 2009 summer semester to train Dortmund's junior journalists. Journalism majors are already writing and laying out articles for publication in "pflichtlektüre", Dortmund University's campus magazine, using 20 K4 workstations provided by the Hamburg-based developer vjoon GmbH. "pflichtlektüre is the campus magazine for the German universities in Dortmund, Bochum and Duisburg-Essen. The publication's target readership is the 90,000 students of these three universities. Dortmund University has also opted to link its online, radio, and TV units to K4 using DCX, an asset management system made by Digital Collections. By connecting these systems to create a shared news desk, students can edit and present contents in the multimedia format that best suits the given topic. The university tasked integration specialist SNAP Innovation with installing K4 in the "pflichtlektüre" newsroom and to connect the other editorial units in a second phase via DCX. The Institute for Journalism aims to get its news desk up and running by April of this year.

The innovative curriculum of Dortmund University's Institute for Journalism is unique in Germany. In a project headed by Prof. Günther Rager, journalists Michael Schulte and Lisa Griesing and a group of students devoted two semesters to developing a model that ties the institute's editorial units together across all semesters in their organizational and content structure. In practice, undergraduates will provide the articles, images, and stories. Graduate students will act as editors, deciding which topics will be formatted for which medium.

"Several renowned university newspapers in the USA such as the »Yale Daily News« and »The Daily Pennsylvanian« already use the K4 publishing system," says Andreas Schrader, Managing Director of vjoon GmbH, the company that created K4. "Dortmund University's newsdesk is a pioneering project, charting a new frontier for German university newspapers, and we are glad to contribute to German journalists' education with K4."

Technical implementation by SNAP Innovation

After the implementation of K4, SNAP Innovation will install the DCX asset management system from Digital Collections in phase two of the project. The system provides interfaces to all editorial units. DCX's topic planner enables students to store all content centrally in the database. "The future of journalism is cross-media publishing. With the new newsdesk solution, Dortmund University is realizing a vision that is a hot topic in the publishing industry. We are delighted to make it happen in Germany's most modern editorial environment," comments Niels Hufnagl, Manager Business Development at SNAP Innovation.

The media are also taking a keen interest in the newsdesk project. "With their cross-media desk, the institute is providing the best training to prepare students for the job," says Ruhr Nachrichten editor-in-chief Dr. Wolfram Kiwit.




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