Journalism in the heart of our products

Like six months or so back, I wrote my last blogpost as a recruiter. Now, this is my personal blog, so it doesn’t really matter what I work as, but I thought this one should be the first I write as a Product Manager.

It’s been a very interesting journey these past six months, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it! I finally got to join the team I looked up to since I started at Schibsted. It was then called the Schibsted Media Platform, a successful distributed and autonomous team with great culture. Since then, all of publishing in Schibsted has gone through a re-organisation to ensure speed, transparency and full focus on digital. We, the Creation Suite, are now Schibsted Publishing Platform together with Distribution and Monetization teams. We work very closely together with embedded teams in the newsrooms focusing on the core news product and news destination as well as the teams focusing on the future of news destinations.

I’m the product manager for an editorial tool used in the newsrooms by journalists and editors called Discover. We’re a part of the Creation Suite, where we together with the other teams provide a seamless suite for discovery, creation, analysis and curation to publish news digitally.

Journalists use Discover to monitor the current affairs in the world around them, to discover breaking news events directly from newswires, and for inspiration. We monitor sources like global news websites, blogs, magazines, licensed content from newswires, Facebook public feed in Norwegian and Swedish and mobile push notifications from any provider you want to follow.

What is the most important task when learning about a breaking news event? The need to inform the public right away of what’s going on locally or globally. We therefore have seamless integration from discovery to start creating and editing the news story and then quickly press publish. The content layout is totally up to the news destination how they want to present it. Other teams are working on the frameworks for aligning this process as well.

Breaking news reporting becomes even more crucial in extreme situations such as terror attacks. It requires a balance between caution and urgency. Caution regarding fact checking and urgency to get the information out there to help people navigate locally and inform the world globally. This is something my team is inspired by, finding ways to help the newsroom sort, fact check and publish quickly.

Another very important aspect of discovery is the detection of trends, and I’m not only talking about likes, comments, shares or viral trends here, but tips trends from the citizens. One of the most important sources a journalist has are the citizens. Whistleblowers and multiple tips from the public may help discover questionable affairs that politicians, the government and state-owned instances are a part of. It’s a part of the investigative work journalists do to monitor those in power.

What motivates me the most about my job is not pure tech, product development or working with people and users (all of those things are really motivating and fun tho!) but supporting journalism as a mission and a service to the world.

Screenshot of the Discover tool.
Screenshot of the Discover tool.

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