The Press Association (PA) is undergoing the biggest transformation in its 150-year history as it moves to a digital-first newsroom, with changes for both staff and subscribers, it has said.
Shadowing the digital push across the news industry, PA is offering new “enriched digital feeds” – with copy, pictures, videos, social and graphics – that are ready to be published straight to web.
The feeds can be accessed and edited through the new PA Explore hub, which the agency’s editor Peter Clifton has described as a “one-stop shop” for all of its multimedia content.
Explore will also host up to 30,000 data-driven stories a month created by PA’s RADAR (Reporters and Data and Robots) team, which is in the process of being assembled.
A new service, PA Ready, will offer multimedia and social-led content that can plug straight into content management systems (CMS).
Clifton told Press Gazette: “What was important to me was while we maintain lots of great traditional things, like the words, we should also have a much richer more flexible service for our digital customers.
“Clearly it is an increasingly important part of our business so we needed to have a really important digital feed that catered to those needs.”
He added that while there were “still more customers who take the wire feeds” that “overtime that balance will shift and we will see more and more people engaging with those really rich digital feeds.”
Multimedia content packages for sections including entertainment, lifestyle, science and technology, finance, real life, motoring and viral are already available, with news and sport set to complete the transition early next year having already partially rolled over.
The complete switchover of the agency’s editorial desks will see PA’s core service become multimedia, although its traditional wire services will continue to be provided.
Journalists at the agency will create content with multiple elements “as a matter of course”, the agency said.
In tandem with the editorial changes, journalists are now using a new CMS which uses a single workflow to create “rich” stories.
Said Clifton: “It must be the biggest set of changes that we have ever undergone at PA. We are genuinely transforming our newsroom to meet the changing needs of our customers.”