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Reuters Insider embraces collaboration and ‘citizen experts’ in a new model for TV news

Reuters’ new Insider platform officially launched today – described by the Financial Times as a YouTube for traders, it offers subscribers video news, interviews, market analysis, charts and more from Reuters and more than 150 content partners.

The project, which has hired a staff of more than 100 journalists and technical staff, sees a collaborative approach to news, featuring, as it does, programming from multiple news organisations:

  • CNBC, Sky, Forbes, ITN;
  • Regional media: China Knowledge, Russian TV, Eurobusiness Media, Africa Investor, ET Now;
  • Niche media: forextv.com, Telecomm TV, Dukascopy, The Deal.com and additionally Beet.TV, according to this announcement from the website.

We’re not in competition with CNBC. They’re a consumer play and we’re narrowcast. This is an opportunity for CNBC and other players to get a different set of eyes on their material – to get their programming directly integrated into the workflow of the financial professional. Right to their desktop alongside the market data they need to do business.

It’s also part of a more global approach we are told:

Reuters Insider operates as a single studio network and produces programming with a global perspective. For example, content that is produced out of Hong Kong serves our customers in all parts of the world. This is a fundamentally different approach to the way Bloomberg produces its global coverage, which is tailored for the local audience.

Major financial brands such as Citibank and HSBC will also provide content to the network – a nod towards businesses as their own publishers.

But perhaps the most innovative part of the platform, which is internet-based, is the ability for users to submit their own videos and personalise the network to their own needs:

Users can create their own channels based on personal and professional interests. This cutting-edge technology not only delivers the most relevant videos to that channel, but it delivers the most relevant 30 seconds of those videos. All videos are accompanied by charts, graphs, and most importantly, text transcripts that have highlighted search terms viewers can click on that bring them to that exact point in the video.

Viewers can also edit the video, email or instant message video clips, and in a groundbreaking move, they can self-broadcast research, market commentary, and video via their firm’s branded channel on Reuters Insider.

In previous experiments with video on its website and in its coverage of the World Economics Forum in Davos, Thomson Reuters has referred to the importance of ‘citizen experts’ – individuals amongst its clients and audience who can bring expertise and values insight to news alongside the reports of its journalists. The Insider network seems to take this a step further, increasing interactivity and the value placed upon expert information and analysis.

Reuters is confident that it’s offering something new with this launch – potentially a new model for television and video news:

Reuters Insider is the first of its kind and has the potential to lay the groundwork for the future of the media and television industries. While Thomson Reuters is targeting financial professionals, this model is something that can be adapted to television news in general, whether it’s entertainment, politics, etc.

This unique television experience transforms financial programming from a passive one-way broadcast into an interactive and powerfully personalized medium.

#aop3c: Reuters’ Project Insider: ‘narrowcasting’ in beta

Chris Cramer, global editor for multimedia at Reuters, dropped a new project into a speech at the AOP Publishing Summit 2009 that welcomed social media as the ‘first resort’ in newsgathering.

The development in question is Project Insider, he outlined in the next session, and will see clients provided with specifically targeted content via PDAs.

It’s narrowcasting, not broadcasting, Cramer said.

Currently in beta for selected clients, it delivers live financial markets coverage, analysis and breaking news through a web-based TV service.

Users are able to tag specific points in videos to share with others, and can engage with producers to invite them ask questions of an interviewee, he said.

“It doesn’t attempt to replicate what’s already in the marketplace,” Cramer said, adding that ‘at this moment in time, it’s unique’.

And – he was speaking in a social media session – it is ‘driven on the basis of social media. There is a sub-strata in there which is social media’.

“It’s about the financial professional who wants to know smart data now before their competitors,” he said.

More to follow from the summit throughout the day: in the meantime, follow this tweet stream featuring choice 140ch updates by digital journalists and publishers at the event.