x.news in action in the newsroom of Heute, a leading Vienna-based Austrian newspaper and online publisher.
C R E AT I V E I N D U S T R I E S , A U S T R I A
Tracking news as it happens x.news, developed by Austrian pioneers, is a cloud-based real-time research tool that makes life for journalists far easier. It allows them to keep track of information using one computer screen only – or even a mobile device. A searchable dashboard runs in the browser and combines different sources from news agencies to Twitter streams. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: X.NEWS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY GMBH
What is always difficult to handle for journalists – especially when working in newsrooms – is to keep track of the fast-flowing stream of information. News moves quickly and comes from very different sources. Of course, for many years there have been tools on the market that allow real-time tracking of news agency feeds and internal systems, but what most of them lacked was the inclusion of other sources. So what happens if the first rumours circulate on Twitter before any agency or reporter picks them up? 90 | Issue 49 | April 2017
A journalist relying only on traditional systems might actually miss the story. Or has to regularly open and check many different tabs in the browser. Siloed systems made tracking news far more complicated than it needs to be. x.news closed this gap. Creating a path through the information jungle “The birth of x.news was a team effort – the result of creative discussions between some very experienced Austrian technologists
and myself and others with expert knowledge of working in newsrooms,” says editorial director Simon Andrewes, a former BBC journalist who supports the x.news team from London.“I knew from my experience as a journalist that the rapid growth in information sources was making traditional tools increasingly unsuitable.” So Andrewes teamed up with the Austrian team that had already been working on a search aggregation tool, but solely for video. The team outside Vienna today is led by CEO Andy Pongratz and CTO and lead product manager Markus Prochazka and unites a group of talented young software developers headed by Philip Pock. “We put our heads together and came up with x.news – a radically different solution to anything previously tried,” says Simon Andrewes.
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