Tablet magazines drive change at Star-Telegram, Texas

A brand-new interactive, digital magazine will interact with readers focusing on Fort Worth and surroundings in an unprecedented form. Mid October 2014 McClatchy launched the first of many new interactive products for tablet devices.

October 15, 2014

This is the digital team in Fort Worth, Texas, working. You see Managing Editor, Kathy Vetter, in the back to the left.

The Dallas Cowboys win the Super Bowl.

Everyone wants to read all about the local heroes on top of American football.

It’s as big as a story can get in Fort Worth, Texas, and the newsroom at The Star-Telegram goes digital.

They will create a beautifully designed special edition of a digital magazine in a matter of hours and ship it to Star-Telegram’s new app in the App Store or, eventually, on Google Play.

Readers can enjoy an interactive story on their tablet with all the details about “America’s Team.”

 

We see an opening to easily do niche products. With the CCI Digital Publishing Solution we can do special editions in a low-cost way and perhaps we can charge for them separately.

Kathy Vetter, Managing editor

The Star-Telegram is the first of the 29 McClatchy newsrooms to roll out the CCI Digital Publishing Solution. And they love it.

A pure delight

“It’s a pure delight for me as an editor to see how reporters work with this and how we can make new publications come to life using the exact same tools that we have used for ages to create our print and online publications,” Kathy Vetter says. She’s the managing editor for digital at Star-Telegram and project lead for the digital project.

CCI Digital Publishing Solution gives the newsroom the power to publish interactive publications on handheld devices using a private distribution server.

With the well-known newsroom system CCI NewsGate the staff compose the digital news publications alongside all other online and print productions in Fort Worth.

McClatchy have tailor-made two new features for the tablet, and with 12 tools out of the box from CCI it’s easy to create interactive features in the publication. For example, you can add scrollable text or with the widget “before and after” you invite the reader to uncover a new and an older picture of the same street by a simple swipe.

Tablet magazines are new business

McClatchy jumped onboard the digital project as a business strategy.

“We saw a hole in our digital offerings and we wanted to conceive a seamless and immersive multimedia creation. Down the line we want to add a lot more products, but we’re starting off with the tablet,” Kathy Vetter says.

When journalists can see their work, they get a lot more engaged in the process. Their work comes to life and that changes the way we work. It makes us more digital in every way.

Kathy Vetter, Managing Editor

 

Serving four or five stories from the general production in the newsroom as a digital publication, Star-Telegram will drop a new edition in the app every night at 6 pm.

“We see an opening to easily do niche products. With the CCI Digital Publishing Solution we can do special editions in a low-cost way and perhaps we can charge for them separately,” she says.

Up front the daily evening publication from Star-Telegram is free, sponsored by ads that appear between stories as the reader swipes through the publication.

“It’s making us more digital in every way”

One of the difficult things for modern reporters and designers working with content for online is that the end result is not tangible in the process.

But with the digital product it’s totally different, Kathy Vetter says.

It’s not magic. It’s just working together. You can have high level strategies, but how you work makes the change happen. And after a process like this we know each other so well that we can really start to accelerate our digital transformation.

Kathy Vetter, Managing Editor

“When journalists can see their work, they get a lot more engaged in the process. Their work comes to life and that changes the way we work. It makes us more digital in every way.”

Working together creates change

The real game changer for the Texas newsroom has been the way working across units creates change.

“The really good thing about this is that the newsrooms have to learn to work across units. Our developers, reporters and marketing work much closer together. We anticipate that this project will help us get ready to publish in a digital age and it’s a great outcome of the project,” Kathy Vetter says and continues:

“It’s not magic. It’s just working together. You can have high level strategies, but how you work makes the change happen. And after a process like this we know each other so well that we can really start to accelerate our digital transformation,” she says.

Establish a media neutral workflow

The McClatchy Company is focused on mastering the craft of publishing in a digital age. Working together, the company's News Systems Group and McClatchy Interactive are using NewsGate's media-neutral capability to establish a carefully crafted workflow based around this multi-channel publishing approach.

From the beginning content is created without a specific media channel like print, online or app-publishing in mind. Only after the content people have made the most of the content, it goes to specific channels.

You can download the app in the App Store or visit the website extra.star-telegram.com

Further information

Want to know more about CCI Digital Publishing Solution? Please contact Thea Borgholm, VP, CCI Digital Services at tbo@ccieurope.com.

For press information, please contact Signe Jepsen, Communications Manager, CCI, at sdj@ccieurope.com