Time editors monitor content distribution with new platform users in mind

By Sabrina Passos

Group RBS (Zero Hora)

Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


Two of the most credible brands in Brazilian journalism, the newspaper Zero Hora and Gaúcha Radio, both of the RBS Media Group, joined forces in the digital universe to launch the GaúchaZH platform last September. Since then, an ecosystem of digital products featuring exclusive content has been made available to users, all of which is focused on proximity and coverage of local themes and sports.

The digital unification, named after a co-branding, seeks to combine the depth of the newspaper with the instantaneousness of the radio. Additionally, it simplifies the search for reliable information in an environment full of rumours and fake news.

This co-branded effort seeks to put users’ interests and quality content before all else.
This co-branded effort seeks to put users’ interests and quality content before all else.

To deliver the best content through two integrated but different newsrooms, it was necessary to create an innovative process replete with a lot of curation and integration. This process is based on three pillars: ideal volume (not less, not too much), excellence in digital editing always, and planned distribution focused on the user.

To ensure these three complement each other at GaúchaZH, an unprecedented job function was created for journalists. This is the “time editor,” who ensures all relevant information, whether in news or sports, is published and distributed at the right time, respects the user’s journey, and, obviously, incorporates journalistic criteria.

The time editors are also the guardians of content quality, stimulating production of videos, infographics, and complementary digital opportunities for users to have the best experiences on any device.

At GaúchaZH, there are three experienced journalists who share this position during the day from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. The main mission of this editor, besides guaranteeing the best content, is distributing it at the right time wherever the user looks for it, whether via social networks, e-mail boxes, WhatsApp or other mobile apps, or via desktop, for example.

This editor studies the news consumption, 24 hours a day, and analyses the most consumed content at each time. An important tool for their work is the “consumer journey,” also created internally by our Market Intelligence team.

From social networks’ open data, they analyse how national publishers distribute content and what is consumed hour by hour. This information is considered with our content data and also with the audience, all in real time. Consolidated data is used by the time editor to help in decision-making for publication planning.

To perform their functions, these editors need autonomy. They negotiate with publishers if content needs to be prioritised, and they also assess quantity and quality. One premise is to never let the volume overrun the quality, for example.

In addition to being watchful journalists, these professionals need to have a high analytical vision, monitor performance, and look both inside and outside of the newsroom at what’s been published and also what the audience needs. They are the guardians of a world with characters who inhabit two opposing but complementary sides: the users and the journalists. The beauty is to connect them.

About Sabrina Passos

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