How Schibsted built its own journalism tools platform

By Ian Vännman

Schibsted Media Group

Oslo, Norway


The modern-day newsroom is digital-only, but the bulk of existing newsroom tools are built around the legacy print process. A couple of years ago, Schibsted found this truly constrains its teams and set out to reinvent the tools for modern journalism.

The goal was clear: Build the best tools out there for the journalists in Scandinavia’s leading media houses.

Schibsted Media Group owns newspapers Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet in Sweden, and VG, Aftenposten, Bergens Tidende, Stavanger Aftenblad, and Fædrelandsvennen in Norway. To add to the confusion, each newspaper ran a different content management system. But it was no longer sustainable to develop separate solutions for each media house. Rather the media houses had to find a joint solution.

About 100 product managers, UX designers, and software engineers in three countries (Norway, Sweden, and Poland) joined forces to make the ultimate tool for modern newsrooms.

The core of the Schibsted Publishing Platform is the Creation Suite, a set of tools to help journalists do their job. It is comprised six modules, each one designed to answer a specific need in the journalistic process.

The six modules in the Creation Suite

Discover aggregates content from thousands of sources for the journalist in an extremely fast way. Journalists can filter which sources they would like to follow and easily include links to the articles or even the full content.

The user interface of the Create module is very simple compared to many other content management systems. It is focused on the two most important tasks for the journalists: creating the content and adding metadata to it.

Relate is the module that lets journalists manage tags. This makes it easier for users to find relevant content from other news media. It also gives advertisers much better targeting for their ads.

With the Curate module, Schibsted publications provide readers with a personal user experience. Schibsted believes in the role of the editor, and that curation by experienced and skilled editors is crucial for a delightful news experience. The module is therefore based on balancing the input from human editors with smart algorithms based on comprehensive data about each user.

Modern journalists are expected to continuously promote their own articles in social media. With Engage they get immediate feedback if their efforts are working. The dashboard is personalised, and journalists can follow how their own articles are performing minute by minute.

Stream makes it easy for journalists to use videos as part of their articles. It offers infrastructure for streaming video content, with easy tracking of metadata, basic content management and editing, and integrated advertising possibilities.

Same platform, different products

Do all Schibsted news products now look the same? No. The Schibsted Publishing Platform is just that: a platform! On top of the platform, each media house creates its own frontends, tapping into the content from the joint platform through APIs.

For instance, check the two Swedish newsrooms using Schibsted Media Platform — Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet — to see how different they look.

Earlier this year, Schibsted’s division, Schibsted Products and Technology, was awarded top prize in the annual INMA Awards for Creation Suite CMS. The award was granted in the “Best New Corporate Innovation Initiative” category.

We are thrilled that our work is getting recognition.

About Ian Vännman

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