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NEWS MANAGE & MONITOR ANALYSIS As you may have noticed, the UK government published a white paper on the future of the BBC during May. It contained proposals to “make sure the BBC remains a valued public broadcaster for the future.” If you dig deep into the 136-page document you find a section dedicated to technology. As well as supporting continued R&D work at the corporation, the white paper praises the role the BBC has played in technology innovation: from its inception to the present day, through services like BBC iPlayer, and its contribution to pan-industry standards. It also recommends the introduction of a Technology Advisory Board and the need for the BBC to undertake a detailed review and cost- benefit analysis of all of its R&D activity (not just of its dedicated R&D department). COMMS Riedel Communications has partnered with systems integrator Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) in order to extend its reach into Myanmar. Following the deal ABS will provide local integration and support services for the entire Riedel product portfolio within the south east Asian country, previously known as Burma. “Myanmar is a totally new market for Riedel and one in which the build-out of infrastructure is picking up momentum,” said Cameron O’Neill, director, Asia-Pacific, at Riedel Communications. “Our partnership with ABS will enable us to address this growth with tightly integrated solutions that address customers’ technical and cost requirements.” The announcement follows quickly on the heels of a deal agreed with Ideal Systems to cover Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. Following high profile technology failures like the £100m Digital Media Initiative (DMI) project, which was dropped in 2013, this should come as no surprise. The Digital Television Group (DTG) welcomed the idea of the board, saying it “would provide expert insight into the long-term technology issues facing the industry.” You can certainly see the wisdom in this. But for the ‘insight’ to be truly insightful (and not simply self-serving), the make-up of that board is absolutely crucial. As Tech UK said, following publication of the white paper, for the board to “have relevance and credibility” it must be open to participation from representatives across the supply chain. They are spot on. Technology impacts on just about every part of the BBC and the wider broadcast industry and, importantly, every viewer and listener. The board should reflect this. The thing is, with all these ‘stakeholders’ involved, this could fast become a very big and unmanageable board. I think, in reality, we are talking about technology boards (plural) covering different aspects. Yet, what we don’t want is layer after layer of differing opinions hindering the great work that the BBC does. A technology advisory board has potential but putting it into practice is clearly going to be very complicated. 20 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 114 JUNE 2016 NEWSROOM TECHNOLOGY At Broadcast Asia, Octopus Newsroom introduced Octopus 8. The new version of its news automation system has streamlined operations and workflows so that all production information, including news sources, clips and stories, are available at the same time via a new dashboard GUI. Octopus 8 also integrates Twitter, Facebook and Instagram alongside traditional news feeds and programme rundowns. Administrators can assign users to create content for social media, with team managers able to assign and share tasks and approve posts before they go live. Journalists can also follow Twitter trends and track topics of particular interest to them across the social network in real time. Octopus 8 also directly interconnects with web CMS systems including Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal.