Sourcefabric has announced it has begun work on a new software called Superdesk, which joins Airtime and Newscoop in its suite of free, open source tools for independent media. Superdesk's aim is to allow news organisations to build flexible, scalable newsrooms and deliver content to any available platform. Superdesk has been nominated as a finalist in the Ashoka Changemakers Citizen Media Innovation award.
The tool's core principle is "create once, publish everywhere" (COPE). Using APIs and content management, Superdesk allows newsrooms to pull in information from newswires, RSS, tools like InDesign, and social media and then output to web, mobile, radio, TV, and print. Forward planning calendars, source and data management and revenue components allow newsrooms to structure, prioritise and monetise their content.
"Superdesk's central paradigm will be the web, but it will be able to deliver on any platform, any device, anywhere, anytime," said Sava Tatić, managing director at Sourcefabric. "Flexibility is key. Rather than trying to build a tool made for everyone's newsroom, we are making a tool that everyone can build their newsroom upon."
Superdesk's lead consultant is David Brewer a media strategist who has consulted on newsrooms for Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN and ITV. "It's a dream come true for me," he said. "Superdesk could become the publication tool of choice for all who want to deliver content to multiple devices and a massive boost to the establishing of independent media."
Work on the project has already begun, with prototype features already benefiting newspapers like the new print-online hybrid TagesWoche in Switzerland. TagesWoche is using Print Desk, which brings print and online processes into one workflow, and Feed Ingest, which integrates external newswire feeds into the editorial process. Both features will make it into the first Superdesk release, due in Summer 2012.