World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

New tool aims to streamline social media management

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

New tool aims to streamline social media management

SAM, which can be used individually or synced with multiple users to create a "team," is currently being used by the newsrooms of London’s Financial Times, UK’s Press Association and one of Norway’s largest television station’s, TV2.

The professional-grade tool allows users to search, curate and create stories by term, people or location across social media sites. By using non-destructive filters, SAM says it helps users to “reduce noise to hone into the story with precision.”

Founder, James Neufeld, says SAM was born out of what he saw as a gap in the market. Coming from an interactive broadcast, marketing and business consulting background, Neufeld noticed the disordered nature of newsrooms.

“(for me) the eye opening experience (was) to see the journalists sitting in TweetDeck for Twitter, they were using something else for Instagram, something else for YouTube … they were using 10 different tabs in their browser at all times, searching and monitoring things,” he told the World Editors Forum from Edmonton, Canada.

Neufeld says that while competitor programs such as Hootsuite are great in terms of being an outbound publishing platform, they do not offer the benefits of SAM in terms of search, managing and processing user-generated content (UGC).

“(SAM) is purpose-built to search and identify high quality UGC in breaking news situations. We classify ourselves as an inbound newsgathering and management platform. SAM is about making sure you find quality UGC that tells a story and making it easy to keep track of and manage that content thoroughout the news life-cycle (clearance, verification, publish).”

Alan Marshall, Press Association’s (PA) managing editor, says the company has been very pleased with SAM and has plans to extend access to more PA staff in the coming months.

While PA still uses tools such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to monitor social media and to extend to their audience and sources, Marshall feels that SAM offered “different value through search and the ability to easily select, categorise and create clusters of social posts.”

“We were interested in SAMDesk for two key reasons – firstly, the ability to have a powerful and tailored search across multiple social channels, and secondly, the ability to curate and tag social assets in a smart way.”

Other advantages, Marshall says, are being able to have multiple journalists contributing to shared social stories, functionality to configure lists of trusted and verified sources, and in being able to archive curated sets of social content for research and compliance purposes.

SAMdesk packages start at US$375 for five users.

“I really hope that by using SAM, social media just becomes less of a headache,” he said during an interview with the World Editors Forum. With newsrooms becoming increasingly intertwined with social media, journalists do, too.


Krysten Dawes


2014-08-06 12:03

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The World Editors Forum is the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (, launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.

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