How Singapore’s largest media network Mediacorp is winning the news race with Slack

“Slack helps us gain that nanosecond advantage when something is happening so our newsroom can stay on top of the coverage.”

Lyn-Yi ChungCNA Digital Deputy Chief Editor, Mediacorp

Streamlining news production 

Mediacorp, Singapore’s largest content creator and national media network, has been shaping how news is delivered in Singapore since its early iterations in the 1960s. One of its major online platforms is CNA, a transmedia news network with a large online presence, and a TV and radio channel.

When Lyn-Yi Chung joined CNA’s digital team, her mission was clear: Boost readership, viewership and engagement in an era of fast-paced news.

“We need people to be able to publish content faster. Being able to collaborate on content while staying on top of the 101 things breaking every hour is key to CNA’s success,” says Chung, deputy chief editor at CNA’s digital team.

But CNA had a challenge to overcome: Legacy processes and siloed communications that created unnecessary friction in newsroom communications.

Before Slack, key editors in Mediacorp’s newsrooms often had to act as human telephone directories, connecting people who were on duty or assigned to certain stories.

Existing channels of cross-team communication such as email, Microsoft Lync and WhatsApp involved broadcasting messages to more people than necessary.

Delivering news faster and smarter with Slack

But Slack changed all that, making Mediacorp’s newsrooms more nimble.

Now, all newsroom communication for CNA and its sister newsbrand  TODAY happens in Slack. Mediacorp journalists use Slack channels to quickly gather the newsroom’s resources together whenever there’s a big news story breaking. 

With Slack, instant communication between editors and journalists on major events means information can be shared and decisions made faster. Slack huddles have become an important part of the process, allowing editors and journalists to jump on a call to discuss coverage. 

Thanks to Slack, Mediacorp can also better coordinate between different divisions like radio and TV to break stories faster and give more comprehensive coverage. 

“We used to work in a lot of silos before we implemented Slack,” says Chung. “Slack amplifies collaboration, helps us with real-time monitoring, and ultimately unlocks a lot of synergy for us. Being able to easily talk to another team and dip into another team’s chat to alert them to things that would be newsworthy is supremely valuable.”

Integrations and automation increase news coverage impact 

Slack integrations and automations also help Mediacorp respond to news events more efficiently and get more attention from readers. For example, automating alerts from news monitoring tools with Slack integrations has significantly increased the impact of CNA’s coverage.

“Slack helps us gain that nanosecond advantage when something is happening so our newsroom can stay on top of the coverage,” says Chung. “We get a heads-up when something is developing or breaking, sometimes even faster than the traditional wire agencies can confirm.”

Slack automations also make it easier to watch more news sources for the latest breaking news. 

“We’re an always-on profession, and these Slack automations take the anxiety out of having to monitor 100 sources at once,” says Chung.

“We’re an always-on profession, and Slack automations take the anxiety out of having to monitor 100 sources at once.”

Lyn-Yi ChungDeputy Chief Editor, CNA Digital at Channel News Asia

Cutting down on admin to focus on news

Between breaking stories, everyday newsroom life at CNA is also now more productive thanks to Slack. Using Slack, staff can self-service on tasks that used to require editors to help, freeing up valuable time across the team.

“There used to be a few key editors that had to be constantly on-call just to figure things out for other staff. With Slack, that’s not the case anymore,” says Chung.

Time-saving automated tasks, adjustable notification times and out-of-office emojis are all helping Mediacorp’s journalists get more done when they’re online and unplug when they’re not. 

“The whole point of us moving to Slack was so people can have their sanity after work. You should be able to have that headspace to recover,” says Chung.