Newzroom Afrika gets future fit with move to new headquarters

Newzroom Afrika has marked its second year of operation with a bold move into the future as the channel takes up residence in its new studio, which has been fitted out with best-in-class broadcasting technology to set new standards in television news production.

“Our new home is an extension of our vision to be Africa’s leading and credible news and information service. Every piece of equipment and technology, every angle and every corner of our building exhibits what we are capable of,” said Newzroom Afrika CEO Thabile Ngwato.

“It represents a new chapter in our story and a dedication to giving our viewers the very best of everything.”

Working with Michael Gill Designs once again, the architectural design of the studio was further elevated. “We took all the features of our old set that made us stand out from the rest, and enhanced them even more,” said Michael Gill.  The 16:9 format was pushed and now includes a 45m long wraparound screen behind all anchors.  “We now also have three separate areas in studio which can be used individually or as a whole. We have added many more elements to the set to make it pop on camera, these include high gloss black floors and mirrored elements. The design of the lighting fixtures used is also a definite highlight.”  

The new studio is also completely run by robotic camera systems from Vinten Radamac. These seven robotic systems are operated by a single operator and give pinpoint movement and camera accuracy. Newzroom Afrika is also running the best of breed broadcast camera technology and lenses that give the channel exceptional high-definition pictures.

The move was completed under challenging circumstances, during the COVID-19 lockdown and curfew regulations. “It was a daunting challenge,” said Adriaan Shipalana, CEO of Harambe Technologies who were responsible for the “transplant” of Newzroom Afrika’s critical infrastructure within three months, while the channel continued to broadcast live 24/7.

“Newzroom Afrika already had one of the most advanced IP-based platforms in South Africa from Evertz, as well as the latest newsroom computer systems from Avid. Moving the infrastructure was one thing, but also creating a temporary housing facility for Newzroom to continue broadcasting so that this infrastructure could be moved to a new facility was another,” Shipalana added.

The heart of the facility is built on the latest IP-based routing technology from Evertz Microsystems. The IP router is a future proof technology that is able to handle Newzroom Afrika’s current technical infrastructure and all its future requirements.

In building its newsroom of the future, one of Newzroom Afrika’s priorities was finding a versatile system that could adapt to whatever the future has in store for the industry. This system will allow the channel to add features and capacity as it grows—in effect “future-proofing” its newsroom.

Bandile Mathebula

Award wining writer and Journalist. Founding Editor In Chief at Sibizi News. Managing Director at Sibizi Media. Vice-Chairman at Ignite Young Minds SA. I have worked in the media industry for the past 7 years working across different brands and industries.

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