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Sourcefabric z.ú., Europe’s largest developer of open-source technology for the news media, is doubling the size of its Prague headquarters and merging its German for-profit subsidiary, Sourcefabric GmbH, with its Czech commercial arm, Sourcefabric Ventures s.r.o.
Established in April 2010, parent organisation Sourcefabric z.ú. is a nonprofit developer of open-source software and digital solutions and works to strengthen the editorial and economic independence of media organisations worldwide. This mission-driven development is supported with income generated by Sourcefabric’s subordinate commercial companies, along with donations and project-related funding.
After the organisational merger is completed, global commercial activities will be centered in Prague, where they will be managed by Sourcefabric Ventures s.r.o. The German market, and Sourcefabric’s numerous German customers, will remain a key priority going forward.
With independent media organisations facing a variety of technical and economic challenges, Sourcefabric’s software has been developed to improve newsroom efficiencies. For instance, by automating certain tasks in the news production and distribution processes, news organisations powered by Sourcefabric solutions can free up editors’ time to produce quality journalism.
The core technology powering that vision is Superdesk, a content management and newsroom workflow system developed in partnership with leading news organisations – including the Australian Associated Press (AAP) and the national news agency of Norway (NTB). Since Superdesk’s public release in early 2016, nearly a dozen other publishers have adopted the CMS or are transitioning to the software, including some of Europe’s leading news agencies. Every month, the platform delivers more than 300,000 news items to over 80 million readers on four continents.
Among Superdesk’s strengths is its open-source code base, which allows partner media organisations to collectively make improvements, share development costs, and redistribute needed resources for other journalistic endeavors.
To facilitate this innovative media partnership, Sourcefabric has just launched a news agency collaborative called the Superdesk Wire Club. The goal of this new forum is to bring together Superdesk clients from around the world to guide the system’s future development in line with the particular needs of news agencies. Founding members of the Superdesk Wire Club include Norwegian news agency NTB, Belgian news agency Belga and Australian Associated Press.
Beyond Superdesk, Sourcefabric’s software is used to strengthen journalism and foster media innovations in some of the world’s most restrictive environments. Other tools in its portfolio of solutions for independent media include:
- Superdesk Publisher, a native extension of Superdesk used to manage news websites and other forms of digital publishing. Current Superdesk Publisher projects include two independent news organisations in the Balkans – Insajder.netin Serbia, and Vijesti.me in Montenegro – and Brasil247, one of Brazil’s leading independent media outlets.
- Airtime Pro, an all-in-one Internet radio automation and broadcasting platform used by DJ hobbyists as well as professional radio stations around the globe.
- Live Blog, a live online blogging tool, is being used by major media outlets (such as German news agency dpa) to diversify coverage and develop new revenue streams.
To broaden its range of media activities, Sourcefabric has partnered with Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), which invests in independent media in challenging environments. A Sourcefabric-MDIF joint venture, SFS Ventures s.r.o., recently acquired a majority stake in Poland’s Eurozet radio station.
Sourcefabric’s renovated headquarters will occupy two floors of Štenc House, an Art Nouveau building near Prague’s Old Town square that housed a printing press and artist studios in the early 20th century.
“Our client base is expanding, and so, too, are our ambitions. Quality journalism is the lifeblood of democratic societies, and open-source technology is the backbone of quality journalism,” said Sourcefabric Managing Director Sava Tatić. “Our goal, therefore, is to ensure that journalists everywhere, operating under any circumstance, have the tools they need to do their work.”