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The modern newsroom manages a dizzying array of information. Due to the spread of social media and other communication tools, potential news sources can include almost anyone — from celebrities and corporate spokespeople to citizen journalists and brand influencers. And the speed at which this news travels means journalists must now monitor hundreds — even thousands — of different sources to stay on top of a story. 

As audiences strengthen the demand for original, insightful and up-to-date reporting, news organizations must dig deeper into current events and ensure they never miss a story, all while working within the time constraints of a 24-hour news and social media cycle. To address these challenges, reporters, editors and strategists are harnessing the power of big data and cloud technology. Cloud-based applications and real-time analytics are helping journalists dive into data to discover breaking news and fresh perspectives.  

One interesting example is x.news, a service that uses the Microsoft Azure platform to let journalists connect simultaneously to several news content sources, including traditional outlets, web and social media, internal communications channels, and more. This tool and others like it allow reporters to easily track information in real time without having to manage multiple applications or spend valuable time analyzing reams of data from various sources. Instead, they can visualize trends and updates on a common interface, then further increase efficiency by using keywords or other customized filters to narrow topics. In the case of an earthquake, for example, journalists could quickly filter out affected social media users, then pull up their responses beside local media outlets and government sources, instantly forming an on-the-ground portrait of what happened. 

The Azure platform’s flexibility, enhanced by the capabilities of database engines like SQL Server 2017, are giving newsrooms and reporters the tools to succeed in a fast-paced and increasingly information-rich world. The ability to access any data source quickly and securely through robust mobile applications can give journalists an edge when on the road. And seamless integration between content sources and business intelligence tools like Power BI can reveal hidden trends and patterns from even the most disparate sources. 

The speed of today’s constant news cycles and the staggering amount of available information may seem overwhelming. But solutions such as Microsoft Azure and SQL Server are helping modern newsrooms stay ahead of today’s stories and more intelligently cover worldwide events. To learn more, visit the Microsoft SQL Server site.