2022-12-07 Brittany Ballard

Polaris Media Increases Efficiency in the Newsroom with Artificial Intelligence and Print Automation

Learn how Naviga Publisher powered by Sophi.io helped transform Agderposten’s newsroom with print automation.

As the industry continues to go through an era of digital transformation, publishers aren’t just itching to get their hands on the latest cutting-edge technologies. They need them to take their business to the next level and differentiate themselves from other publishers.  

Take daily newspaper Agderposten, part of the Norwegian media corporation Polaris Media Sor, for example. To free up time in the newsroom and cut down on costs, they implemented an AI solution in 2020 for print automation: Naviga Publisher powered by Sophi.io. In fact, automating the print production workflow has had such a big impact that the initiative ranked silver in the 2022 INMA Global Media Awards for the category of Best Innovation in Newsroom Transformation for National Brands. 

Read how Naviga Publisher was named a finalist in the 2022 INMA Global Media Awards 

The proof of why this is so important is in the numbers: since going live with Naviga Publisher, Agderposten has seen 66% total savings in time and resources. It’s no surprise that newsrooms around the world are looking to achieve the same savings in their own newsrooms. 


Changing the future of print with innovative solutions

Let’s be real: we all know that automation is changing the future of the industry from content management to audience engagement to advertising sales. The reason why print automation is such a big deal for publishers is because it affects a large amount of editorial resources. According to a 2020 Naviga Survey, about a third of all allocated resources are dedicated to the print newspaper manufacturing processes. That’s 30% of your team’s time taken away from the actual journalistic reporting that differentiates you from other publishers! 

Agderposten was facing this very problem when they reached out to Naviga. At the time, they were using two different CMS platforms – one for print and one to convert the print content into a digital format. This resulted in their team of reporters to work in two different “modes”, and handling their daily papers was consuming a lot of time and energy that could have been spent focusing on other things. It was time for a change. 

“We didn’t want to do that anymore,” said Bjørn Robert Knudsen, Director of Technology at Agderposten. “We wanted to find a smooth way to make content available for the paper without having to spend a lot of labor in preparation.”  

Little did Agderposten know that their search for a way to automate these processes would lead to the development of the world’s first print automation solution for newspaper layout.  


Shorten and simplify the print production process

Imagine inputting all your articles into a centralized database and formatting them into a newspaper at the click of a button. Sounds impossible, right?  

This is exactly what Agderposten was looking for in their search for a way to automate the print product process, a “Make Me a Newspaper” button that shortened the production process and took the stress off their team from worrying about the layout and formatting of their daily newspapers.  

And that’s exactly what they got with Naviga Publisher powered by Sophi.io. 

Once the selected articles have been defined and prioritized, Agderposten is able to run the list of items through Naviga Publisher. There, Sophi.io makes not just one or two, but thousands of calculations in order to find the optimal print option for the publication while keeping section and ad distribution in mind as well. And if priorities shift? Naviga Publisher makes it easy for a user to rerun only the pages that you would like to alter and in a span of just a few minutes have the new output with the new prioritization.  

The best part – the AI solution produces newspapers that have the same look and feel as when they were produced by the editorial team. 

“Naviga Publisher has enabled our news organization to develop the same level of quality newspaper with fewer resources. This enables us to re-allocate those resources to driving better content and increased subscriptions,” said Øyvind Klausen, Director of Business Development at Polaris Media Sør. 


From manual work to automating 80% of the layout

In just one year, Agderposten was able to go from 100% manual effort to automating 80% of its layout. This has enabled them to reduce bottlenecks, simplify processes, and redirect sources towards reporting. 

But that’s not all. 

Agderposten has also seen significant cost savings. The daily newspaper, which runs about 14,000 paper pages in average per year, has estimated that the cost per page has been reduced from €15 to €5. And, as we mentioned at the start of the article, they have seen an amazing 66% total savings in time and resources. 

Klausen has even stated that he expects cost savings and efficiency to continue to increase as more of Agderposten’s pages were automated and more of the newspapers from Polaris Media Sør implement Naviga Publisher. 


Meeting the needs of the evolving newsroom with cutting-edge technology

“With the newsroom constantly changing, the technology being used by publishers also needs to evolve,” said Scott Roessler, CEO of Naviga. 

The current era of digital transformation isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Publishers today need solutions that enable them to balance both print and digital on a unified platform, allowing them to increase efficiencies in the newsroom while shifting priorities to other things – such as reporting and monetizing digital content. 

Luckily, transforming your newsroom has never been easier.  

Interested in learning more? Reach out to our team today to learn more about Naviga Publisher. 

Get an inside look at how Naviga Publisher powered by Sophi.io works