At the beginning of 2018 CS Digital Media starts its own online news channel that aims to stand out from regular – read traditional – portals. How? Mainly with its own agenda, tone of voice and the use of innovative (interactive) technology. Name? CSDM News!

The time when media could, by definition, hide behind the philosophical motto ‘content is king’ is far behind us. News and information on a great variety of topics are freely available almost everywhere, which has made these largely interchangeable and has therefore lost most of their attention value. The CS Digital Media newsroom has experienced this as well.

(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Stopping power

The rapid rise of ‘mobile’, tablet and smartphone usage has meant formidable competition for CSDM news in public transport, at metro stations and in buses. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and various blogs/vlogs further triggered a crucial change in (digital) storytelling, in which ‘short reads’ and ‘(public) video’ dominated, influencing the narrative structure of news items.

This was reason enough – making it in fact both absolutely essential and a wonderful challenge – for CSDM to critically assess the current content guides and to drastically shake things up. The central objective was of course adding extra ‘stopping power’ to CS Digital Media networks’ digital landscape and portrait screens. Inspired by among other things new journalistic initiatives such as Sublime FM,, but also the use of robotics when providing news (Automated Insights in New York for e.g. The Economist) and the applications of the FutureMediaLab (University of Tilburg), CS Digital Media began their quest and eventually developed CSDM News!

Optimistic and future-oriented

CSDM News is based on the editorial pillars of technology & innovation, sustainability & nature, leisure & lifestyle and art & culture. The selection of items is based on appealing to positive feelings and having the wow factor. Items are optimistic and focus on the new world and the future. This means that we no longer have items on – say – the sacking of Danny Blind as league manager or an attack on a market in Bagdad or the umpteenth Hollywood divorce: those unavoidable and often predictable current events that flash up on your smartphones every few seconds. We leave these to the well-known networks such as ANP, Reuters, AFP and CNN.

CSDM News chooses features which do not readily come to the fore elsewhere, but are relevant and worthwhile and therefore have an extra trigger compared to the ‘regular news’. This can be a new invention, the discovery of a new animal species, a promising start-up or an initiative regarding sustainability and environment, but also something such as a football player scoring forty times in a single match. CSDM News captures your imagination, but also puts a smile on your face. The specific sources which are used for this are selected by a ‘news grabber’ that continuously searches the web for pre-defined subjects and fields.

Elon Musk at SpaceX

Social & sensors

CSDM News is not only present on digital CSDM screens, but also in a deepening and complementary way on various social platforms (and in the future on an app and a site). Using the screens, CSDM News brings 24/7, in a recognizable format, very brief messages and headlines with a strong social emphasis. Here a number of long and medium reads are, if possible, also provided with audio and video. In addition to this coverage and features, CSDM News does not shy away from experimenting with giving extra support to the attention value of the channel. CSDM News will, for example, cover major events (Rotterdam Marathon, Summer Carnival, World Harbour days) with automated feeds, interactive live streams, commercial/ branded formats. Moreover, pilots with programmatic (personalized) content and various forms of ‘sensor journalism’ will provide a ‘push’ for the channel. In the words of the American journalist Arthur MacEwen: CSDM News ‘is anything that makes a reader say Gee Whiz!’