RJI Futures Lab Update #178: Inside ‘Serif,’ The Dallas Morning News’ CMS

    by Rachel Wise
    January 20, 2017

    Serif is a new, reporter-friendly content management system developed by the Dallas Morning News that prioritizes mobile and digital content. Chris Williams, senior director of digital portfolio at the Dallas Morning News, explains its features and how it’s changed things up at the Dallas Morning News.

    Reporting by Hailey Godburn.


    For more information:

    • Serif is a visual-heavy platform that boasts features such as image recognition, pull quotes, quick embeds for social media posts or other code, and a robust photo manager.
    • One of the biggest changes that came with Serif was a complete overhaul of the Dallas Morning News’ workflows. Because it was designed so that writing, editing and building articles is done within Serif, it eliminated the need for other systems used across departments. According to Williams, editors working on the print products experienced the most change. “People who would edit stories late at night in the print CMS would no longer do that. (Instead), they go to Serif (to find) the most updated version and note that now it always comes downstream to them.”
    • The Dallas Morning News first began using Serif when it rebuilt its entertainment vertical, Guide Live, in early 2015. From there, it rolled out to the sports division, and then to the whole newsroom of more than 300 people by mid-2016.
    • This sample article demonstrates some of the key features of Serif.

    Rachel Wise is an editor at the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

    RJI Futures Lab web bannerThe Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

    Tagged: dallas morning news rji futures lab Serif

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