The New York Times unveils Eclipse, a video app developed in the 5G Journalism Lab

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On Monday, The New York Times published its first story with video captured by Eclipse, an instant video app developed by The Times’ 5G Journalism Lab. Journalists covering the Boston Marathon filed video of the runners and crowds nearly in real-time, allowing the newsroom to frequently update the live briefing and provide readers a rich experience of the race.

Since early 2019, the 5G Journalism Lab, a collaboration between The New York Times and Verizon and an extension of The Times’s R&D team, has been developing and testing new technologies that take advantage of 5G capabilities to produce and deliver authoritative visual journalism much faster. These technologies have created new workflows that enable journalists to share a more complete representation of what they witness on the ground in near real-time.

Inventing those new workflows begins in the field. Since early 2021, The Times’s R&D technologists have been experimenting with potential solutions to integrate into the workflow of Times video journalists on assignment all over the world.

As a result of this work, the 5G Journalism Lab developed Eclipse, an app that allows video journalists to send footage from the scene of a story nearly in real-time. An “always on” connection between journalists on the ground and the newsroom means editors can better coordinate coverage, selecting and publishing material more quickly and guiding journalists on the ground. This tangible shift in workflow ultimately helps readers get the news closer to when it happens.

“Moving visuals are such a large part of our culture,” says Marc Lavallee, The New York Times’s executive director of research and development. “The need to provide visual evidence of an unfolding news event is paramount to trust in journalism. Being able to build plans and expectations around having rich material to work with is huge for us.”

Read more about the 5G Journalism Lab.

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