The CBA News Exchange has been set up to provide its members with simple and economic way to source news snippets from other members around the Commonwealth. It also gives participants an avenue to distribute reports, on the issues affecting their countries, worldwide. For reasons concerning rights, the News Exchange is only available to full PSB members. Membership of the exchange is free for the first year – that’s up until 31 August 2011 – and will thereafter cost £1000 +VAT per year for members from the developing world, and £2000 +VAT for members from the developed world. BBC (UK), ABC (Australia), CBC (Canada), SBS (Australia), MNBC (Maldives), GBN (Grenada), GBC (Ghana), and CBC (Barbados) have all already joined the exchange.
The first step in joining the exchange is to sign the News Exchange agreement – please contact Adam Weatherhead (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have not yet received your copy. Once this is signed, you will be given a password to the News Exchange site www.cbaexchange.com where you will be able to download material for broadcast. The site is set up as a blog, with the most recently submitted story at the top. It is also RSS friendly so members can be alerted as soon as new content is available.
A crucial aspect of the success of this exchange is that all participating members regularly contribute stories via FTP. The CBA has enlisted the help of Feature Story News (FSN) to ensure that content is promptly uploaded to the site. FSN are a worldwide organisation which offers a 24 hour service. Content is generally available within two hours of it being uploaded through FTP by exchange members. FSN are also charged with the task of explaining all the technical aspects of the News Exchange – don’t hesitate to contact Olly Barratt (email@example.com) if you have any queries about this aspect. Submissions are generally between 30 seconds and 3 minutes in length, preferably without commentary, and are available in either PAL or NTSC.