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GEN Live Desk

What is GEN Live Desk?

GEN Live Desk is a next-generation open source web tool to enable both individuals and teams to report live breaking news from anywhere, working only in a web browser. Fully managed hosting will be available from in early 2013.

Launched at the 2012 World News Summit, GEN Live Desk is being developed by Sourcefabric for GEN, the Global Editors Network, and is built on Superdesk technology. Source code for Superdesk is available to download from

With journalists from the BBC, the Guardian, Le Monde, Voralberger Nachrichten and Zeit Online all contributing to its design, GEN Live Desk can justly be said to have been designed by journalists for journalists.

GEN Live Desk is inspired by the best features of existing live-blogging tools. It gives journalists and editors the ability to curate live content coming from their own correspondents together with selected material from external sources including Twitter, Flickr, and Google.

Being web-based, GEN Live Desk can accept contributions from anywhere, creating new opportunities for independent newsrooms to pool their resources together and collaborate to produce rich live blogs. GEN Live Desk is easy to integrate into your website and alongside existing newsroom systems. The intention is to enhance the tools you're already using, rather than replace them.

The availability of GEN Live Desk means that independent news organisations are now able to emulate the live-blogging capabilities of big newsrooms such as the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, and Le Figaro, without having to hire a programming team or buy in an expensive proprietary software solution.

Whether you use it to cover a major set-piece such as an election, a breaking news story, a sporting event or anything else, live-blogging with GEN Live Desk will help you drive traffic and sustain reader interest with engaging content. GEN Live Desk can also facilitate organisations looking to increase revenue by means of sponsorship, contextual adverts or paid subscriptions. 

GEN and Sourcefabric are keen for as many individuals and organisations as possible to test out GEN Live Desk for themselves, to deploy it in their workflow, and to get involved in shaping its development.  

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