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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 

GT Maritime has introduced 'GTNews4Crew', to provide shipowners with a configurable environment for curating news relevant to their crews and distributing it to vessels.

According to GT Maritime, when access to news from reputable sources is more important than ever, the new service will help keep crews up-to-date on events unfolding in their home countries as well as offering a selection of lighter content to help maintain morale.

Specifically designed for the marine environment, GTNews4Crew can be configured according to the nationalities and interests of a vessel’s crew. News channels can be selected based on language preferences to ensure articles delivered to vessels are both relevant and relatable. The 20 available language options include Indian, Filipino, and Russian.

Mike McNally (pictured), Global Commercial Director, GTMaritime said: “A multilingual, locally-sourced solution was essential to avoid ‘foreign hotel TV’ syndrome, where you end up watching domestic broadcasts in the typically futile hope something from home will crop up and, if it does, then trying to piece the story together from any captions, footage, or listening beneath over-dubs. It invariably leaves you none the wiser.”

Once news articles have been downloaded to the onboard GTNews4Crew server, they can be viewed from personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones via the ship’s internal network.

Because the news content is hosted locally, crew are not faced with the dilemma of whether or not to use their calling cards or allocated internet quota to keep abreast of rapidly developing events in their home countries, such as the Covid-19 outbreak. This means they are less likely to be worried by rumours or misinformation spread over social media.

McNally said: “By default GTNews4Crew compresses each package of news before it is sent out and you would be surprised at how much can be squeezed into a few megabytes. But we understand broadband availability still varies significantly from fleet to fleet and from ship to ship.”

A basic version of GTNews4Crew will be provided as standard to all GTMail4Crew subscription customers. GTMaritime are providing all customers with a trial of the basic version of GTNews4Crew for an initial two-month period after which they can upgrade to the full version, continue enjoying the basic version by subscribing to GTMail4Crew, or end the trial.

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