If you’re a busy journalist who’s pressed for time, check out these 10+ time-saving solutions! From accurate transcription services to secure messaging apps and curated podcasts, here are a list of tools for the increasingly busy journalist
With Donald Trump’s “fake news,” the WikiLeaks scandal, the troll farms and increasing pressures to produce more unique content faster – professional journalists are working harder than ever trying to distinguish facts from fake information, record and edit video interviews and meet tight deadlines.
Solutions such as Go Transcript, Tape a Call, and Threema will make life easier for any journalist and their increasing workloads – but what are the other alternative solutions on the market?
Transcription has long been the bane of all journalists, and almost a rite of passage to journalists starting out their career. Even in this age of smartphones, there are very few alternatives to just putting on a pair of headphones and getting on with writing up that ten-minute interview that will most likely take around an hour. One transcription tool used by journalists is Go Transcript – a transcription service best-known for providing human-driven solutions, with an accuracy rate of 99 percent. Go Transcript has also previously been favoured by internationally-recognized media outlets such as the BBC and the Huffington Post. Automated transcription is also a solution, with providers such as Trint and oTranscribe providing an AI-based alternative. However, AI-transcription providers’ programs may lack in accuracy in the event of excessive background noise or multiple speakers.
Making voice recordings (interviews and phone calls) used to be a problem. It sometimes involved a smartphone or tablet, a quiet room, recording the voice through the computer, then transferring it to the smart device. Thankfully, those days are over – suggested ways to record inbound calls are Tape a Call (iOS), which allows for the immediate download of incoming and outgoing calls, whilst Automatic Call Recorder provides Android users with a similar solution. For a desktop alternative, there is Simple Recorder which is free.
Secure messaging apps
WikiLeaks, Panama Papers and most recently, the Cambridge Analytica Scandal have all brought wider awareness to the need for encrypted messaging apps. WhatsApp, Telegram, and Viber are the most recognized apps of this type, but there are a number of other paid and non-paid alternatives on the market. South Korea’s KakaoTalk is one such option available for iOS and Android, as is Signal. Another newcomer is Swiss-made Threema, which even allows users to pin-protect their messages, media files, and voice calls. Unlike Kakao and Signal, it is a paid app.
With the age of the smartphone in full-swing, video journalism isn’t going anywhere. Whilst mobile video editing is currently unable to match the power of desktop software, there are still a number of good apps that will make a mobile video look much more professional than it would do in its original form. In addition to standard in-built software for iOS and Android, there are also apps such as Magisto for the storytelling journalist, and FilamoraGo, which has been developed by Filamore who are already widely-praised for their video software.
Additional data shows that 48% of 18-25 year olds and 48% of 25-34 year olds in 2018 listen to a news podcast on a monthly basis. Journalists are no exception here. With more and more news being consumed via podcasts, Spreaker curates podcasts based on listener behaviour, and Overcast provides users with a handsome UX that sadly lacks in curation features and 3D touch support.
With a seeming abundance of solutions on the market aimed at making journalists’ lives easier, there is an answer to any journalists’ needs – whether they’d be cutting their teeth in the industry after graduation, a freelancer, or a seasoned veteran. All it takes is some experimenting to figure out what suits their needs best.