These are revolutionary times for media and press to scale their reach and impact using technology. In today’s time, the growing need for a faster and more effective press cannot be ignored. With the responsibility and power that press holds today, a journalist’s day to day hustle is anything but easy. However, using certain tools can help them in meticulous planning and faster relay of information.
Technology can help us take a giant leap towards progressive journalism. Using the right combination of apps and software can change the game for a journalist big time.
The tech giants are continually trying to identify the need-gap and working towards formulating solutions which can drive greater audience engagement and faster reception. Here’s a look at some of the tools that a journalist should use to make their job easier and more effective.
Save time in research and write your stories faster with Frase.
How about the idea of being able to write & research within the same environment? Frase lets you save the back and forth time in switching between a word processor and browser tabs.
It provides a word processor with an integrated “research assistant” — a tool that searches and summarizes sources, which are readily available for the writers to incorporate into their document.
It also monitors thousands of blogs and news sites to give an enriched and flexible data feed, including summaries and topics. This, in turn, helps journalists focus on the aesthetics and strategic side of their news story by saving them from spending too much time on research and analysis.
Make your write-up a fine piece of work with Grammarly.
You might have already heard about this one as it’s become one of the most widely used tools in the world today. And for all good reasons. Whether it’s an article, email or simply a text message, Grammarly is a wholesome fix for avoiding any kind of errors in your writing. Due to time constraints in a journalist’s job, keeping a tab on minor grammatical or syntax errors often takes a back seat. Hence a tool like Grammarly which scans text for both common and complex mistakes, helps a journalist write any write-up or column without worrying about any hasty mistakes. Also, if you’re looking at improving your writing skills, Grammarly is the tool for it as it provides detailed explanations for all your mistakes to help avoid making them again in the future.
Take all your notes in one place and securely save them everywhere with Evernote.
For a journalist, taking notes and staying productive by saving every thought on the go is a crucial thing to follow. Evernote is the most quintessential for this purpose as it lets you do so in the simplest way possible. It can help you stay on top of the game by helping you save your notes in any kind of format, be it text, sketches, photos, audio, video, PDFs, web clippings and more. If there’s an urgent document you need to scan and save in your device, it can do that too. It also lets you save and share important web links and emails. If you have saved something on Evernote, it stays everywhere as it syncs everything automatically across your computer, phone or tablet. So if you have saved anything on Evermore, the worry of losing the information ceases to exist. It also helps you organize and prioritize ideas, projects, and to-do lists, which is a must for journalists so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Add charts or maps to your news stories, in seconds using Datawrapper.
As the name suggests, it wraps up all your data in a neat and clean graphical representation. Journalists all over the world use Datawrapper to make their news stories more interactive and easy on the eyes. Communicating any type of information visually helps make it easier to understand and analyze. Therefore when it comes to stories related to the economic world or defining any other complex status quo, Datawrapper enables their creation within minutes with its smart features. What’s best? With its intuitive design, it doesn’t require a code or design skill to use this tool so any member of the team can input data and convert it into a beautiful and responsive representation. Each day journalists create 1000 charts with Datawrapper as it’s perfectly suited for professional reporting.
Make your news more powerful by using free images and photos using Unsplash.
As we know that most of the news stories need a visual gear to support the journalist’s deeper perspective on them. These days getting a royalty-free picture which is good enough to be published can’t be used without giving away some amount of money. As pictures are a daily requirement in journalism, purchasing them for every other story can cost a media house lots of money. Unsplash holds the best solution to this problem by providing the most enthralling collection of pictures for FREE. It banks a wide range of pictures taken by photographers from all around the globe. The best part about Unsplash is that all the images are free to use and download under the Unsplash License which makes them better than any royalty-free or stock photos. Every week it updates its collection by adding photos curated by popular brands like Inc. Magazine, Trello, Fujifeed, and Squarespace.
Transcribe your interviews with minimal effort using Transcribe.
Making note of the audio clips of those interviews becomes a very daunting job for any journalist as it rots away their precious time. If you’re thinking there’s no better way to do it then you have probably haven’t heard of the tool called Transcribe. Transcribe helps get work done in a more productive way by saving loads of time. It can transcribe anything – interviews, audio notes, speeches or any other recorded speech in a textual form, automatically. Moreover, if the audio is not clear enough to get transcribed, it also gives an option to self dictate the piece for its fast and accurate conversion.
Get news alerts from all around the globe with IFTTT
This app is a one-stop solution to your needs as a journalist. Its basic functionality is that it extracts the best usage out of all your apps. IFTTT (if this, then that) gets all your apps and devices working together to give you the information that you need without you searching for it. One of its special features is ‘news applets’ which provide you with news and facts, set according to your interests and preferences. It does so by giving you an option to enter keywords of your interests within each applet. These applets ping you news alerts from organizations like WHO, Nasa, New York Times, Quartz, ESPN etc. You can subscribe to a weekly digest of world news from a daily or get notified with an email when a certain website of your liking releases any article. It also keeps you up to date with topics that are headlining or trending on social media.
Create high-quality videos within a few clicks using InVideo
With the digital revolution hitting our world, information in the form of videos is highly anticipated among masses. To meet this demand, news organizations all around the globe are creating a large number of videos each day to stay on top of their game. But the entire process costs them an immense amount of labor and money which ultimately create a gap in their supply and demand. To bridge this gap, a tool like InVideo can prove to be the most useful for a journalist. InVideo has a unique product called InVideo Press which helps big media houses on a daily basis to create fully automated videos in bulk. The time utilized to make 10 to 12 videos can be used to create hundreds of videos through InVideo’s advanced technology. It also contains an inbuilt library of design templates and music options which are intuitively added to the visuals through its AI. This way it drastically reduces human effort and is extremely handy and cost-effective for making any kind of news videos.
Record and edit your interviews in one place with Audacity.
Audacity is a free and open-source editor and recording application software, available for Windows, macOS/OS X and Unix-like operating systems. The question is – when can a journalist use Audacity? Audacity is a great tool for recording live interviews, podcasts or any other type of audio. Alongside recording, it enables easy editing with simple commands like Cut, Copy, Paste and Delete. The audio can be exported as an MP3 so you can use it as a stand-alone or import it to a video editing software to further add it to a video piece.
Create amazing designs for your online news stories and blog posts with Canva.
It’s become a mandate for all news channels and publishing houses to keep their audiences hooked to their online channels with quick news updates. A tool like Canva comes extremely in handy for creating and managing quick blog titles, quote graphics and social media which have become an important aspect of today’s journalism. It also helps maintain a consistent brand image by saving fonts, colors and images in a Brand Kit for regular usage. The designs can be exported for print as well in case they are required for a press kit.
Save time managing social media of your organization using Buffer.
The most important resource for a journalist other than news is time. Saving time allows a journalist to think clearly in times of need. With all the hype around quick news alerts online, reporting has become an even more challenging task than it was ever before. Buffer can be used by journalists to maintain and drive their social media platforms on the go. It schedules posts, analyzes performance, and manages all accounts in one place. This can save tons of time and effort which are very valuable in case of a journalist.
Keep a track of how your social media and competitors are performing across platforms using CrowdTangle.
For a journalist, the easiest way to keep a track of what’s happening on social media is through CrowdTangle. It keeps you on top of the stories that matter and also helps identify influencers in the game. CrowdTangle is available across these content platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit. With CrowdTangle you can never miss a big moment! Whether it’s an internal viral hit, breaking international news, or a competitor’s biggest hit of the day, it’s bound to reach you.