Handy apps for journalists on the go…

GV crowd

The penultimate session of the news:rewired conference, in London today, detailed the kinds of sharing tools and apps useful for digital journalists who carry out tasks on the go.

The panel discussion featured:

  • Nick Summers, reporter, The Next Web
  • Nick Garnett, North of England correspondent, BBC Radio 5 Live
  • James Neufeld, founder and chief executive, SAM

Nick Garnett stated that having lots of apps was not helpful, but having a few that were reliable and that a journalist knows how to use properly was.

He said:

If you know your apps, you can focus on storytelling

For the out and about reporter, Garnett said, the perfect app is Voddio, which allows you to record 1080p video at 25fps, record voiceovers, edit on a multitrack level, and transmit back to the office.

He also noted that Topwrite was an incredibly simple and useful tool that could be used to send text via email or text, or send to Twitter or Facebook.

Garnett also focused heavily on security-based apps “which are always important at border control”. An app called Note Lock allows the user to store different sets of notes under different passwords.

He explained how useful he had found Find Friends when on assignment at the Syrian border. He said: “It meant the newsroom could check up on me every few hours”.

Nick Summers, reporter for The Next Web, focused on computer-based extensions and tools that helped him search for and manage stories.

One tool he found “which saved me hours” was Diff Checker which allows the user to compare to blocks of text for differences. This is especially useful in the case of revised government documents which can sometimes go on well over a hundred pages.

He also mentioned the increasingly popular Evernote which can be synced between devices and can be used in conjunction with Evernote Web Clipper to quickly grab information from web pages.

He also noted, to the audible surprise of some, how useful he found Google+.

He said:

For the purposes of storing pictures and editing them, Google is a really good tool

On pictures, he also mentioned Pixly, “a Photoshop clone”, that is free and simple to use when editing images.

James Neufeld’s new project, SAM, which is currently built by his Canadian team, is an interesting new approach to building stories from social media. It appears to blend the functions of Tweetdeck with additional benefits such as adding labels and the ability to create collaborative stories based on the content gathered.

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