Journalists need tech tools to enhance their productivity, streamline their workflow, and adapt to the evolving media landscape, JUSTICE OKAMGBA writes
Technology has played a significant role in enhancing journalism practice in Nigeria and the world at large.
It has become imperative for journalists to embrace technology to remain relevant and competitive in the industry.
A cybersecurity analyst, Anuoluwapo Olawuyi, said tech-savvy journalists will sometimes be ahead in the profession.
Olawuyi told The PUNCH that technology would continue to transform how journalists do their jobs and those who continue to hone their skills would benefit more.
“The profession is changing, and journalists need to keep up with the latest technology and trends to remain relevant. Here in the UK, young people are even becoming editors. I am not sure if this is the situation in Nigeria. But those with tech skills will work smarter,” he noted.
The cyber analyst said some tools would help writers improve their writing, and stay organised. For the To-do lists, I would recommend Apps like Asana, Proofub, and Trello can help create tasks, subtasks, deadlines, and notes.
A to-do list is a written or digital record of tasks that an individual needs or wants to accomplish. It serves as a tool to organise, prioritise, and keep track of activities, helping individuals manage their time and responsibilities effectively.
“A list of tasks that you need to accomplish or activities you wish to undertake: Every day, I strive to check off as many items on my to-do list as possible,” Olawuyi said.
Transcription tools like Voicedocs, Temi, Otter, and Rev can help journalists work smarter.
These tools assist in converting spoken words into written text, making the process of transcribing interviews, meetings, or recorded content much more efficient.
Olawuyi said, “When I was running a programme, I used Rev most of the time to record the lectures. As I record, it is automatically transcribed.”
By utilising transcription tools, journalists can save time, ensure accuracy, and focus on crafting compelling stories rather than spending excessive time on manual transcription.
Spell checkers help journalists check their text for grammar and structure.
A digital marketing specialist, Joel Ozue, told The PUNCH that an app like Grammarly could be useful for writers, including journalists.
Joel stated, “I’ve been using Grammarly. It helps me catch grammar errors, improve readability, and make my ad copies more impactful.
“It ensures my messages are clear, professional, and error-free. It’s like having a writing assistant for every ad I create.”
UX Design expert, Chukwuka Madumere, recommended research tools like Evernote, Pinpoint, Google Scholar and JSTOR could help journalists find reliable sources for their stories.
These tools are essential for tasks such as content research, fact-checking, data analysis, and story discovery, enabling journalists to perform their work more effectively and efficiently.
A research tool by Google that allows journalists to explore and analyse thousands of documents. It helps in finding stories faster and offers features like transcription.
“These tools not only streamline the information-gathering process but also provide us with the depth needed to present a comprehensive and accurate narrative. It is a game-changer for those practising journalism,” Madumere told The PUNCH.
Design tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, Canva, or Figma can help with creating visually appealing content.
According to Joel, Canva is the easiest to use even for someone who does not understand graphics.
The digital marketer said using a visual tool like Canva is also an excellent way to grab the attention of online readers.
“We use it to create Ad copies, but I think journalists who write data stories can use it for photographs,” he declared.
Word processors like Scrivener, OffiDocs, and Google Docs can help journalists write and edit their stories.
Google Docs is an online document editor that allows you to create, collaborate, and share documents in real-time. It is part of the Google Workspace suite and can be accessed from any device.
OffiDocs is a free online Word document creator that allows you to edit, collaborate, and share Word documents online. It offers features like style management, object management, and advanced text search capabilities.
ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI. It belongs to the GPT-3.5 architecture, which stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3.5.” It is designed to understand and generate human-like text based on the input it receives
Madumere said ChatGPT is not just for writing. “It also helps with interviews, which I think it is the core for journalists,” he noted.
He explained, “ChatGPT helps me ask better questions and understand what my sources are saying. It’s a big help in my work. When I have some tasks, I use the tool. Even for coding. It answers almost everything.
“When I’m in a hurry, ChatGPT is like having a quick brainstorming session. It helps me think of ideas fast.”