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25 Useful Apps for Journalism Students

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Journalism is an exciting career – no question about it! And today, in the modern era we live in, it is ever more challenging and interactive. All the media outlets are interconnected and professional journalists need to be on top of new technologies and new ways of delivering information.

Multimedia is the key word for journalism today – live charts, moving images, audio and video within the text; the modern audience expects no less. The good news is that there are all sorts of useful apps, programs, platforms and tools, which make our work as journalists much easier. You don’t necessarily need a big camera to make a video anymore; you don’t need a powerful computer to edit clips and pictures. Simply grab a smartphone and let your imagination flow.

Here is my list of some of the most useful appsfor journalism students and graduates. Try them out; you’ll be surprised how much you can achieve!

News apps

As a journalist, the most important question for you remains: “What’s the story?” It is obvious that you need to always be on top of the news, always in search of interesting and important issues you could explore. News apps are particularly useful because they help you find exactly what you want in seconds, file it and save it for later use.

I would strongly recommend the BBC News App, as it is one of the most reliable sources for news stories around the world. You have the option to create push notifications the moment a breaking news story happens, so you can be among the first to hear about it.

Alternatively, you can listen to BBC iPlayer Radio and learn all you need to know, while travelling, driving, cooking etc. In my view, radio is pretty cool in general!

Three more amazing news apps which will save you a lot of time and effort are Pocket, Feedly and Instapaper. They are great for searching and organizing news stories. You can store articles, video and audio clips and much more – the best part is that after you save your content, you don’t need an internet connection to see it again. You have the option to create folders and separate your choices by topic, location or any other criteria you wish. Moreover, you can browse social networks, blogs, YouTube channels… basically all you can think of!

Picture editing apps

Picture editing apps are also very useful for journalists, particularly when in need of good quality pictures to accompany content uploaded to a website or blog. You might not always be able to get the picture you want, meaning some picture editing is quite often needed in order to make the best of a bad photo.

TouchBlur is a particularly useful app, as it allows you to blur a person’s face or a brand with a simple touch on your smartphone’s screen. Sometimes your sources might not want to be named or sometimes you have to blur their faces and hide their identity for their own safety. This simple picture editing app gives you a simple and brilliant solution to those problems, and the best part is that it happens in seconds!

Another amazing app for picture editing is Tagg.ly. It allows you to quickly add names, logos, locations, timestamps and much more to your media. You can use this app for both pictures and videos.

ThingLink is similar in the sense that it allows you to add text and/or video to your pictures. You can use it for creating interactive multimedia content for your website or blog to ‘spice them up’ a bit.

JustSeen is a wonderful way of seeing what is happening in the world at this very second through the eyes (pictures) of millions of people around the globe. You can live-stream photos, search through different categories and share with the rest of the world what you see around you. This gives you the opportunity to raise awareness about various issues that you, as a journalist, feel are too poorly covered.

Another handy app for those interested in the visual side of the news is Pixable, which gives you the chance to follow all the trending pictures and videos on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. You can choose what types of stories you are interested in, organize them into folders and share them on your profiles.

Video apps

Undoubtedly, some of the most useful apps for journalists are video apps. If you aspire to have a career in broadcast media (especially TV) or online, creating video content will be absolutely essential. Sometimes, however, you will not have access to a professional camera or all of a sudden, an important event might happen in front of your eyes. Thus, you need to be prepared – downloading a couple of video apps certainly won’t hurt.

One of the best video apps today is FiLMiC Pro. This basically turns your phone into a worthy HD camera, with features including 4x zoom, focus, exposure, white balance etc. It also has audio meters and audio ratio overlays. This app is a great solution if you can’t afford a camera or simply don’t always have it with you.

After filming with FiLMiC Pro, you obviously need to edit your shots in order to make a complete and professional video or documentary. One of the best video and audio editing apps is Voddio. It gives you the opportunity to work with two tracks of video and four tracks of audio and send your media files via Wi-Fi after you’ve rendered them. 

Bambuser and Ustream allow you to broadcast videos live to private groups of people or to the whole world, if you prefer. You can also stream videos made by other users and share content via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. If you aspire to be a reporter, why not start practicing with these apps?

Those of you who dream of becoming TV presenters will be happy to hear that you now have the opportunity to practice reading from Autocue with the PromptWare Plus application. You can type your script directly on the app or copy and paste it there. You can adjust the font and speed of the text, and experiment to see what suits you the most.

Audio apps

Audio apps are just as important as video apps, especially if you have a passion for radio! Even if you don’t, recording audio is essential and you will need to do it AT LEAST once during your journalism career (my bet is much more)! Here are some of the most useful audio apps for journalists:

One of the most popular recording apps right now is iSaidWhat. It allows you to record audio, cut your clips, arrange them in whatever order you wish and share them on social networks or via email. This app has many features and is perfect for recording interviews, podcasts, music and any other sounds you want. You can also import files via Wi-Fi and edit them with the app tools.

Sound Cloud is the ultimate audio-sharing app. You can browse through millions of sounds, songs and interviews (many of which are free to use) and/or share your own. You can follow celebrities and explore trending audio feeds or browse tracks by genre.

Script writing can be one of the most time-consuming activities, when producing a documentary for example. Here, Transcribe can make your life much easier. This apps turns speech into written text, so you can basically dictate to your phone and it will do the writing for you. It definitely saves you time and supports over 16 languages.

For all the radio-lovers out there, AudioBoom is the app which allows you to listen, record and edit your favorite programs, all in one place and one app. Browse through categories, follow what’s trending and cut the bits you want for yourself.

One of the most useful audio apps for journalists is without a doubt TapeACall. This app lets you record your calls, save them and share them via email. Very often, the person you wish to interview is unable to meet you in person, so you might have to conduct the interview over the phone. In such cases this app is a real life-saver!

Social network & blogging apps

Social networks are an integral part of journalism today. They are some of the best news sources, they are your connections to the world and a platform on which to get your work noticed. It is absolutely essential to be familiar with them and create profiles on as many as possible.

Facebook and Twitter are the most popular, and they are pretty much a must for every aspiring and professional journalist. The apps of these social networks are very well developed and are even easier to use than the actual websites. You can follow your favorite celebrities, politicians or fellow journalists, read about what’s currently trending worldwide and always be on top of new events.

Instagram is also gaining much popularity and many even prefer it to the former two. The app is entirely dedicated to pictures and videos, and is likely to be of particular interest for those interested in entertainment journalism.

Most aspiring journalists today have their own blogs, where they have the opportunity to showcase their work and share articles and stories with the world. One of the best blog websites is WordPress, and you can download the app as well. This is handy for keeping track of how many people have read your content, in which parts of the world it was most successful, and much more.

It is also a good idea to download an app like Tweet Library. This is a great tool for gathering information from Twitter, using filters, browsing categories, storing content into folders etc. You can find an old tweet in seconds, you can search what people have “favorited”, which were the most popular tweets in a certain day – basically an awesome app for info-diggers like ourselves!

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Last but certainly not least, an app which is essential for beginners and new students is Journalism Dictionary. This will give you all the necessary terms and phrases you need to know in the world of journalism. Ever wondered what is a PTC or a VO? Journalism Dictionary has all the information you need. Download this app and prepare for your journalism course before it’s started!

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Written by Vyara Pancheva
Vyara is a journalism graduate from the University of Westminster in London and currently an aspiring writer and blogger. She has produced a couple of video documentaries and has written pieces for several websites. Originally from Bulgaria, she is now living in London and loving it a lot! Rock music, sci-fi movies and travelling are amongst her biggest passions.

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1 Comment

Such a great content nice to see here great list