What’s App in news?

The radio news landscape is very different to just a few years ago.  Newsrooms have contracted and bulletins networked, leaving journalists to work smarter.

Thanks to the Smart Phone, traditional journalism (including radio) has morphed into “MoJo” – Mobile Journalism.  We’re no longer studio-bound.  We’re no longer reliant on the media release or the AAP copy to generate stories.

With all the apps available, the Smart Phone has become the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ for journalists.  Everything from audio recording to file sharing.

They’ve become part of my working life and I thought I’d share some of the more useful ones.

Recording phone calls:

There are a number of phone call recording apps out there. But there can be a few strings attached, including having to buy ‘credit’ to make calls. That’s on top of the cost of the call.

I’ve found Tape-a-Call particularly valuable. While you have to buy it from the app store, you can make as many calls as you want.

You can record incoming and outgoing calls and the quality is fairly good.  There are no special devices needed and once completed, the audio file is sent back to your phone.

There are ‘recording pips’ as a default setting, but they can be switched off. It’s available on Android and iPhones.

 Recording media conferences or interviews

The days of the bulky kit bags are long behind us, people!  Plug in a microphone and you’re ready to go.  Most smart phones come with the ‘voice memo’ app already pre-loaded.  It’s not bad and fairly easy to use in the edit mode.

There are, however, apps that have been built with journalists in mind.

AudioNote is useful as you can record directly into your phone or onto an iPad (if your lead is long enough).  What makes this app so handy is that you can ‘mark’ grabs and attach notes and email it off.

You can buy the full app or download the free version AudioNote Light.

iTalk is another nifty app with really good audio quality.  It allows for file sharing between devices.  It’s really easy use.  Press the big red button to record.  Press the big red button again to stop recording.

And it’s free.

I’ve only stumbled across Audioboo quite recently.  It’s a social networking application and web platform, allowing users to upload and share audio.

Think Twitter for audio.  You set up a profile, upload your audio and share with other users or those you are following.

The obvious:

There are so many that we use every day that deliver story ideas or news.  The obvious ones are FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram.  Der!  Who doesn’t have them on their phone these days?

DropBox and Evernote are great for file sharing.

LinkedIn is a great one if you’re looking for ‘dial-a-quote’.

Currency Convertersare another great one.  I use XE Currency App because it’s FREE.

Dictionary.com because sometimes we need to know how to spell properly.  Even on radio.

Street Maps preloaded on most phones, but there are some others that are worthy of a look including Citymapper and CityMaps2Go.

This list is not meant to be definitive.  These are just a few at the very tip of the iceberg, so feel free to share any that you use.


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