In this digital age, you don’t need an exorbitantly priced program to become a top-tier journalist. Not every person can afford the Adobe Creative Suites, but that does not mean that you should abandon multimedia journalism. The web is crammed with Adobe alternatives and other programs that fit perfectly well in a journalist’s toolkit.
Some of these tools are available free of charge and keep the journalist current with every new info. Others enhance the journalist’s security and privacy by concealing their trails. In this roundup, we will introduce you to the best journalistic software so can stay on top of the game as a journalist.
Best Free and Paid Journalistic Software
With the advent of Adobe Photoshop image editing software, it can be very hard to determine whether an image is real. As a journalist, it’s of paramount importance that all images be real and credible. And since some social media fanatics are very good at making up rumors and manipulating photos, a tool like TinEye becomes indispensable in a journalist’s toolkit. TinEye scours the web and tells you where the image was first published. So if you are not sure whether the image you have is for that mysterious animal that was caught in the sea, TinEye can help you figure it out. The tool is free to use for non-commercial purposes.
Experts have said that ‘Journalisms future could depend on Tor security’. Truth is that there is so much information that you give out when online without knowing it. To protect your privacy, it’s advisable to use Tor browser. Tor which stands for ‘The Onion Router’ is a protocol that lets you hide your location, IP address, and any other data that might be used to identify you. As a journalist, you will need the Tor browser to research state propaganda and to file stories with non-state controlled media without having to worry about the consequences of digging too deep as Tor will keep your identity anonymous.
Journalists are adept researchers, and any tool that widens the journalist’s angle of research can prove to be very useful. And that’s what Echosec does. Echosec is a journalistic software that can be used to search for geolocated posts on social media. This amazing tool lets you draw a shape around a certain geographical area on a map and the software scans for what is trending and displays all the tweets that have been posted to that location within a certain period of time. And when you subscribe to the premium package, the tool further widens the scan to include YouTube videos and news posted in other social platforms within that region.
FiLMiC Pro is a mobile app that allows journalists to shoot videos like a pro. The app allows journalists to shoot videos with manual controls like white balance, exposure, and focus. This app brings the high-end features you find in digital cameras right to your smartphone. You can even monitor your audio levels using headphones and also shoot at various frame rates. FiLMiC Pro supports favorites like Facebook, Pinterest, Vimeo, iMovie, Dropbox and more.
Influence Explorer is one of the most used tools by journalists and continues to top the lists of the best journalistic software. Influence Explorer is the central source of information on money and a country’s political influence. It can be a very useful tool especially when you want to get federal campaign finance data for candidates in an election. You can use its robust search functionality to monitor spending by companies, industries, or even by politicians.
For a journalist to write informative content, they must stay current with changes and news in the world. They do not run a generalized blind search but knows who to target and where to get the right information. To do so, they use specialized journalistic software such as the Website Watcher that keep them abreast of what is happening in the niche of their choice. This tool automates the search process by monitoring your chosen websites and sends you instant updates when the sites are updated with new information. This way, you don’t have to keep on checking and refreshing the web page from time to time.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is the perfect alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Released under the GNU philosophy of free software ownership, GIMP is your perfect tool as a journalist if you do a lot of photo editing. You can use it for creating graphics, resizing, and manipulating photographs and videos for publication. GIMP gives users the flexibility and power to transform images into remarkable creations. It can also be used to create graphical design elements, mockups, and icons.
Created by a journalist who wanted to simplify the bloody boring process of transcription, oTranscribe is a life saver for many journalists and writers. This tool has an audio player and text editor. The browser-based program allows users to upload the audio and use the keyboard keys to pause, play, rewind, or slow down the audio. All you have to do is drop your sound file into the app and let the software do the transcription. oTranscribe is a handy tool to use and a must have tool for journalists who handle multiple interviews.
There are more powerful journalistic tools that you can use to climb the ladder but some of these tools will cost you a penny. So why go for the expensive software while the web has a universe of similar tools available for free. Besides, even those who remove mountains began by picking small stones. So whether you are a novice journalist en route to becoming the next CNN reporter or a fully professional journalist, you will need some of these tools to polish your work. Do you have a favorite tool for journalists that you feel deserve a place on the list? Sound off in the comments section below.