7 essential tools every digital journalist must have

Digital journalists do not use the same tools used by their traditional counterparts.

Digital journalists do not use the same tools used by their traditional counterparts (Black Voice News)

Journalism in Nigeria used to be defined by newspapers in the 90s but this trend has changed with the growing internet accessibility.

As the number of internet users in the country grew, print media started to give way to digital or online journalism. With Nigeria's 111.6 million internet users as of December 2018, according to the Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC), digital journalists are quickly replacing their traditional counterparts.

While the same rules of good journalism remain, what is used to achieve this has certainly changed with this new form of communication.

Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa has compiled this list of seven essential tools every digital journalist must have.

For writing

1. Grammarly

Every story, no matter how great or amazing it is, can be ruined by bad grammar. This is why you need a browser extension called Grammarly.

It is designed to spot spelling errors, punctuation errors and other forms of bad grammar. You can use it while writing or afterwards to proofread your draft. There is a free plan for basic corrections and two advanced plans for.

2. Hemingway App

Like Grammarly, Hemingway is also a great grammar correcting tool. But it takes things a step further. Apart from correcting wrong spellings, it helps you become a better writer by highlighting unnecessarily long sentences.

This way, your readers get short, easy and straight to the point articles. Hemingway is named after Ernest Miller Hemingway, an American journalist, and novelist known for his short and easy to read sentences.

3. Google Docs

Google docs is another great writing tool. You can use its built-in dictionary to improve your writing. It also offers the option of sharing your work with your colleague or editor who can not only view but edit it.

An additional reason to use it is that it allows you to use the Grammarly extension on it.

For research

4. Google Trends/Analytics

Digital journalism is not just about being a good writer, it also about knowing what you should be writing about. There is no point writing about something no one cares for. This is where tools like Google Trends and Analytics come in.

Trends help you know what people are talking about. Reporting on the current trending topic means more people are likely to read your work and it will do better on the search engines. Analytics do the same thing by helping you see which of your previous articles is getting the most traffic.

5. Crowdtangle

It helps you stay on top of things happening on Facebook. As soon as something starts to trend, you'll know about it and report on it faster than others.

6. Otter Voice Notes

No matter how digital the world gets, a good journalist will always need a notepad and a recorder. Thanks to technology, you can get both from Otter. This app gives you a voice recorder that offers automatic transcription.

Instead of having to jot down your ideas or interviews, all you have to do is speak into it and it transcribes for you. This is really helpful for those long interviews that take days to transcribe.

For design

7. Canva

Modern readers have a really short attention span so you can't just give them a screen filled with words. To hold their interest long enough to get to the end, you have to punctuate your words with pictures. Canva helps you do that.

Thanks to its easy to use drag-and-drop format, you have what it takes to turn your words into pictures.


Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke