Using Transcription: Focus on Journalism

Journalist Reporting the NewsOne of journalism’s most significant production hurdles is translating phone conversations, press conferences, meetings and interviews into text to spin scripts and stories out of them.  Transcription is a convenient way to convert that audio to text, yet transcribing the audio for these verbal exchanges is a huge time commitment for a busy journalist (keeping in mind that 15 minutes of audio equals 60-90 minutes, or more, of transcription time).  The best solution is to outsource your transcription needs to a third-party provider.

Using a digital recorder is best

To get started, you will need to invest in a good digital recorder.  Using a digital recorder provides several benefits, among which the biggest benefit is your ability to cover an event by focusing your attention on analyzing rather than capturing the proceedings.  The digital recorder captures the proceedings for you.

Upload to your PC for better organization

Once you have captured the audio on a recorder, the digital file is ready to be uploaded to your PC.  Storing your audio on a PC means better organization.  Your digital file can be stored using categories and tags for quick access.  No more cryptic scribbles in a notebook containing sentence fragments and unidentified quotes.

Send your audio out over the Internet

Finally, transmit your audio file to a professional transcription company via the Internet.  Within a few hours or a few days (your choice), the transcription provider will convert your audio to a verbatim transcript and email the transcript to your inbox.  Plus, the transcript is usually in a MS Word document or a PDF document, so you can easily cut and paste the highlights you need for the story.

These days, breaking news has to be reported quickly to get the lead on other news outlets.  Professional transcription is your best solution to ensure that you spend more time on analysis and impact, and less on production.