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Transcription Tips for Digital Journalists: 3 Rules for Transcription Process

For journalists
transcription tips

Journalists are transcribing machines.

Once they’ve covered an interview, the next thing they do is to transcribe their audio file into text. And then go on to edit and polish the content for the audience. Unfortunately, there is a tool journalist is rarely using in their work, and of course, they do not use entry level transcription jobs to get the best results.

They spend the entire day battling to transcribe a piece of audio content.

Amy Rowland is a novelist, transcriptionist, and former editor at The New York Times Book Review. She offers some great transcription tips for digital journalists.

“There is basic transcriptionist tools required. It is a headset, a Dictaphone to play the tapes that must be transcribed, and patience,” she says. “Also, a willingness to become a human conduit as the words of others enter through her ears, course through her veins, and drip out unseen through fast-moving fingertips.”

In other words, to conduct a speedy, effective transcription job, you need to follow basic transcribing rules. Fortunately, this article covers three simple rules.

Three Rules for Journalists

Let’s discuss each one in detail to make sure there is a tool journalists can use in the nearest future.

Rule # 1: How to transcribe audio manually?

Manual transcription tools are painful. It’s slow, bitter, ineffective, and an outdated method of transcribing audio interviews. Especially when it comes to the modern-day era of journalism.

It’s important to note that the majority of journalists still like to manually transcribe their original audio files. Because, they believe that, machines haven’t yet beaten human brains.

Digital transcription tools aren’t perfect; they make mistakes. So, as a professional journalist, putting all your efforts into manual transcribing fills your soul with pride and joy.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll do everything with your voice, a pen, and a sheet of paper.

You’ve to use other transcriptionist tools to help speed your work without compromising your energy and health. With a foot pedal, for example, you don’t need to use your fingers 24/7.

foot pedal example
Foot Pedal

The transcriptionist tools help you stay focused on typing; your feet control audio playback.

In fact, “foot pedal is often used in medical transcription because it enables you to control dictation playback with your toes,” Dummies’ Anne Martinez says. “You can play, rewind, and fast forward by tapping different sections of the pedal with the front of your foot.”

Another alternative to the foot pedal is Correction transcriptionist tools. Examples of it are Autocorrect on Microsoft Word or QuickCorrect in Word Perfect.

These are also transcriptionist tools that increase your manual transcribing accuracy and speed. Talking about speed…In the digital journalism industry, we all know the value of reporting news on time.

If you want to keep your credibility and your job, you have to use transcriptionist tools for a faster process. And you can only do that by investing in the right technology.

Let’s talk about that in the next point.

Rule #2: Use the right transcriptionist tools

There are many transcription software and programs online. It varies from free versions to paid versions.

All you need is to download the app, roll up your sleeves, and kick-start transcribing your audio interviews, right? Wrong. Not all transcriptionist tools are good for you. For example:

  • OTranscribe is good, but it doesn’t support a lot of media files
  • InqScribe is good, but it’s not AI-empowered
  • Express Scribe is good, but it doesn’t support a lot of media files either

If you want a modern transcription tool that speeds your work tenfold, you’ve got to subscribe to Audext transcription software. The program is not only simple to use; it’s also efficient:

  • It allows you to select the playback speed you want
  • It supports a lot of media files, such as MP3, WAV, WMA, etc
  • It’s AI-powered service

What that means is that it quadruples your audio transcription speed. All you need is to log in to your Audext account, upload your files, and, boom! You get your audio transcribed in minutes. It is one of the greatest transcriptionist tools ever.

audio to text converter
Audio To Text Converter

Audext automatically adds the name(s) of speakers on the files you’re working on. It saves you more time, making your life simpler in a minute.

Rule #3: Create an ergonomic workspace

Journalists thought that increasing their transcription tools speed and efficiency is quite easy. All they need is to spend money on “quality transcription tools.” But it is not true.

While it’s true that you need to have quality transcriptionist tools to perform your tasks. The majority of those expensive transcription tools are not that great. You have got to try a few and decide for yourself. 

But here’s one important thing that you need to invest in.

Ergonomic workspace. As a journalist, you need a clean and organized environment to perform optimally. That’s because your work hates distraction, clutter, and a clumsy atmosphere.

If you don’t have a comfortable workspace, then even Audext can’t help you with that.

You’ve got to invest in your work station. It will help your focus, allow you to have the silence you need to do your best work.


Advice #1

You’ve got to invest in a well-balanced chair. It will help your positioning, allow you to work freely.


Advice #2

You’ve got to invest in the right keyboard with small legs, not a laptop keypad. It will improve your work with transcriptionist tools. And, of course, it makes your job easier and way more effective.


Advice #3

Also, a professional voice recorder would be a great investment. It will increase the quality of your recordings which makes the transcription process even faster.

The goal is to build a safe and conducive environment that will accommodate your work.

Transcription tips make journalists life easier

You don’t just sit to transcribe an audio interview into an informative text. Professional journalists follow those transcription tips:

  • Use manual transcription methods to keep their work original.
  • Get a powerful transcription tool to speed up your transcription
  • Install ergonomic workspace to ease up their transcription tasks

In addition, professional journalists take things easy. They don’t suffer themselves. They don’t type until they bleed, because transcription is not a do-or-die affair. It supposed to be a passionate and fun task.

“Journalists transcribe interviews while drinking coffee,” says Erin Myers. “Drink coffee while coordinating interviews. Conduct interviews over coffee.”

Are you ready to give it a try?

Katrin Deres 10/18/2019
Katrin runs her own podcast show and is interested in the best ways to transcribe audio recordings into text.
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