The interview has always been the strongest tool of journalists. There’s no better way to capture on the spot comment, political slip up or mood of the times.
But there are a few things that get in the way – taking notes for a start.
Talking, listening, writing and thinking ahead to your next question is not easy. Even if the Journalist does manage to get all their questions across and jot down the answers, even using shorthand, typing all that up quickly and accurately can be really hard especially when there are deadlines to hit.
Transcribing digital interviews
Technology today means that lots of journalists no longer take notes by hand, instead interviews are recorded as audio and saved as MP3 files. Great, all the content, each sigh, pause and slipped phrase is captured accurately. But once that’s been done, the journalist has to get all that out and down on paper (or screen). Which means a long slog typing up the interview and not using their time on working on background research for articles or working on new reports.
If the interview is recorded digitally (most are) all it takes is a two-minute upload to get it to a transcriber, who can start work on it immediately putting the content of the interview into whatever format of document the journalist needs.
By sending the interview away for digital transcription it takes the leg work of this away from the journalist and ensures that the transcript of the interview is accurate and no quotes will be left to chance or memory.
Of course not all journalists have digital recordings, so you can just as easily transcribe from tape or video.