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Tools for Reporters Top 5 of 2021
Well hello, reporters! It’s that time of year again.
My promo images are always kind of lackluster… but let’s talk about the best tools of the year!
My most popular post on Substack this year (kinda surprisingly to me) was also the most recent, RevEye! RevEye helps you avoid making an oopsie by checking if images have already been published online.
This helps prevent you from being tricked by misleading photos or people who aren’t telling the truth on the Internet (gasp). My second-most popular post was First Draft News’ guide on this very issue!
WHOIS History Search
One of the most popular posts this year, at least on Twitter, was this WHOIS History Search. If you aren’t familiar with WHOIS, it’s a record of who a website is registered to. It can be really enlightening, but WHOIS info stopped being public a few years ago.
Luckily, a group called WhoisXML API stored caches of these records going back more than a decade. You can’t get up to date information, but at least you can get some context.
One of my personal favorite revelations from this year was YouTube’s auto transcription capability. If you’re like me, and feel like you don’t have time to watch videos, this is a neat little trick for you.
Most YouTube videos are automatically transcribed, so you can open up a text version of a video with the click of a button. You can even Ctrl+F to get to the good stuff!
Speaking of transcription, Descript is a tool that everyone has been recommending for a long time but I just hadn’t gotten around to. Sure enough, it is very cool, and a huge leap forward for audio transcription.
Basically, Descript turns your audio file into a text file, and then you edit it just like you would a Word doc! Groovy.
Freelancers always have a special place in my heart, and even though this tool is meant for us self-employees, I could see it being used by journalists in a lot of different situations. ExpertAccess is the brainchild of a tenacious journalist who said, “Why the heck is LexisNexis so expensive?”
Luckily, if you want the amazing public record power of the LexisNexis behemoth, but don’t exactly have the funds for it, ExpertAccess offers a slightly smaller version for a lot less money.
And that’s it! I’m going to post the promo image again because it took me a good 10 minutes to pick it out. See you next year!
Did you miss the last TFR? Use RevEye to check photos for prior publication and even digital manipulation