Erin Gray

Convert to Converting … Recorded Interviews to Transcribed Notes

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Photo by Getty Images

Journalism today is all about getting the news out faster than the competitors.  Fast, accurate and updated is what gets the first and most viewers. For writers who like to record their interviews (let’s face it, most of us) transcribing them is the l o n g e s t, most d  r  a  w  n  out process in the journalism world.

During an interview, I almost always try to keep them under ten minutes because I know that if I go longer, it will take hours to type out. Even at work, I will want to get a story out on a certain day, but then spend all my time typing out useful information and the story is then pushed.

Now, in a career where whoever is first wins, it would help out a lot if there were a faster method of transcribing your information.

According to an article in Entrepreneur, there are some mobile apps available to convert voice to text. Some examples given were Dragon Dictation, Evernote for Andriod, and Voice Assistant.

Examples of use for these apps in Entrepreneur is mostly for recording thoughts or ideas at any point in the day. The article said people most commonly use voice apps for things like writing down ideas, notes, and maybe emails. Others also may use it to record lectures and things more lengthy.

Dragon Diction has a high level of accuracy, and also is available in 30 languages. Evernote is only available to Andriod phone users, but it saves both the audio and text version of the recording for later use. Voice Assistant costs $.99 in the app store but can be easily sent to Facebook, Twitter, email or a wireless printer.

Each of these apps have the right idea, of converting talk to text. The thing that does not make this as useful to journalists is that it is not mentioned that it is easily sent to pages or Microsoft Word -where many articles are drafted before sent to a cms system.

My innovation is that converting talk to text should be a feature that Microsoft takes up. There should be a mobile app from Microsoft where journalists can easily record an interview, and the voice recording is converted to text and automatically placed in a Word file that can be pulled up in Word Online.

How it works (without knowing all the technical logistics) is that to download the app, the user must make an account with a Microsoft Office email address, such as Office or Outlook. This way, the recordings are linked with the individual person’s email address.

Microsoft email accounts already have a Microsoft Word Online feature, whereas when you open your email browser, there is a tab where you can open a blank Word document and type documents. The documents automatically save, and there can be multiple ones that you can go back and pull up anytime.

The converter app will be connected with the email account, which is connected with Microsoft Word Online.

Anything you record on the app will be converted to text and when you save it, it will be placed under your documents in your Microsoft  Office or Outlook email browser.

Later on down the road, maybe other email accounts can join in on the fun and mobile app users will be able to download the app with their Google or Yahoo email addresses. This might mead to a merge in all three companies (who knows!)

With this innovation in journalism, it would be so much easier to get stories out there faster and more efficiently. yes, it would cause the competition between publications would reach absurd heights, but it would also make for faster constructing of a story.

I would give am arm and a leg for an app that would allow my voice recorded interviews to be typed out for me -because by the time I am finished transcribing my own interviews, I feel like I have lost an arm and a leg already.

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