The iPad is becoming a bigger part of everything we do in the news world.
More people are using it to consume news. More people are using it for social sharing. More people are using it for web browsing, and if you want to show anyone photos of your kids, there’s nothing better.
More people are finding the iPad takes the place of a desktop computer, or a laptop computer. And the iPad’s productivity tools continue to get better.
When the Sentinel offered a plan for employees to buy iPads through a payroll deduction, we wound up with a stack of 26 of them that were handed out last month.
How are reporters using them?
Well, they’re learning. They’re working on typing stories into Google docs and sending them back to the desk (pro tip – work through the Google search app, rather than the browser). They’re working on photo sharing on Twitter and Instagram through the iPad. They’re exploring apps like Evernote (for note taking with multimedia) and Dragon Dictation. They’re looking at photo editing tools through Photoshop Express, video editing with iMovie.
They’re getting their own news through Flipboard and Zite.
They’re looking at Storify as a way of gathering social reaction to events.
They’re looking at AP news.
They’re checking out Cloud On (for accessing excel and Word files).
My advice for journalists – be curious. Imagine how your audience is getting your work and try to shorten the distance between you and the reader. Imagine how the audience of the future will receive your work, and meet them there. I think a lot of reporters are thinking they report, write, send to an editor, who sends to page designer, the story prints and somehow winds up on our website. There are a million ways for reporters and editors to improve you own brand, improve your own digital skills, improve the information you receive about your beat, and serve the audience. With regard to the iPad, it contains all the tools needed to perform your daily work in the journalism world. Consider taking a day to cover your beat using only that tool – progress on the learning curve will be worth the effort.
Make a point of seeing what’s possible for readers, and of thinking about how you can help create that experience for your own readers.
Here are a few of the apps you may find helpful:
- Twitter, a must for being informed and breaking news
- Storify – for collecting and re-sharing social media and other links
- Evernote – multimedia note taking in the cloud
- Dragon Dictation
- Photoshop Express – photo editing
- Instagram- social photo sharing
- iMovie – video editing
- AP mobile – breaking news from Associated press
- iA Writer – simple writing template
- Zite, Flipboard, Feedly – readers
- Google – if you’ve been a gmailer and fan of google’s productivity tools, use the app, where applications and services are optimized
We all welcome your tips.