Five Great Apps for Student Journalists

The title of this blog is total click bait.  I probably reeled you in with the possibility of discovering some new, awesome apps you can recommend to your students.  Maybe build a lesson plan around them. 

Sorry to disappoint.  I do not care much about apps.  Some are nice, some are lame, some are just a waste of time and yes, some are necessary in the 2016 world of journalism.  I suppose.

But here are some free “apps” that might benefit our students.

APP 1:  Appear interested.  When you conduct an interview, look the subject in the eyes instead of staring at your questions.  Be engaged, and ask follow-ups that occur to you as you "have a conversation" with your subject.  

APP 2:  Appreciate your partner.  If you are the reporter, you should offer to help carry gear, and let the photog suggest questions that you might have overlooked.  And photographers, help with research, help with the script, do whatever you need to do to make the story the best it can be.

APP 3:  Applaud your classmates when they produce good stories, or come up with great ideas.  Remember, you are all part of a team producing a show that should be a source of pride for each staff member.  Good leadership often means providing positive feedback.

APP 4:  Approach every story with this in mind:  What do I really need to know?  This will help you dig a little deeper, and at the same time, keep you focused on your topic.     

App 5:  Apply the principle of “minimizing harm.”  Covering difficult topics, or talking to people about some of the darker times in their lives is always a challenge.  Journalists should look for a way to report about these issues while striving to minimize harm as much as possible.  In this current climate, that might seem too “old school.”  But nobody said you had to check your conscience at the door to be a good journalist.