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Should Journalists Have Interviews Transcribed? - Fingertips Typing

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Should Journalists Have Interviews Transcribed?

Posted By Cathy Bennett

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interview-on-street-403482-mPart of the job description of any journalist is hosting interviews.  These are used in the writing or broadcasting of important, meaningful news.  In most cases, the journalist can simply refer to those recordings to obtain enough information to write a provocative story.  However, there is some debate as to whether or not these interviews should be properly transcribed and filed away.

Unfortunately, in these modern times, many media sources have faced lawsuits related to defamation accusations.  The ability of the journalists to produce solid evidence that the words used in the piece were direct quotes, or, at least, not taken out of context can be beneficial for protecting the news entity.  Of course, with the vast capabilities of modern technology, it is possible to safe and organize audio files in digital formats, but few can argue that text files created via digital transcription are more easily shared and searched.  When questioned, the journalist can easily find and quote the exact statement made by the interviewee, including anything preceding or following that particular testimonial.

It is not just for liability purposes that a journalist might choose to hire interview transcription services.  Particularly in the case of high profile people, news tends to cycle.  That is to say that interviews can be valuable on more than one occasion.  Journalists will often refer to- or reference past discussions with people in power, or those who frequent the lime light.  This adds integrity to the news stories and a more in-depth view of the person in question.

Furthermore, text files can easily be shared online.  Collaborative software makes it possible for two people, hundreds of miles apart to work with the same document at the same time.  This ability to share, highlight, and collaborate makes text files greatly preferable to audio recordings.  The additional knowledge that transcription services online are cost effective and provide quick turnarounds makes it an obvious choice.

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