The 3 Best Apps for Journalists

By Shar Martinez

EDITOR’S NOTE: I originally published the article below on Xanjero Media.

Journalism.

Journalism has reached a new era. We no longer have to wait for tomorrow’s newspaper or the standard nightly news broadcast to get updates on stories. We’re in the digital age now, where the majority of people use the internet to share and receive news 24 hours a day. It’s amazing to have constant access to an immense amount of news outlets where we receive up-to-the-minute updates. However, as journalists, how do we keep up with it all? Two words: Mobile apps. Working as a digital journalist requires a variety of duties: discovering and keeping up with the latest news, doing research, using social media to follow up on leads, note taking, writing articles and more — so much more.

Being a reporter is hard work, hopefully these apps will make your life as a journalist a bit easier.

1. Reddit: Trending News & Tips

Reddit app.

Reddit allows you to have access to breaking news and trending topics. You’ll also discover funny jokes and the latest memes. The official Reddit apps has the fastest-loading interface with it’s infinite scroll and autoplay GIFs. GIFs, pronounced with a soft G, are rapidly becoming apart of digital journalism and allows you to easily promote your story. So, that’s an added bonus to this app.

In addition to staying up to date with the latest news and having some light fun with GIFS, with this app you can:

  • upload your own images and articles
  • share images and articles from other users
  • discover and interact with thousands of communities, this is great for receiving feedback from others in regards to your own article and to read the opinions of others regarding the latest news
  • customize your news feed to topics that you are interested in, such as business, politics, sports etc.

This news app currently has a 4.4 rating out of 5. It’s available for Android devices and is compatible with iPhones, iPads and iPods. It requires iOS 9.0 or later.

2. WordPress

Wordpress app.

This app is extremely helpful for bloggers and journalists. Having a WordPress blog or website isn’t only useful for sharing the news but it’s also helpful in building your brand and networking with others. WordPress has 74.6 million users, it’s by far the most popular content management system. With the option use an unlimited amount of hashtags, you can potentially draw a hefty number of viewers to your articles with this app alone.

The WordPress app allows you to:

  • publish articles and pages anytime, anywhere
  • edit posts and pages
  • draft new content
  • view stats
  • moderate comments
  • upload media

This social networking app currently has a 4.7 rating out of 5. It’s available for Android devices and is compatible with iPhones, iPads and iPods. It requires iOS 10.0 or later for Apple devices.

3. Notes

Notes app.

If you’re an Apple user, this app comes installed on your device. The notes app is great for jotting down things on the go, such as headlines, to-do lists and web links. This app is great for drafting articles, as it allows you to implement photos into the text. With iCloud, all of your notes are synced to all of your Apple devices (iPad, computer etc.), so that you won’t ever have to worry about losing your notes.

The Notes app allows you to:

  • invite others to view your notes
    check off lists
  • add attachments such as maps, book covers, front page articles
  • scan paper documents into your notes
  • add photos from your device into your notes
  • create sketches
  • take handwritten notes on blank, lined or grid paper
  • create labels to organize your notes

This productivity app is currently unrated and is available in over 30 languages. It’s compatible with all Apple devices.

In the age of constant new information, these 3 apps combined will help your life as a journalist to be a bit smoother.

Instagram may allow users to Follow Hashtags

By Shar Martinez

Major social media network, Instagram could soon allow users to follow hashtags. If you’re not currently using Instagram as a marketing tool, you should really consider doing so.

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Instagram is currently testing an option to follow hashtags. This is great for keeping up with #trendingtopics.

With over 800 million active monthly users, paired with the Instagram for Business tool this function may help increase customer-client engagement. Whenever a user searches for or clicks on a hashtag, every post that includes that hashtag will show up. The most ‘liked’ posts will remain at the top of the feed that includes all of the recent posts. Hashtags are very valuable for the fact that they can expose your message to people who are looking for something very specific. This is where using keywords that are related to your brand really comes in handy.

This will also help users to have a better experience with this app as they may begin to use it more to keep up with the latest news and updates even if the people they follow aren’t active.

Hashtags are quickly becoming a key component to modern life and could undoubtedly help businesses keep up with the interests of their target audience.

The amount of users who have access to this test feature is unknown. As this is only a test, Instagram declined to say more about it. However, it’s very likely that this will become a permanent feature.

Chrome’s Fighting Back Against Irritating Website Directs

By Shar Martinez

Bait and switch tactics are coming to an end.

For those of you who submit feedback to Chrome about unwanted content, I have great news. It’s paid off! On Wednesday, Product Manager, Ryan Schoen announced that Chrome will be providing new security featuresimg_5342

Redirects are the absolute worst. However, many times the site owner is unaware as they intend for it to happen at all. When this happens it results in frustration (on both ends, the client and the seller) and a diminish in sales and views. Google has recently discovered that this is caused by third-party content that has been embedded in the page, unbeknownst to the author. As a preventative tactic, in the Chrome 64 update, redirects show in the info bar to keep the user on the page they were already browsing– unless they have any interaction with it.

Have you ever used a site’s navigation bar to read more information about but the link led you to an entirely different unwarranted site? We all have at some point or another. Similar to some of the features in Google Chrome’s Clean Up Tool, in Chrome 65 users will have an info bar to prevent redirects such as these. This will allow the viewer to continue directly to their intended destination.

Furthermore, there’s other types of web trickery that sends users to unwanted pages, but they are hard to immediately pinpoint. These are controls that resemble play buttons and other gadgets that lead to third-party websites that detect clicks and automatically opens a new tab.

Starting next year, January to be exact, Chrome’s Pop Up Blocker will stop sites that contain such content from opening new tabs or windows.

To help site owners prepare for this change, Google has launched the Abusive Experiences Report in addition to similar reports that are in the Google Search Console.

This will also help to put an end to sketchy sites that provide fake Chrome extensions.

Whether you’re a site owner who sells products or services, or someone who enjoys surfing the web this update will dramatically improve everyone’s web experience.