Five Innovative Apps for Journalists from 2017

Digital tools are transforming the ways in which journalists create articles, market their stories and interact with current events. Throughout 2017, developers created new digital applications that use artificial intelligence and other technologies to help journalists better organize information and present their work.

The following five applications helped journalists do everything from transcribe interviews to organize their email correspondence.

Happy Scribe

When journalists interview people for their stories, they often record their discussions and painstakingly transcribe the audio when writing their stories. HappyScribe provides a transcription tool for journalists to transmit audio and video recordings into written format.

Two Dublin City University students, Andre Bastie and Marc Assens, created HappyScribe in May 2017. This app is useful for international journalists because it has the ability to transcribe over a hundred languages. The app also includes editing features and encryption software to protect the recordings and transcriptions.

Enlight Videoleap

Lighttricks Ltd., known for earlier creative softwares, released Enlight Videoleap in September 2017. The app offers advanced video editing features, usually limited to desktop software, to users’ mobile devices. The user-friendly interface provides straightforward ways for users to add text and audio sounds to their videos. Users tap the screen to add new media like video clips and pictures, and use their fingers to edit and move around the video feed.


The new Focos app by developer Xiaodong Wang allows journalists and others to capture more professional photos from their phone. Similar to the iPhone’s portrait mode, Focos allows users to add the bokeh effect to photos, blurring the background for a greater focus on the subject. It provides 3D imaging and different lens options to enhance the images taken through this app. The app also includes video tutorials within the app to help novice photographers understand how to best capture images.


Astro organizes email clutter and helps prioritize a journalist’s email through an artificial assistant called Astrobot. Through the chat box, Astrobot can send reminders to follow-up to messages and unsubscribe from unread lists. Astro also connects to the messages from Slack, and allows users to chat with Astrobot using Amazon Alexa. Although similar to earlier apps, Astro innovates beyond past messaging tools by using artificial intelligence to organize information and provide advice on email management.


A web developer in Scotland, Craig Harvie, released a new transcription tool called Recordly in early October. This app allows users to record interviews on their phone and then transcribe the recordings. Not only does Recordly make transcribing easier, it also simplifies timestamping to a tap.

For a more in-depth look at Recordly, see our previous post here.