How to be a Newsroom With “Drive”

Samvel Martirosyan

Media researcher

Recently, the newly created Russian-language news aggregator Meduza (which was established by some of the employees and former editor-in-chief of Russian news website Lenta.ru) published an image [RU] of the technical side of its editing process.

The image is impressive for an average news site. Suggestions to incorporate such work flows in newsrooms in Armenia are confronted with two main obstacles: “no one needs it” and “it’s expensive”.

That “no one needs it” doesn’t mean that no one will need it, particularly if it’s possible to adopt the system using easy and inexpensive methods. Actually, the systematic use of several free tools could result in productive editorial work flow.

Google Drive, which is a widespread tool, addresses a few important questions for editors: it allows working on a story together with the journalist, leaving comments and asking questions online. News stories also can be stored here, since the system provides unlimited storage space for documents in Google Drive format. 

Evernote allows users to save screenshots from the web, to store audio, PDF, and other types of files. The free option allocates 60Mb of space per month. Paying $5 USD per month will increase storage by 4Gb. In addition, users are able to share their files, and recently Evernote introduced Work Chat.

There are many free programs for creating a common work space, posting work tasks, and monitoring their progress. One of these is Asana, which easily integrates with Google programs such as Google Calendar.  

It’s important to note that all the programs work also on smartphones and tablets, allowing journalists to use them while carrying out their professional activities. 

If mobile phone apps permit journalist to work safer individually, then, WhatsApp, for example, allows creating closed groups for doing editorial work, thanks to which editors and journalists can quickly share information online, sending each other not only text and photos, but also videos and their location on a map.

The use of such tools at least makes the work of newsrooms easier.

Samvel Martirosyan

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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