It’s probably safe to assume there aren’t many journalists that get excited about manually transcribing audio files of interviews they’ve conducted. It’s a tedious and time-consuming task that is often best left to a professional online audio transcription service. Below are four ways that journalists can benefit from enlisting the help of a transcription service rather than trying to do the work themselves.

Beat Short Deadlines

Journalists often have short deadlines, and transcribing a large amount of audio can be quite challenging. It’s important to note that when searching for a reputable transcription company, turnaround time is something that can vary greatly between service companies.Rev.com, for example, averages a 7-hour turnaround time to transcribe a 30 minute audio file while maintaining a minimum of 99% accuracy. Other service companies typically take anywhere between 36 hours to one week for the same file length, and if 24-hour delivery is needed, they charge an additional $1.50-$3.00 per minute of audio on top of their standard transcription fees.

Get an Accurate, Written Record of the Interview

Taking notes alone, or trying to type out the audio word after arduous word, is a recipe for a disastrous misquoting.

Transcripts help journalists make a story better.

This is because they can focus on crafting prose that packs a punch, not on checking and rechecking their hand-typed transcript for personal errors.

Journalists can be free to listen rather than take notes during interviews.

Believe me, this is a true asset. The more wholly a journalist can devote their attention to the subject of the interview, the more observant they can be, leading to a more insightful report.

As a journalist, what are your favorite tools or services for transcribing your interview audio files?