7 Best Chrome Extensions to Help Journalists Save Time

Here are seven powerful article writing tools for social media monitoring, editing, newsgathering and verification to add to your journalistic toolkit.

When breaking news spreads across the internet in a matter of seconds, it’s essential that as a journalist you have the right tools at your fingertips to get to work fast.

With significant pressure to work at lightning-fast speeds, there’s a need to locate fresh information fast in order to build out a story in a matter of minutes. There simply isn’t time to be derailed by fake news or any obstacle that could disrupt your workflow. 

Fortunately, the Chrome Web Store is full of browser extensions and article writing tools that utilise the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to support all aspects of a newsroom journalist’s work. From investigative reporting and identifying fake news, to speeding up daily tasks and editing copy.

“The internet, social media, and mobile communications have already provided new tools and pathways for journalism to meet the profound challenges of the digital age. Now AI technologies promise another leap forward [in the newsroom],” says professor Charlie Becket from the London School of Economics (LSE).

In fact, according to an extensive report by LSE’s Polis, 68% of newsrooms wish to employ AI in the newsroom to make journalists’ work more efficient. These “smart tools” are essential in empowering reporters and enabling them to keep up in a new era of journalism.

Here’s our round-up of seven of the best Chrome extensions to help you discover and edit the most newsworthy stories, fast. 

1. Bot Sentinel

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Chrome Web Store rating: 4/5

Great for: Flagging up untrustworthy accounts on Twitter

This extension automatically identifies whether a Twitter account is trustworthy or not, flagging up bots and Twitter trolls that could be spreading fake news. Use this extension to instantly verify statements and add credibility to your research right from your browser. Inauthentic accounts are quickly highlighted on a scale from normal to problematic, enabling you to make an informed judgment when sourcing news at speed. 

2. NewsGuard

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Chrome Web Store rating: 4/5

Great for: Rating reliable news websites

This extension rates websites on their reliability. If you’re hunting for reliable news on a search engine or social media feed, such as Twitter or Facebook, a red and green NewsGuard rating icon will appear next to news links to help guide you to the most accurate information fast. Hover over the icon to see a summary of how each website ranks for NewsGuard’s “nine journalistic standards” before you even click a link.

3. LOYAL

one-click-research@2x

Great for: Sourcing credible news right from your creative space

Our editorial tools enable faster research and quick access to insights relevant to your article while you are writing — all from your creative space. Our Research Assistant allows you to select the research sources you trust and LOYAL will scour the internet to deliver valuable insights specific to what you are writing about.

With LOYAL, journalists can publish clean, trustworthy news, features and content readers will love, without running the risk of missing niche sources search engines often overlook, or getting lost in a web of research dead-ends.

Once downloaded on the Google Chrome Web Store, LOYAL can be used within a working Google Doc. Within seconds, it retrieves the most related articles from an extensive range of trusted sources using NLP, with the added benefit of quick-glance sentiment analysis and tags.

4. Otter 

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Chrome Web Store rating: 5/5

Great for: Transcribing interviews

This app lets you record and transcribe interviews with ease. It makes searching recordings for important sentences as easy as searching email or texts. The tool uses AISense’s software and a technology called diarisation to separate each unique voice. It turns sound into text in a matter of minutes. Press the “record” button at the start of your interview and the conversation will be recorded, made available for playback with the audio synced up, and the transcribed text ready to edit.

5. Grammarly

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Chrome Web Store rating: 4.5/5

Great for: Proof-reading articles

Grammarly gives real-time feedback on your writing style. It flags up grammar and spelling errors, tone of voice improvements and helps to make wording clear and concise. This extension is ideal for speeding up the editing process. It acts as a second set of eyes before you file a piece of work. You can also track your progress with helpful writing reports. 

6. TinEye

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Chrome Web Store rating: 4.5/5

Great for: Investigative reporting

The TinEye extension allows you to right-click any image on a website and reverse search it. It’s a quick and easy tool that can help investigative reporters find out where a selected image appears elsewhere on the internet using image identification technology. A match will be retrieved even if an image has been cropped, edited or resized. 

7. Treeverse*

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Chrome Web Store rating: 5/5

Great for: Following Twitter conversations

Visualise tweets mapped out in a tree-shape to help you clearly follow conversations on Twitter. Tweets and replies are connected with different coloured lines – red lines indicate fast replies, blue lines are slower – helping journalists clearly visualise the pace of social conversations. You can hover over tweets in this view to see the reply-chains. This allows you to make sense, or get to the nub, of a discussion at speed. 

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