A Huge Time-Saver, Social Decisions, and a Hard Job: this week on Fresh Powder

Quick-quotes quill

Meeting deadline just got way easier, guys. Transcribing interviews is one of the biggest headaches and most time-consuming tasks for any journalist. Now, Trint (forever giving Trents everywhere a good name) will do it all for you — for a price of course. The web app can listen to audio recordings and video, long or short, of two or more speakers (or just one, if, say, Sean Spicer doesn’t take questions one day) and turn it into a written transcript that’s easily editable and searchable. It’s been tested, and it’s good enough because, let’s be honest, what reporter hasn’t vowed to pay for that kind of thing if it existed? It’s Rita Skeeter’s quick-quotes quill, in the flesh.

A losing battle

It’s a big parenting decision: when to give your kid a cell phone or tablet and how to mediate their use of it once they have one. Well, the ball’s still in mom and dad’s court to decide when to give their kid license to tweet, but a new study suggests controlling their use of it may be more complicated than “No phones at the dinner table.”  Of 790 teens surveyed, 38 percent of the ones whose parents forced them to take a break from social media reported being more anxious about not having it and more likely to increase their posting frequency once they were granted access again. Parents just can’t win, can they?

China’s watching

The media is under intense scrutiny in the current political climate, with real and imagined fake news making journalists’ jobs all the more difficult. But there are still tougher landscapes to work in. Enter China, for example. The New York Times recently caught up with its Beijing bureau chief, who basically does most of her job through back channels, or virtual private networks, to avoid the Great Firewall. “Some work relatively well for a few months, then all of a sudden they slow down, a sign that the government has successfully interfered with them,” she said. That’s comforting…

Walking the red carpet

Remember the six Pittsburg, Kan. high school students who uncovered fraudulent credentials of their newly-hired principal in a story for their student newspaper, the The Booster Redux? They got their moment in the sun last weekend as the Huffington Post’s guests at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Bravo!

This also happened last week: The Trump administration opened a hotline for the public to report “criminal aliens,” and calls came flooding in about people’s close encounters with the third kind. Speaking of space, a new study determined Americans’ need for personal space is actually quite average, but you better keep your distance in Romania.