How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Matt Apuzzo, an investigative correspondent in Brussels, discussed the tech he’s using.
What are the most important tech tools for you as an investigative journalist?
As with most people these days, my go-to device is my phone, which in my case is an iPhone X. I don’t use it for anything particularly unique to journalism, except maybe document scanning. Sometimes, I might have only a minute to see a key document, and having it can mean the difference between breaking a story and not. For years I have used an app called TurboScan Pro, and I love it.
Tech is great, but there’s no substitute for personal relationships. I prefer face-to-face conversations whenever possible, and I almost never record them. I use small, discreet notebooks like the Moleskine pocket journal. A lot of my interviews are over coffee, drinks or meals, and I want something as unobtrusive as possible at the table. I love the feel of the Rhodia pocket webnotebook, but let’s be honest: I’m not picky. Some of the best, most surprising nuggets of information have been scribbled on napkins or the backs of envelopes or tapped in text messages to myself.
I try to transcribe long interviews immediately. I have been a longtime devotee of the web-based app Workflowy for taking notes, at the recommendation of my colleague Farhad Manjoo. It’s particularly great for long-term projects and collaborations. I recently downloaded and am trying out the app Bear at the recommendation of another colleague, Kate