Nexis® 101: Hidden Gems for Journalists
April 29, 2020 by Megan Burnside
Between right- and left-leaning pundits, foreign disinformation campaigns and cries of fake news, it often feels that the foundation of a free press—fair and balanced reporting—is slipping further and further away. The vilification of individual journalists and even entire news organisations has become commonplace. And, even the very freedom of the press has been attacked to an extent that feels downright subversive.
Adding a layer of complexity to this challenge is the ever-evolving newsroom. Shrinking staff. Fewer resources. More cross-functional teams—read: digital, social and multimedia—collaborating in real-time. The mantra that “Content is King.” And, of course, the omnipresent pressure to be first to break a story… and generate the most clicks.
These factors may at times feel burdensome to journalists—but they aren’t going away any time soon. Which is why, in our view, easy accessibility to credible, thorough research is more important than ever. Journalists who take seriously their jobs of providing honest, transparent and factual reporting—and doing so across multiple teams and with multiple interests to uphold—can turn to Nexis® for help. We have four hidden gems that can help journalists work smarter, faster and more collaboratively than ever before.
The Word Wheel is Your Friend
Seasoned Nexis users know the Power Search function will return more refined results. The power behind this functionality is in the metadata attached to each topic, tag and term Nexis logs. It’s this LexisNexis SmartIndexing Technology that drives the word wheel and makes it easier for journalists to quickly identify, refine and search for sources. Interested in source material published within the last six months on drug testing associated with baseball tournaments in Canada? With a few taps of the keyboard, the Nexis intuitive, drop-down word wheel will populate with suggested topics and tags associated with major search terms. Results can be further refined by subject, industry, geography or company.
Quotation Marks: More Than Just Punctuation
While many journalists are multi-lingual, they aren’t always experts in Boolean, the language of search engines. Enter quotation marks, which—when they encapsulate a keyword or phrase—tells Nexis to search for the exact phrase. Advancements (and investments…) in natural language capabilities make searching for these specific phrases easier than ever. If you’re looking for, say, news coverage with, “Michael Jackson documentary” in the transcript, well, there’s a search for that. And it’s achieved by using quotation marks.
Gone are the days when journalists had to keep notes in a separate document or—gasp!—print and highlight key sections of text for reference. With the Nexis annotations feature, users can quickly highlight sections of a document and add their notes to the file. It may sound simple, but the ability to annotate an article has proven a useful feature for journalists who must share resources and relevant materials across teams of colleagues. Which leads us to our fourth and final hidden gem: folders.
Folders For The Win
Folders allow users to save search results and documents—annotated or otherwise—for quick and easy reference later. Another benefit of this feature: advanced collaboration. Our cloud-based storage system allows multiple viewers and editors to read, print, email, download or otherwise work from the same materials. Rather than working in siloes, journalists can collaborate in real time or simply maintain an archive of frequently referenced resources.
We hope these four tips will help journalists discover and file credible resources more efficiently than ever before… and protect journalistic integrity and international press freedoms for years to come.
Learn more about how Nexis is the preferred choice of research solutions for media professionals around the globe