Customer Story: San Francisco Chronicle

How the San Francisco Chronicle supercharged its ability to create podcasts with Trint
August 15, 2022

“For the podcast, Trint really is indispensable for our workflow."

Sarah Feldberg is the San Francisco Chronicle’s Editor for Emerging Products and Audio. She oversees the publication’s growing network of podcasts, and since adopting Trint one year ago, her team has streamlined its workflow and increased the quality of its podcast episodes. 

Like many news organizations, podcasts are important to The Chronicle. But until last year, the vast amounts of interview recordings were making production slow and difficult to manage or organize. Moving fast, especially when producing a daily news show like The Chronicle’s flagship podcast Fifth & Mission, is tantamount to success. 

“Trint has been an incredible resource for us in the podcast team. It really helps us to edit as we put every interview that we do immediately into Trint as the first step,” Sarah says.

Trint helps Sarah and her team edit their interviews more precisely by reviewing the transcript to decide which sections to cut and which to highlight, and how to fine-tune each episode so the podcasts sound fantastic and deliver information clearly and concisely to listeners. 

The evolving newsroom

The Chronicle’s focus on podcasting exemplifies the paper’s understanding of changing consumer behavior when it comes to finding and digesting the news – and how newsrooms are finding ways to adapt.

Podcasting offers a platform to tell short news stories, deep-dive investigations, and differing opinions on hot topics, and it’s fast becoming one of the most popular methods news broadcasters are harnessing to attract and retain audiences in the digital world. And since 1.4 million San Francisco residents listen to podcasts each month, The Chronicle has secured an enthusiastic audience. 

“At the Chronicle we have about a dozen different pieces of software that we use. Trint is definitely one of the easiest.”

The Chronicle has transformed its ability to make podcasts with Trint. But the wider Chronicle newsroom also uses Trint for its transcribing and editing, allowing traditional journalists to speed up and improve the accuracy of their written stories.

“If you record a 45-minute interview, that takes a really long time to transcribe by hand. And a lot of people are still transcribing by hand or taking notes during their interviews. Having a very accurate transcript pretty fast means we can be more confident in the accuracy of every quote,” Sarah says.

With a transcript at their fingertips, reporters can spend more time reporting, writing, fact-checking and focusing on quality local journalism. Thanks to its commitments to adopting new technology and reaching readers across an array of digital platforms, The Chronicle, which was founded in 1865 and is the largest newspaper in Northern California, continues to grow.

The Chronicle is one of many publications proving that these adaptations are the way to succeed.

“We’ve even had new reporters turn down training for Trint because it’s so intuitive and self-explanatory,” says Mozes Zarate, who works with Sarah as The Chronicle’s Editor for Newsroom Product, developing new tools for staff journalists and managing the third-party platforms they use, like Trint. 

Trint as a security tool

“Our legal team gave Trint the A-OK, and they tend to be pretty hardcore. So I trust their judgment.”

When Editor-in-Chief Emilio Garcia-Ruiz joined the Chronicle in 2020, he was shocked to learn that the team were recording, storing, and transcribing their interviews all over the place with no single secure system to save them. So when they were looking for new software to help make their interviewing process easier, Trint’s security credentials stood out.

“Unifying with Trint across the newsroom has been really helpful in terms of knowing that our audio and our reporting is safe and secure,” Sarah says. “We have an investigative team that has done some really incredible and really sensitive work over the last year. Being able to keep [their sources’] accounts and have them speak to us and know that that data is safe has been a huge, huge help to us.”


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