Free Video Editing Programs for Journalists

Teenage Girl Stands Below an Overpass Filming With a Digital Camcorder
Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images

With more and more news outlets incorporating video onto their websites, learning how to shoot and edit digital video news reports is a must.

But while a digital video can now be shot with something as simple and inexpensive as a cellphone, professional video editings software programs like Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple's Final Cut can still be daunting for beginners, both in cost and complexity.

The good news is that there are plenty of free alternatives. Some, like Windows Movie Maker, are probably already on your computer. Others can be downloaded from the web. And many of these free video editing programs are pretty easy to use.

So if you want to add digital video news reports to your blog or website, here are some options that will allow you to do basic video editing quickly and cheaply. (The caveat here is that if you eventually want to produce professional-looking news videos, you're probably going to want to master Premiere Pro or Final Cut at some point. Those are the programs used by professional videographers at news websites, and are well worth learning.)

Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is free, easy-to-use software that will let you do basic video editing, including the ability to add titles, music, and transitions. But beware: Many users say the program crashes frequently, so when you're editing a video save your work frequently. Otherwise, you may lose everything you've done and have to start again.

YouTube Video Editor

YouTube is the world's most popular video upload site, so it makes sense that it offers a basic video editing program. But the emphasis here is on BASIC. You can trim your clips and add simple transitions and music, but that's about it. And you can only edit videos that you've already uploaded to YouTube.


iMovie is Apple's equivalent of Windows Movie Maker. It comes installed free on Macs. Users say it's a good basic editing program, but if you don't have a Mac, you're out of luck.


Wax is free video editing software that's a bit more sophisticated than the other programs mentioned here. Its strength is in the array of special effects options offered. But its greater sophistication means a steeper learning curve. Some users say it can be tricky to learn.


This is a feature-rich editing program that comes in both free and paid versions, but people who have used it say even the free version offers lots of sophisticated features. Of course, as with any of the more versatile editing programs, Lightworks takes time to learn and may be intimidating for neophytes.


WeVideo is a cloud-based editing program that comes in both free and paid versions. It's both PC and Mac-compatible and offers users the ability to work on their videos anywhere or to share and collaborate on video editing projects.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Rogers, Tony. "Free Video Editing Programs for Journalists." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Rogers, Tony. (2020, August 26). Free Video Editing Programs for Journalists. Retrieved from Rogers, Tony. "Free Video Editing Programs for Journalists." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 29, 2023).