Digital tools for journalists

The Knight Foundation’s Michael Maness and the Journalism and Media Innovation team were asked what digital tools journalists should be learning. Here’s the list:

  1. DocumentCloud: Six hundred newsrooms use it to manage, annotate and publish documents. It lets reporters share information across newsrooms.
  2. Panda: An easy way to use databases that doesn’t require any special knowledge. You can use Microsoft Excel with it. It’s geared toward public information.
  3. Poderpedia: Allows you to analyse relationships among civic, political and business leaders in a country, or a city, or a company or any organized collection of people. Visualises relationships within these power and influence networks.
  4. Timeline.js:  Creates timelines about any story you can link to or embed. Great for developing graphic skills.
  5. Scraper Wiki: A more advanced tool. You can write computer code to get, clean and analyse data sets. Or you can request the Scraper Wiki community of data scientists to do it.
  6. TileMile/Map Box: This is a simple way to make your own maps, use maps for making apps.
  7. Frontline SMS: Used all over the world, this mobile texting tool lets you communicate with large numbers of people in an organized way.
  8. Zeega: A mixed media packaging tool that allows you to make interactive documentaries in new formats with sound, videos, pictures and text.
  9. Amara: A volunteer-driven translation system that can turn any video in any language into a captioned, understandable piece.
  10. Ushahidi: Perhaps the most popular of them all, Ushahidi is a powerful yet simple crowdsourcing system that allows any group of people using cell phones to “map” just about anything.

The Foundation’s senior advisor Eric Newton also gave a shout out to video notebook, which allows you to annotate audio and video content and sync video with tweets and a favourite of mine, Storify, a tool that helps you collect and republish social media.

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