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#Tip: Try searching Creative Commons images by colour

October 10th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Search, Top tips for journalists

Have you ever written an article and had a specific colour in mind for an accompanying picture? If so, here is a tool to help.

The people at TinEye, who are behind this fantastic tool for verification (see this post), have created the MultiColr Search Lab.

This enables you to search by colour for images with Creative Commons licences, meaning they can be used free of charge to accompany news stories.

You can search for up to five colours. Here’s one we made ourselves using what turn out to be the Ikea colours. colour-search

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – 30 specialist search engines

April 30th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Search, Top tips for journalists

The Next Web has compiled a list of 30 specialist search engines.

Journalists may find TinEye and PicSearch particularly helpful when verifying photos from social media, Greplin handy to search their own accounts, and should take a look at some of the blog and social media search options.

The list is well worth reading and bookmarking. I would add Topsy to the list of search engines journalists should know about.

Tipster: Sarah Marshall

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

 

 

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Ten free apps in the Chrome web store that journalists should know about

November 17th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Handy tools and technology, Lists

Google’s Chrome web store, containing web apps, browser extensions, games and themes, launched in the UK in September following a US release in February.

You can access the store via the Chrome browser homepage and toggle between your “most visited” websites and available “apps”.

Here are 10 free apps and extensions in the Chrome web store that are useful tools for journalists.

1. Duedil

This is the browser extension enhancing an invaluable site for journalists working across all sectors. Duedil allows you to view company financial information, lists of directors and more in clear graphs and charts.

Click on any website and then the browser extension and you can look up the financial information on that firm. It may need assistance in recognising the correct company, however.

For example, if I am on the Guardian’s website and click the browser extension, I will get details for a company called Guardian Education Interactive. I must then select “not the company I am looking for” and enter Guardian Media Group. Clicking on a director’s name, such as in this case Alan Rusbridger, links me through to the full Duedil website.

2. SocialBro

This is a web app for Twitter and social media analytics. Sync your account/s and you will see a dashboard where you can find out the best time to tweet, map your followers and see the ratio of followers to friends.

3. News readers

Okay, this is a group of browser extensions and web apps but worth mentioning as one category. The Guardian, Independent, and several other national newspapers have opted for Chrome extensions, allowing you to read the headlines from your browser.

The New York Times has opted for a web app with more story detail, which fills the browser.

4. iPiccy

This web app is a simple image photo editor and handy for any journalists who have to prepare images for the web.

5. Transcribe

If you record interviews and play them back later to transcribe them this is a must have app. It gets round the problem of playing audio in one application (such as iTunes) and then writing in a text document.

Add your mp3 or wav audio file and you can transcribe by typing in the box below the player. It also works offline. One of the great features are the short cuts: alt+p = pause/resume, alt+i = rewind two seconds, alt+o = forward two seconds.

6. Mappeo

Mappeo is a useful web app for regional reporters or anyone covering a localised story, such as a protest. Open the app and you will see a map of geolocated videos that have been uploaded to YouTube. You can click on the icon to launch and play the video.

7. Aviary audio editor

This is a great free app for broadcast journalists and podcasters. Simply upload audio in a variety of formats, select whether this is private to you or public, and decide how you want to licence it.

8. SEO SERP

There are lots of SEO tools in the Chrome web store. SEO SERP is a useful browser extension for any journalists mindful of web traffic and keywords.

For example, type “journalism jobs” and see Journalism.co.uk is top of the Google rankings, or (as below) type in keywords such as Leveson and see who is ranked top.

9. TinEye

Add this browser extension, right click on a picture or upload an image and you can find out where else it has been used. It could be a valuable journalism tool to verify photographs. It can even scan for reversed images.

10. Kindle it

This is a handy option for Kindle users. It allows you to send web pages to your Kindle for reading later.

 

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How not to fall for a hoax like ‘IE6 users are dumb’

August 5th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in PR, Press freedom and ethics

First journalists fell for made-up stories sent out by a fake PR to highlight to practice of churnalism, now news outlets – including the BBC, Daily Mail and Telegraph – have published a hoax story that users of Internet Explorer 6 are dumb.

Here are five questions journalists should ask themselves in order to avoid falling for a hoax.

1. Does the story sounds possible? Journalists ask questions and should look at data with a critical eye. If presented with a press release saying the IE6 users are dumb, ask yourself how likely that really is.

Why do people use the an old version of Internet Explorer? Because they work for firms that do not grant them administrator rights to update software? Because they are less experienced web users and don’t know how to? Because they are older users who are less likely to trust updates and downloads?

2. When was the web domain of the PR company registered? A website such as who.is will give you a date of registration, the address where the site is registered, a company number and server details. (You can click the image below to see the results.)

3. Are the photos ripped from another website?  The hoaxer who wrote the “IE6 users are dumb” press release included employee photographs on the fake company website ripped from a legitimate French business.

You can run an image search – or even a reverse image search – by using Google Image Search or TinEye.

4. Does the phone number given on the press release appear elsewhere on the web? Google the phone number on the site or press release.

5. Does the address listed on the website, press release and domain registration exist? Enter the postcode into the Royal Mail address finder.

The hoaxer – a developer called Tarandeep Gill who set up the hoax to highlight his frustrations of people using IE6 – has published the tell-tale signs that should have uncovered the hoax in five minutes

1.The domain was registered on 14 July 2011;

2. The test that was mentioned in the report, “Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (IV) test” is a copyrighted test and cannot be administered online;

3. The phone number listed on the report and the press release is the same listed on the press releases/whois of my other websites. A google search reveals this;

4. The address listed on the report does not exist;

5. I copy/pasted most of the material from “Central Test” [the legitimate Paris-based firm] and got lazy to even change the pictures;

6. The website is made in WordPress. Come on now!

7. I am sure, my haphazardly put together report had more than one grammatical mistakes [sic];

6. There is a link to our website AtCheap.com in the footer.

Journalists should also be aware of the “churn engine to distinguish journalism from churnalism“, launched by the Media Standards Trust in February. Click the photo below to go to the churnalism tool, paste the contents of a press release and in cases where more than 20 per cent of an article and press release overlap, the search engine will highlight it as a potential example of ‘churn’ and give you overlap as a percentage.

 

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