Tag Archives: journalism tool

Tool of the week for journalists: Thinglink, for interactive images

Tool of the week: Thinglink

What is it? A tool to allow you to add rich media, such as YouTube videos, SoundCloud recordings and Wikipedia entries to photographs.

How is it of use to journalists? Take a look this poster on NME.com and you will see a fantastic example of how a photo can be annotated with rich media.

Thinglink currently allows you to link to: video (YouTube, Vimeo, Ted); music and audio (Spotify, SoundCloud and iTunes); photos (Flickr, Instagram, Imgur); live music artists (Thrillcall); social media (Facebook pages, Twitter); plus Wikipedia, any event on the Eventbrite, products on Etsy, and almost anything sold on Amazon. You can also embed images.

(The below image is a screengrab and not interactive. Follow the link to see how the photo displays video, audio and more.)

Here is a quick test I did using a Telegraph logo, adding a tweet, a link to the newspaper’s Facebook page and the Wikipedia entry for the title.

The base service is free, however upgrading to a Plus or Pro plan gives you improved statistics, more uploaded images, and the ability to turn your Thinglinked images into Facebook tabs.

This tool was recommended by Luke Lewis, editor of NME.com. To recommend a journalism tool email me using this link.

16:52 Friday 27 April 2012: Updated to correct our assertion that a paid upgrade is required to embed pictures.

Tool of the week for journalists: Google Follow Your World

Tool of the week: Google Follow Your World

What is it? Add a location and Google will notify you every time a new satellite image is added for that location.

How is it of use to journalists? Mark a location and each time Google updates the satellite and aerial imagery in your area of interest, you will be notified.

Think of it as like Google Alerts for mapping information.

Consider the possibilities for digital journalism in having images showing the changes to the Olympics site, an area of coastal erosion or the development (or lack of change) within the Government enterprise zones.

It is a tool that requires patience as it may take months or even years for Google to update the aerial imagery for your area of interest.

Storify stories now on news reader app Pulse

Curated storytelling tool Storify has partnered with news reader app Pulse.

The move marks Storify’s first syndication deal and sees curated stories by Storify users such as Al Jazeera’s the Stream, the Washington Post and the White House communications team available on the social newsreader app.

Pulse, which is available for the iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire and Nook, allows readers to chose to add their favourite news providers and feeds giving a personalised reading experience.

A Storified blog post by the company explains how to add your Storify creations to your personalised Pulse app.

You can also see your stories – or any account’s stories – on Pulse by subscribing to the RSS feed at the top of Storify profile pages. Then call the feeds up from Google Reader on Pulse. You’ll be able to see all those accounts’ stories on Pulse from then on.
For more on the syndication deal see this Storify.

Independent uses Spotify button to add ‘new angle to music journalism’

The Independent has announced that it has added music service Spotify’s new play button to its site which “means we can add a new angle to our music journalism”.

Writing in a blog post, Jack Riley, head of digital audience and content development for the Independent and i, explains that any website can add the new button which allows readers to stream music without leaving the host site.

For the Independent this means we can add a new angle to our music journalism; as well as adding streamable albums to our album reviews (see Alabama Shakes here), we can embed setlists into our live reviews (Kylie) and singles into our weekly charts. We’ll also be using the player to illustrate features; this piece from Nick Hasted on jazz’s influence on pop music (via Radiohead) is a great example of how the player can really add something to the reading experience.

You can see all of the tracks we’ve used the play button on this page which also explains how the button works. We’re tweeting articles featuring the new functionality with the hashtag #listenwithspotify and results for that hashtag from us are displayed on that page.

 

Citizen journalism site Blottr launches Facebook app

Citizen journalism news site Blottr is the latest news organisation to release a “frictionless sharing” Facebook app.

Blottr has opted for a Guardian-style app where readers access news and comment without having to leave the social networking site.

The Huffington Post UK, which released an app at the end of February, followed the Independent in promoting social interaction on the news site.

In a release Blottr said:

The app leverages the social functionality Facebook users are already familiar with to automatically discover and highlight Blottr content their friends have read. Through the app, users will also be able to report news and add content directly to the Blottr site.

We want to engage new readers who may not already interact with Blottr. Registered users can now notice Blottr’s content via their friends’ interactions or activity report on their wall.

Blottr founder Adam Baker said in a statement:

This move signifies the importance social media plays in the distribution, discovery and consumption of news content. Our aim is to make consuming and contributing to news-related content as efficient, simple and timely as possible.

The Blottr Facebook app socially connects people with each other through the type of content they consume and makes the discovery of our content much more fluid.

Tool of the week for journalists: Muck Rack

Tool of the week: Muck Rack

What is it? A site that aggregates Twitter and social media feeds for thousands of professional journalists.

How is it of use to journalists? Journalists often break or share vital information first through social media. Muck Rack allows you to monitor trending topics among journalists in real-time. Its aim, according to Muck Rack’s creators, is to deliver “tomorrow’s newspaper to you today”.

Launched in 2009, Muck Rack now draws content from thousands of journalists who use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other sources to break news on a daily basis.

Built around a central directory of verified professionals, Muck Rack now boasts an extensive directory of top journalists from around the world which can be searched by name, publication or even beat.

Professionals only need a valid Twitter account to apply for verification, although the process is heavily vetted to ensure certain standards are met such as relevance of tweets or posts and consistent activity.

The site also emails out a daily analysis of what journalists are saying called the Muck Rack Daily, which is pored over by its editorial team.

Muck Rack dovetails well with previous Journalism.co.uk tool of the week Press Pass, which organises journalists by beat, media outlet or region.

Tool of the week for journalists: Timeline

Tool of the week: Timeline

What is it? A wizard to enable you to create and embed a timeline of curated content.

How is it of use to journalists? News sites often use a timeline for digital storytelling. This is a tool just released to enable you to do just that.

There are several examples, such as a Timeline of the Republican run-up.

Mashable compares Timeline to Storify, a tool that enables you to curate web content by dragging and dropping tweets and other media to create a story.

Mashable’s report states:

Timeline, created by Zach Wise, a multimedia journalist and journalism professor, was developed in partnership with the Knight News Innovation Lab at Northwestern University, where Wise teaches. The interactive tool allows users to generate timelines on the web by curating content from Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, Google Maps and SoundCloud.

“The tools that already exist on the web are almost all either hard on the eyes or hard to use,” said Wise. “Timeline is an open-source, JavaScript and HTML/HTML 5 based tool that creates elegant timelines.”

Timeline does not offer the simplicity of Storify and although aimed at non-techies, it will require you to add some code to the head of your site and will take a quite a bit longer to create than a Storify.

One way you can create the timeline is by using a Google Doc. Timeline provides a template and you can simply add your links to the media.

For example, the below screenshot shows how we used the Google Doc template to create a timeline of some of the key phone-hacking moments, adding a Flickr photo, tweets and YouTube footage.

 

 

Tool of the week for journalists: freeDive, to create a searchable database

Tool of the week: freeDive

What is it? A wizard to turn a Google spreadsheet into a searchable, embeddable interactive

How is it of use to journalists? This is a fantastic tool from the Knight Digital Media Center, based at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

freeDive is a wizard that allows you to take a Google spreadsheet, turn it into an interactive database, embed it into a news story and let readers to explore the data.

A word of warning: the embed code created is mainly JavaScript which some platforms restrict.

WordPress users can download a plugin such as Artiss Code Embed which works with WordPress security settings, allowing you to embed JavaScript.

The tool generates a simple embed code and also has an option to allow you to download the HTML, upload it onto your server and use an iframe.

Here is one we made earlier. This searchable database shows the ABC-audited web traffic figures for regional news groups.

[iframe src=”http://www.journalism.co.uk/uploads/abcembedtest.html” height=”650px”]

 

Tool of the week for journalists: Data.gov.uk’s map-based search

Tool of the week: Data.gov.uk’s map-based search

What is it? An option of searching for data sets by geographical location

How is it of use to journalists? Since the launch of Data.gov.uk just over two years ago, and the promotion of open government data, the site has become a go to place for many journalists in search of a data set.

The site now has a map tool which allows you to search for data by location, potentially useful for journalists working on local news sites, newspapers and radio stations.

The map-based search allows you to draw a search area, submit the area and find data relating to that location.

Not tried your hand at data journalism? This guide written for Journalism.co.uk by Simon Rogers, editor of the Guardian’s Datablog tells you how to get a grip with data journalism.

  • Journalism.co.uk also offers a one or two-day course in data journalism, led by Kevin Anderson. The next introduction to data journalism courses are being held on 9 May or 28 May. The intermediate data journalism course will be on 29 May. Those looking to expand their skills quickly can book on both courses, turning it into a two-day course and saving £50 on the course fees.

Tool of the week for journalists: Cuttings.me

Tool of the week: Cuttings.me

What is it? An easy to use portfolio tool created by a freelance journalist for freelance journalists.

How is it of use to journalists? Cuttings.me was built by freelance journalist Nicholas Holmes who wanted a way of presenting links to his best work.

Launched in October, Cuttings.me now has thousands of links and is being used by journalists from the BBC to the New York Times to Al Jazeera. You can see Nicholas Holmes’ portfolio at Cuttings.me/nicholasholmes.

Last week it was been adapted and redesigned with the help of feedback from other users.

As of this today, Cuttings.me has a “multimedia clippings” feature, which opens up Cuttings.me for broadcast journalists too.

Another feature released today is RSS, allowing anyone who wants to subscribe to a feed of your best work to have an easy way of doing so.

RSS was “one of the most-requested features since the redesigned site launched late last year”, according to Holmes, who is is tourism Editor at AFP/Relaxnews and a freelance contributor to other publications including the Independent.

It’s quite a major upgrade and means users will be able to activate a personal RSS feed of their work, allowing them to easily export their cuttings to sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to ensure all of their contacts are kept up-to-date, whenever they add a new piece to their Cuttings.me page.

A short video on how to get started with Cuttings.me is below.