Back from the Online News Association annual conference, my head is spinning with a few key topics — augmented reality, data visualization, possible resurgence of audio, reporting on the go, data visualization and the role of social media directors. (And did I mention data visualization?)
Here are resources I’m taking back to my Gannett newsroom after hearing from ONA panelists and participants.
Some are new and have piqued people’s interest. Some still have people buzzing months or even years in.
What should we add? Comment here or tweet me at @kjmcginty.
After the Deadline This plug-in or add-on speeds up the editing process by checking your story for grammar, spelling and style.
Buffer Easily schedule articles, pictures and links to move out via your social media accounts.
Census.IRE.Org IRE led this project to make the 2010 U.S. Census data more manageable for journalists. Next up, they’ll be creating guides to help journalists and will allow you to browse the American Community Survey results.
Chartbeat Chartbeat promises real-time analytics, including how long your audience is actively engaged and how far they’ve scrolled down the page. (Paid service. Free 30-day trial.)
FilterStorm Dessigned specifically for photojournalists, you can edit your photos and send them in via email, FTP, Dropbox or SFTP. ($3.99 in app store)
Gopano Create, share and view 360-degree photos and videos with any camera. (Free in app store)
iTimeLapse Create time lapse and stop motion videos from iPhone or iPad. Options include selecting how often to snap photos and how long the video should be. ($1.99 in the app store)
Meograph ”Four-dimensional story-telling” This is video meets infographic — combining maps, timeline, links, and multimedia to tell stories “in context of where and when.”
Mobile Reporters’ Field Guide Developed by UC Berkley Graduate School of Journalism, this free PDF or iBook promises to be everything a reporter needs to know when reporting from an iPhone. Search Mobile Reporting Guide in the app store.
Overview “Visual document mining for journalists” Developed at the Associated Press, Overview analyzes the complete text of every document, extracting keywords and sorting documents into categories and sub-categories. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @overviewproject for your “preview login.”
Podio “An online workspace for everyone” Social work platform for basic project management tasks — calendar, contacts, activity stream — that helps teams collaborate and communicate. (Free and paid versions.)
Reddit “The front page of the Internet” Site tracks what’s new and what’s popular online. Submit your own links, or vote on others to drive what’s appearing on the front page. (“I think Reddit is on the rise,” said Liz Heron.)
Reporters Committee First Aid mobile app Free guide gives reporters in the field immediate access to legal resources, particularly in situations where access or news gathering may be stymied. Search “reporters committee” in App Store.
Scribble Live Create, curate and publish content to provide real time coverage and storytelling.
SpliceApp A video editing app that works with music, photos, text or video clips. ($3.99 in app store)
Spundge “Smarter curation, genius content.” Read, save, filter and annotate content from the web — Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube included. (Free and paid versions)
Spotify Digital music service gives you access to millions of songs. Consider creating and sharing music playlists from your local music scene.
Storify Take the best of what people post on social media — photos, tweets, videos — and easily publish it into a compelling story.
Topsy Search content published on Twitter and the web, and sort it by date or relevance.
Ustream Broadcast (free) live video to the world from a computer or iPhone in minutes, or watch thousands of shows.
Vyclone Record a video at the same time and place as another person, and this app will automatically synch your videos into a single, multi-angle masterpiece (based on GPS). (Free in app store)
Watch Up Tap the news videos you want to watch, creating your own playlist. Then sit back and watch. (Free iPad app.)
Want more? Links to other sources
- Amy Webb, founder of WebbMedia, presented the Top 10 Tech Trends for 2012 to a standing-room only crowd — and she wants your input here.
- Robert Hernandez posted this collection of multimedia tools a while back that is mostly still relevant.
- NPR’s David Wright posted these slides from his presentation, “Design is how it works.” (thanks to @macloo)
- ONA collected more than 100 articles about #ONA12 via Kippt here.
I’m reading Becky Hogge’s Open Data Study, a review of open data and government transparency efforts.
First, in many cases, the data does not exist in any electronic form, and in some cases record-keeping systems may not exist at all. Nathaniel Heller:
My simplest example for this would be years ago, talking with the government in Senegal and trying to plan an intervention based on electronic property records and…the Senegalese government was at first very enthusiastic. And then we started talking about the physical challenge of it and what we ended up discovering is that before we built an electronic property records system we actually had to build a property records system. It wasn’t clear that data existed in paper form and that to build that sort of government data transparency system we needed, in many case we would have to do the basic data collection.
From Ethan Zuckerman:
I think it would be great to start mapping what datasets exist within governments, but I’m going to stand by my skepticism: I think a lot of the data that you want…it’s not clear that those records are getting digitized or digitized in any meaningful way.
In some cases the data does exist, but requires a lot of work to put into a form that you can distribute on the Web. I really admire Mzalendo, a site where activists in Kenya try to get their hands on any government records they can find, cutting and pasting and even retyping. Here’s Ory Okolloh:
All the work we do is manual, so we have to literally cut and past information if we can find it. It’s gotten a lot better from when we started. Now things like the Hansard [transcripts of parliamentary debates] are on the website pretty much in soft copy and up to date. So it’s improved but it’s still either in a PDF or Word document that we can’t crawl or extract information from.
[I’m reading a lot of papers and reports on open data and civic data. You can check out my reading list here. Civic Data/Open Data Reading List — LW]
The PDFs. OMFG. The PDFs.
Meredith Artley, Vice President and Managing Editor of CNN Digital, discusses what she’s looking for when hiring digital journalists in Nieman Lab’s series evaluating j-schools. Two of Artley’s most important insights:
1. Know the industry and have a dialogue during your interview.
The main mistake I see recent college grads make in interviews — and sometimes not-so-recent grads as well — is an expectation of a one-way conversation. I’ve seen candidates with strong resumes who haven’t appeared to have done their homework or haven’t come with their own questions. It could be anything — tell me something you like or don’t like about CNN, ask me to describe the culture of the newsroom, share an observation about a competitor. Just don’t expect a passive experience where we ask the questions, then you supply answers and wait for the next question. I’ve always seen interviews as an opportunity for a conversation, and to learn if it’s a right fit for both parties, no matter what side of the table I’m on.
2. Coding is a hot skill but know your beat too.
Skill-wise, people who have the killer journalist/coder combo have been a hot commodity for some time. But those candidates now are becoming easier to find thanks to schools evolving their programs by melding programming and journalism courses, and people who learn interactive reporting skills on the job.
It’s getting harder to find specialists in certain beats. There are generalists galore. A broad curiosity about the world is a good prerequisite for landing a job in journalism, but the resumes that show specialized interest and experience in a beat or topic are increasingly rare and precious — health, foreign affairs, science, education, religion, to name a few.
FJP: Not everyone would agree that enough journalists know how to code, though. Miranda Mulligan, executive director of Northwestern University’s Knight News Innovation Lab, encourages a re-vamping of j-school curricula.
We need to innovate our curricula, really looking at what we are teaching our students. Learning, or mastering, specific software is not properly preparing our future journalists for successful, life-long careers. No one can learn digital storytelling in a semester. Mastering Dreamweaver and Flash isn’t very future-friendly, and having a single mid-level “Online Journalism” course offered as an elective does more harm than good. We should be teaching code in all of our journalism courses — each semester, each year, until graduation.
New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan, on truth-telling and “he said, she said” in journalism
Reuters News says one of its Twitter accounts was hacked on Sunday and false tweets were posted, mainly related to the current unrest in Syria.
The company earlier said the blogging platform of the Reuters News website was compromised on Friday and a false posting purporting to carry an interview with a Syrian rebel leader was illegally posted on a Reuters’ journalist’s blog.
There was another serious technical limitation of 20th-century media: There was no way to go back to what was reported before. You could look at yesterday’s paper if you hadn’t thrown it out, or even go to the library and look up last year on microfilm. Similarly, there were radio and television archives. But it was so hard to rewind that most people never did.
Each story was meant to be viewed only once, on the day of its publication or broadcast. The news media were not, and could not be, reference media.
Online Journalism Blog, Interview: the team behind the Translate audio transcription app
The free app is here.