Posted in Education, multimedia journalist, Technology

My Tools & Apps for Digital Journalists: What You Missed at #NABJ18

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By Benét J. Wilson

One of my new favorite features at the NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair is the Innovation Bubble. These are one-hour sessions where you can learn about digital tools and resources you can use in your newsroom that help you work smarter and better.

I was delighted when I was asked to do a session on all the digital tools, apps and resources that I use in my job every day. The room was packed, and it went pretty quickly, so I promised that I’d share the presentation, along with other tools recommended by the audience. My goal was to show you things you could use as soon as you returned to your newsrooms on the Monday after convention.

Click here to see my Prezi presentation with all the tools I shared. But I also got input from the audience on other tools and tech you may want to consider. Please feel free to add your favorites in the comments!

  1. EasyGif: Use this tool to make your own gifs.
  2. Atlas: From the publishers of Quartz, this tool to create your own charts that you can embed into stories.
  3. Pixlr: This desktop and mobile app is that is a Swiss army knife for those who work with photos, including photo editors, a screen recorder and a photo-sharing service.
  4. Google Scholar: Looking for experts to add to your story? This website serves as a repository of professors, scholars and lawyers who can help. Type in your topic and watch the magic!
  5. Hootsuite: This free tool allows you to schedule your social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube.
  6. Buffer: The free and paid versions of this web and mobile app also allows you to schedule social media posts. The paid version gives you great analytics about your posts.
  7. Over: Take your photos to the next level by using this tool to add captions, change fonts and play with filters. It comes with more than 4,000 editable templates, millions of commercial-free stock images and 20,000+ graphics.
  8.  Tape-A-Call: This app allows you to record calls that convert into MP3s that can be easily shared. Make sure to check your state’s laws on recording phone calls.
  9. Google Translate: This desktop tool and mobile app (iOS or Google Play) can translate more than 100 languages. It isn’t perfect, but it does a good job for basic things. You can type, speak or write words or short phrases. You can hold your smartphone camera up to a sign and have it instantly translated. You can download any language and use all these functions even if you don’t have Wi-Fi or cellular access on your phone.
  10. Knightlab tools: One I recommended in my presentation was Timeline JS. But Knightlab has three other tools designed to help you tell your stories. Juxtapose allows you to compare two photos taken at different times. Soundcite allows you add short audio clips to your story right under any text you choose. Storymaps allows you to create maps and add text that helps illustrate a story.
  11. Ground: This new app, created by a journalist, uses artificial intelligence to help users verify news events happening around them.
  12. Nappy: Looking for free African-American stock photos? This website has wonderful pictures of our people at work and at play.
  13. Snapz Pro X: Use this tool to record your screen or save it as a QuickTime movie or screenshot that can be e-mailed or shared on the web.
  14. Snagit: This is another tool that allows you to record your screen for videos and photos.
  15. EasyPrompter: This web-based app turns your computer, tablet or smartphone into a teleprompter.
  16. Hunter: Looking for the email of someone who works at an organization? This tool scours the web to find their name and email address.
  17. Whentogram: Let this app tell you the best times to post to Instagram.
  18. Unum: Use this app to craft layouts, create and tailor grid, save posts to drafts and plan the perfect Instagram feed.
  19. TilePic: Turn your photos into tiled banners that can be posted on Instagram.
  20. Google Keep: This tool allows you to take notes, lists, photos, and audio to keep up with your life.
  21. Quertime — 15 Online Tools to Create E-Magazines, eBooks and Digital Newspapers
  22. Quertime — 15 Online Tools to Create Impressive Resumes

Benét J. Wilson is the travel + rewards associate editor for MagnifyMoney.com and CompareCards.com. She is also owner/editor-in-chief of Aviation Queen LLC, a freelance writing and consulting business.

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Posted in Education, journalism, Social Media, Technology, Webinar

RECORDING New Year, New You 3.0: The Power of Social Media

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#ICYMI “The Power of Social Media #BeGreat #TellTheStory” webinar, you can watch and listen to it using this link. Watch and learn as NABJ Student Council members provide helpful tips and things to avoid when incorporating social media into your storytelling.
Posted in Education, Technology, Webinar

Recording from New Year, New You 3.0: Formation 2017 – Creating a Powerful Digital Brand on LinkedIn

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Thanks to the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and Kristina B. Hill for helping with the first Media Related Task Force hosted webinar. A few minutes after Formation 2017, a participant changed his LinkedIn profile from ‘writer seeking opportunity’ to ‘award-winning multimedia journalist’ and now he says he has job offers. “I’ve been trying to improve my presence since October. This webinar was excellent!”  Check out what happened by clicking here.
And watch this space for more task force training webinars.
Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, Technology

10 Things You Can Do NOW To Step Up Your Digital Game

It’s a new year, and it’s not too late to add a work-related resolution — learn new digital skills. Don’t be afraid. We’ve compiled this list of 10 simple things to get you started!

  1. Hold and record a Google Hangout.
  2. Step up your game on Twitter.
  3. Record and upload a story on Soundcloud.
  4. Create an embeddable map using Google Fusion Tables.
  5. Try your hand at coding – for free!
  6. Test out these alternatives to a PowerPoint presentation.
  7. Learn how to make infographics.
  8. Take a Skillcrush class on becoming a WordPress developer.
  9. Whip up an embeddable timeline using Timeline JS.
  10. Learn Google Analytics with a free online course.
Posted in journalism, multimedia journalist, Technology

Friday Fast Five: Your Guide To New Media

Every week we share five articles/tips/hacks to help you do your job as a storyteller easier and smarter. Here are this week’s entries.

  1. LinkedIn7 Social Login Myths Debunked
  2. PBS6 Great Apps to Help You Write
  3. BusinessWeekFive Things Developers Wish Their Nontech Colleagues Knew
  4. GigaomJournalism isn’t just about informing readers, it’s also about helping them take action
  5. Business Daily – The Best Add-Ons for Google Drive 
Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, News, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized

High school journalism camp targets budding storytellers

By Crystal Garner, DJTF Intern

While most college and university journalism programs are drilling the tools and concepts of digital storytelling into the heads of college-aged students, Savannah State University has decided to go for an even younger demographic.

High School Students.

Approximately 20 students will immerse themselves in the campus life of Savannah State University while learning journalism at SSU Media High, a digital magazine and high school journalism camp. The camp, which begins on June 15, will allow students aged 13-17 to spend two weeks producing news and features for a general interest, digital magazine, said Wanda Lloyd, chair of the school’s journalism department and former executive editor of The Montgomery Advertiser.

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Lloyd, who became chair of Savannah State University’s School of Journalism last summer,  said she got the idea about Media High after noticing high school students on campus for several different summer programs and camps, none of which involved journalism.

With a history of working with Howard University’s high school journalism camp, Lloyd understands that camps like this can provide journalism skills to students while helping colleges attract the best and brightest.

“The work produced in the program will give (students) an upper-leg,” Lloyd said. “My goal is to increase the capacity of journalism in the Savannah area and increase awareness of our mass communication program so students will consider Savannah State University when (choosing) a college.”

Benet Wilson, NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force Vice Chair of Education, says journalism education should start early. She applauds Savannah State University for training the next generation of journalists.

“Programs like Media High give budding reporters a great foundation for their future careers,” Wilson said. “They also give students a taste of what the industry is like, allowing them to make an informed decision as they consider what college to attend.”

Media High will launch this summer under the direction of camp program director Tina A. Brown.

Brown, a professional journalist with 30 years experience, said she hopes to attract curious learners interested in acquiring newsroom skills quickly.

Candidates will be required to write an essay about themselves and why they would benefit from the program, Brown said. Those selected will produce news on multiple platforms, including video and audio, she added.

“Everything will be done online,” Brown said. “Students will cover events on campus and in the community.” Staff and students at the university will serve as mentors in the program, she said, and field trips to local media outlets and to city council meetings are included in the schedule.

The total cost to operate Media High is about $25,000, with the lion’s share of the money coming from public funding: a $14, 000 federal grant; $4,000 from the Dow Jones News Fund; and $2,000 from student participants themselves. Organizers say students will need assistance covering their share of the costs.

While existing funds will pay for the operation of the program, Media High needs money to cover students’ expenses, including meals and housing. Stipulations for current funding precludes program managers from using any of the $16,000 to purchase meals, which Brown estimates will cost $22 a day per student, she said.  

Contributions are tax deductible  and checks can be made to:

SSU Foundation, Inc.,
In care of: Wanda Lloyd, chair of Mass Communications, SSU Media High,
3219 College Street, Savannah, Ga. 31404.
 
Posted in Education, Innovation, journalism, Technology, Uncategorized

Diving into Data

By Crystal Garner, DJTF Intern

In the ever-changing age of digital media, data visualization is king.

Vitaly Friedman, editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine, an online outlet providing innovative information to Web designers and developers, describes it as a way “to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means.” Simply put, it turns information into something visually appealing.

While one of the most sought after skill sets in newsrooms across the globe is spiking in use by news organizations, marketing firms and internet companies, the number of journalists of color who are capable of producing data visualizations is flatlining. Why is it that journalists of color are not flocking to this type of storytelling? If it’s because many don’t understand what it is, the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force is aiming to change that.

On April 29, 2014 from 11a.m. to noon, NABJ Digital hosts a Twitter chat with Faye Anderson of Tracking Change, an advocacy platform to turn data into action; Zach Seward of Quartz, a digital news outlet for business people; and Samantha Sunne of Hacks and Hackers, a grassroots journalism organization. The panelists will answer your questions about diving into data visualization.

Tracking Change's Faye Anderson, Hacks and Hackers' Samantha Sunne and Quartz' Zach Seward

The task force decided to put this Twitter chat together as part of its mission to ensure that NABJ’s members have all the skills they need to be the best digital journalists they can be, said Tracie Powell, DJTF co-chair. Since big data is changing the way journalists tell stories, making sure they have the tools and the know-how to use them is important, she said.

“Being able to process data, understand it, extract value from it and communicate it is increasingly a hugely important skill for journalists in helping citizens understand pressing issues using charts, graphics, maps and more,” she said. “Data visualization is not only important because it helps journalists tell better stories, it is important in terms of career advancement.”

To follow the Data Visualization Twitter Chat, use hashtag #nabjdata.