Journalism tools for 2016

Goldsmiths University are building a go-to site which will point journalists at content presentation and publishing tools. Supported by BBC News Labs, Newsroom.tools was the winning idea by The Times and Sunday Times at NewsHACK 2015 (a two day hackathon in London).

The Newsroom.tools platform will include new and existing tools which will help journalists and developers to draw up maps, incorporate videos and images, build charts, quizzes, timelines, use research tools and more. The team are also building a set of user guidelines which will be authored and agreed by an open community of contributors.

With an eye on developments in this area, Radar has been sifting through the seasons lists of recommended tools for journalists in 2016, to pick out some highlights.

Journalism Tools have published a list of 16 tools on Medium. Within their list are two tools for audio which look interesting;

TapeWrite is described on its homepage as ‘a ​social platform where everyone can publish, listen to, and ​discuss​ audio’. The platform is currently available to try as a private beta which brings together audio and text to create stories and is available for use by publishers and listeners. Audio files are uploaded, with text added on ‘cards’ which can be found and shared via social media.

The makers of Ferrite Recording Studio say their app ‘works just like a voice memo app: one tap and you’re recording. But there’s also a full editing suite to assemble your recordings — and imported clips — into polished final audio’.

Ferrite is available now as a download for iOS, either as a free version (with limitations) or via subscription with extended services. Podcaster Jason Snell gives a very favourable review on Six Colors:

‘In a word, wow: This is the iOS multitrack editor that I’ve been waiting for. Ferrite has all the features that have made my podcast editing workflow so efficient: Strip Silence, compression, noise gate, ripple delete, quick selection of all following clips. It’s all there. And it’s all built inside an attractive interface that’s a pleasure to use. It’s like Ferrite read my mind’.

The International Journalists Network (ijnet), have published their own list of new tools, with a slant towards finding and extracting data. The list highlights ten tools, including Google Public Data, the European Data Portal, and Investigative Dashboard et.al.

Ijnet is well worth subscribing to as it provides weekly bulletins with a global perspective delivering ‘the latest on global media innovation, news apps and tools, training opportunities and expert advice for professional and citizen journalists worldwide’.

See also the Online Journalism Blog which has posted a super helpful summary of Google News Labs analytic tools and how they might be used (as presented at Google’s free workshop in Birmingham in December). Author Carla Pedret provides a great summary of how and why journalists might use Google Trends, Google Public Data Explorer, advanced search commands and reverse searches.


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