#Tipsheet: Excellence in Journalism 2019 — Data Viz, Mobile Reporting, Social Tools

Victor Hernandez
Sep 7 · 7 min read
Sept. 5, 2019 • Photo courtesy: @SPJ_tweets

Live from San Antonio — site of the Excellence in Journalism 2019 conference.

For the third consecutive year, Mike Reilley and I teamed up for a rapid-fire workshop featuring dozens of the newest digital reporting apps worthy of the next-generation journalism toolkit.

Feel free to peruse the links and brief descriptions below. And as always, please leave your own recommendations within the post.


VICTOR’S PICKS

Emoji Mosaic

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Free

Upload any photo and convert it to an emoji portrait.

Who knew that Mike Reilley is predominantly made up of cookies, baby faces, and high-fives?


Think TweetDeck on steroids.

Tweeten

Platform: Mac, Windows

Cost: Free

It’s TweetDeck, but with all the important features; customization, emoji picker, download videos, filters, seamless updates, custom css, more.


Tool for sorting Twitter accounts’ best posts from past year — as determined by most viral/engaged

FollowFly

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Freemium

Brings in feeds from Twitter for anyone you search for with various sorting options


Goes back 3,200 tweets but you have to click a button to load 3,200 tweets a time. At least SocialBearing will do this for hashtags and such, instead of just accounts.

Social Bearing

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Freemium

Rich analytics tool for assessing reach and performance on Twitter and timelines.


Formerly known as BotOrNot, part of OSoMe at Indiana Univ.

Botometer

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Free

A tool to classify Twitter accounts as human or bot.


It’s been available for years and continues to set the bar for sleek design, feel and output from a mobile multimedia producer standpoint.

Steller

Platform: iOS

Cost: Free

Storytelling app lets you create photo and video stories with an emphasis on design.


Unfold

Platform: iOS

Cost: Free

A toolkit for social media storytellers, which allows you to create minimalistic social media stories on-the-go.


Storyflow

Platform: iOS

Cost: Free

Use the Storyflow app’s editor and nice layouts to create stories and share them on Instagram, Snapchat, or elsewhere


Sheesh, I need more trips reflected in my camera roll.

Photo Map

Platform: iOS

Cost: $1.99

Create beautiful maps on your iPhone to share the story based on locales visited. Organize your photo moments from the road via automagic-organization.


Darkroom’s most impressive feature is the ability to make curves adjustments, similar to Photoshop on the desktop.

Darkroom

Platform: iOS

Cost: Freemium

Photo editing apps for smartphones are a dime a dozen. That said, Darkroom is worth a spin providing a simple but powerful feature control set for precision editing that is top-notch.


Apple Clips

Platform: iOS

Cost: Free

Social media-friendly video editing app from Apple for iOS. True game-changer for mobile journalists is real-time caption feature for adding text to your mobile video on the fly.


MixCaptions

Platform:

Cost: $.99

New way to automatically caption video — You can import video, or record in-app. Lotsa flexibility to edit/position/display captions. Great tool in the mobile journalism tool belt.


CutStory

Platform: iOS

Cost: Free

Nifty media editor for Instagram Stories. Users can easily cut long videos into IG-friendly 15-second clips.


Wavve

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Freemium

Turn audio clips from your podcast into shareable video highlights for social media and encourage new listeners to download your show.


Venngage

Platform: Desktop

Cost: $19/month (students free, nonprofit discount)

Great visualization software that is simple drag and drop friendly. Tell your stories and present your data with infographics


Toast introduces users to ‘saved sessions’

Toast

Platform: Safari, Chrome extensions

Cost: Free

Move away from endless open tabs slowing down your CPU and productivity


Trello

Platform: Web, iOS, Android

Cost: Freemium

Can use to manage editorial calendars, story assignments, staff schedules, special projects, more.


Grammarly’s algorithms flag potential issues in the text and suggest context-specific corrections for grammar, spelling, wordiness, style, punctuation, and plagiarism.

Grammarly

Platform: Web, iOS, Android

Cost: Freemium

I literally have this app installed on every device I own. It automatically detects potential grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in writing.


Upload image, blur and hide your sensitive data, download and use it.

ImageBlur.io

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Free

Using an image with sensitive data — image or information — you need to hide? Image blur is your solution.


An alarm clock for the workplace.

In Your Face

Platform: Desktop

Cost: $1.99

In Your Face will interrupt your workflow when it is time to go to your meeting by displaying a full-screen reminder.


Netflix Hangouts

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Free

Watch Netflix at work while faking a conference call


MIKE’S PICKS

Thsrs

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Free

Type in a long word: get a shorter synonym. Great for writing headlines for graphics and stories.


Landscape

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Free

Optimizing sizing of images for publishing on social platforms


Calcbot

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

Mobile app for converting weights and measurements


Add pointers, labels, descriptions, and commentary to your photos

This by Tinrocket

Platform: iOS

Cost: $2.99

iOS app that provides rich annotation for mobile content experiences


Writing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request can be frustrating, largely because it’s hard to know what the government agency receiving the request will do: respond, delay, ignore.

FOIA Predictor

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Free

Takes a draft FOIA text and agency to which it’s addressed and compares these with previous requests that have known outcomes.


Vidometer

Platform: iOS

Cost: Freemium

Record videos with Street Maps, Satellite Maps, Heart rate, Speed, Altitude, Compass Heading, G-Force + Acceleration Forces, GPS Coordinates, Latitude, Longitude, Elevation, Distance Traveled, Current Location, and other telemetry data.


Over and Adobe Post

Platform: iOS

Cost: Freemium

iOS apps for layering text over images


Ripl

Platform: iOS

Cost: Freemium

Layer animated text and data over photos and share on social media


The app enables users to record videos up to 45 minutes of footage in a single take, which can be subsequently accelerated to create a hyperlapse cinematographic effect.

Hyperlapse

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

Mobile app from Instagram that enables users to produce hyperlapse and time-lapse videos.


Storyline

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Freemium

Storyline makes it easy for non-tech people to create, test, and publish complex voice applications in minutes, using templates and visual mind-map interface. There is no need to code anything or setup servers. It’s like a Squarespace for voice apps.


Recording Apps — Tape a Call & Recorder


Bubbli

Platform: iOS

Cost: Freemium

App for making dynamic spherical photos called bubbles


Fyuse

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost: Free

A ‘spatial photography’ app which lets users capture and share interactive representations of the world, deemed Spatial Photos.


Google Streetview

Platform: Desktop, mobile

Cost: Free

Use the app to create 360 photos and map them


Fireshot

Platform: Chrome extension

Cost: Free

Fireshot is a free add-on for the Google Chrome which lets you easily & quickly capture screenshots on your Google Chrome browser and lets you annotate them also. You can annotate the screenshots that you took with shapes, text and lines with blur effects too.


Burner

Platform: iOS, Android

Cost:

The original second phone number app for calling, texting and picture messaging. Stay safe and anonymous when you give out your number.


Tabula

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Free

Free tool for extracting data from PDF files into CSV and Excel files.


Carto

Platform: Desktop, Android

Cost: Expensive!

Easy-to-use mapping tool. Build maps, bubble maps, timelapse (torque maps), etc. only using a spreadsheet.


More Video editing applications: Wave.video, Wibbitz, Render Forest


Headliner App

Platform: Desktop

Cost: Freemium

Easily create videos to promote your podcast, radio show or blog. Share to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin and anywhere video lives.


Datawrapper.de

Create amazing visualizations in seconds


Additional Journalism-Tech Resources: Seeking Out the Smartest Media Innovation “Breadcrumbs”

Websites:

Journalist’s Toolbox

Hackastory

Journalism.UK

Product Hunt

Storybench

Newsletters:

Poynter: Try This!

WGBH: Social Media Portal

Tools for Reporters

American Press Institute ‘Need to Know’

LION

Victor Hernandez

Written by

Passionate about the intersection of media + tech

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