5 Essential Tools Make Your Online Journalism Shine

wordsIn the “appegeddon” of apps being released each month for journalists and content creators, it can be hard to keep up and pick the right products, said Ezra Eeman of Journalism Tools during a UK conference in July.

Eeman encouraged attendees to “pick some tools that really suit your workflow”, reports Drew Sleep in Journlism.co.uk. “Be consistent and stick to them and then dig into them, really master the technology you have in front of you.

Eeman highlighted five specific tools that can make text-heavy articles more engaging and build more engagement.

One app, Knight Lab’s Soundcite, allows the journalist to embed audio directly into the text. For example, the writer could use the app to install a sound bite into a pull quote. Readers could then click on the text to hear the speaker saying those words.

Want to create an interactive multi-media story? Try the Odyssey app “to take your readers on a journey, allowing you to use text and maps together in a variety of different formats,” writes Sleep.

“From slideshows to scrolling pages, readers can get more context to the stories and by repackaging standard text articles into an Odyssey template, you can create a more multimedia package.”

Sprites is a free tool for creating animated infographics for online publications, while ReadrBoard gives your readers the power to add comments anywhere within your article, giving you tremendous insights in which parts of your piece really matter to readers.

Finally, Eeman noted the challenge in helping readers understand a data-heavy piece. “VIS (Visual Investigative Scenarios) allows you to map data, such as money flows or organised crime networks, in a more friendly and interactive way,” Eeman noted.

Thanks, Eeman, for the tips; I think we’ll give some of these a try soon.