Journalist’s Toolbox

KNOXVILLE (ETSPJ) – Below is a list of free resources for journalists from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Fake news and fact-checking: CUNY’s journalism program has built a helpful Fact-Checking, Verification and Fake News Guide.

Add fake news: Hoaxy helps you track where and how fake news is spreading over social channels. Built by Indiana University, find more resources on the Toolbox’s Hoaxes/Urban Legends page. Melissa Zimdars, a college communication professor, is compiling a list and criteria for debunking false news sites. This public list of fake news sites is also very handy. Eli Pariser of Upworthy has a fake news design page full of good tips.

Covering protests: Muckrack has a site full of resources for journalists covering protests.

Social media: Here’s a tool that will change your life: Sprout Social’s Landscape social media resizer. Just drag the image into the browser interface and select the media channel and use. It will resize the image and download it to your desktop. And it’s free.

Add social media: Venngage created The Ultimate Guide to Designing Epic Social Media Images it offers many great tips and examples. It’s very helpful for sizing images properly for various social channels.

Digital storytelling: The Storytooling Canvas from JournalismTools.io is a form that raises all the questions you should answer before committing to a specific storytelling tool. It also helps you to sketch your ideas and thoughts. HackaStory recommends the 10 Best Free Digital Storytelling Tools for Journalists.

Environment: The Native American Journalists Association has posted this helpful reporter’s guide to covering DAPL.

Audio editing: Sodaphonic is a free tool that lets you edit audio right in your browser.

Multimedia resources: The Digital Story Tools site has multimedia building tools galore: data, video, audio, photos, social media and more.

Drones and VR journalism: We’ve launched a Drone and VR Journalism page on The Journalist’s Toolbox to better highlight the ground-breaking work in these areas. You’ll find many of these resources elsewhere on the site, but we’re starting to curate them in two categories on this page. Have a suggestion? Tweet us a link and description and we’ll post it.

Weather: If you are covering outbreaks of severe weather or writing a winter weather preview guide, you’ll find some great resources on our Weather page.

Election: Find helpful tools and an archive of resources for writing post-election stories on our Elections page.

Google tools training resources: I’m Google News Lab trainings at various conferences, newsrooms and schools. Here is a page full of tipsheets, links, resources and exercises from the training. To book me for a training, go here and mention my name.

Business: FINRA: BrokerCheck lets you investigate registered brokers through this site from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Also: Seeking Alpha is a great tool for backgrounding companies.

Math for journalists: Journalist’s Resource: Statistics for Journalists Tipsheet

Diversity: The Diversity Style Guide is a resource to “help journalists and other media professionals cover a complex, multicultural world with accuracy, authority and sensitivity. This guide, a project of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco State University, brings together definitions and information from more than two dozen style guides, journalism organizations and other resources. Reporting Hidden Stories is a site from the University of Missouri offers resources for journalists covering hunger and race issues. Find more resources on the Diversity page.

Mass shootings: There are many resources for covering mass shootings in the Public Safety and School Violence pages on the Toolbox.

Public safety: If you’re writing about sexual assaults, suicides and other sensitive stories, make sure to follow these tips from the Columbia Journalism Review and the Dart Center. CJR: The Right Way to Write About Rape has tips from an expert panel. Dart Center: Resources for Educators Training Journalists Covering Sensitive Issues offers tips and links from San Diego State journalism professor Amy Schmitz Weiss on teaching students to cover topics such as suicide, homicides, sexual assaults and other trauma.

Investigative: The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a non-profit network of investigative journalism centers in Europe and Eurasia, has launched Investigative Dashboard Research, a new data platform for journalists and researchers to sift more than 2 million documents.

Zika Virus: The National Press Foundation has a video and links to resources for journalists covering the Zika Virus. Find more resources on the Toolbox’s Medical/Health page.

Interviewing: StoryBench: A Digital Toolbox for Bringing Home the Perfect Interview offers some good recording and transcribing tools.

Verification/fact-checking: How Can Newsrooms Verify Video from Eyewitnesses? is a great set of resources from First Draft News.

Twitter: Best Twitter Search Tricks offers all kinds of filters and resources.

Data visualization: JournalismTools.io offers a great list of data visualization and mapping resources. For more data viz resources, visit The Journalist’s Toolbox data page.

Video editing: A couple of great video tools: YouTube to Facebook lets you convert your Twitter video into a native Facebook video. Showbox lets you edit videos and add graphics in your browser.

Investigative: FINRA: BrokerCheck lets you investigate registered brokers through this site from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Also: Seeking Alpha is a great tool for backgrounding companies. Also check out the NICAR 2016 Slides, Links and Tutorials

Cybersecurity: This Powerpoint Security Tools for Investigative Journalists is full of resrouces and tipsheets to help protect your data and reporting.

Public employee pay database: The Center for Investigative Reporting built a database that let’s you search public employee salaries. Search by city, county and state. Very handy.

Covering people with disabilities: You’ll find hundreds of resources on the Disabilities page.

Teaching tools: Many of you who use this site train your newsrooms and classrooms how to do online research: College Media, High School Journalism, Design, Broadcast Journalism, Ethics, Writing, Reporting Tools, Writing with Numbers, Photojournalism and Copy Editing.

Reporting tools: Reporting Tools, Phone/E-Mail/Maps Directories, Search Engines, Expert Sources, Investigative, Form 990s, Public Records, Ethics, Check Domain Names, General Research and Writing With Numbers.

Student resources: College and high school students will find many helpful Toolbox resources for researching papers, reporting and more: Reporting Tools, Public Records, History, Ethics and Copy Editing.

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