Toolbox
Credit: Image by florianric on Flickr. Some rights reserved
This year, we've heard how just being able to write good copy is not enough for young journalists today, and more about the pressure on reporters to produce stories in a range of different formats at a quick pace.

We've also looked at how our mobile phones are becoming more instrumental to news gathering, and how the audience's appetite for news on mobile has had an impact on storytelling formats and the ways newsrooms approach video, for example.

To help you get up to speed for the start of 2015, here's a round-up of some of the tools, tips and resources the Journalism.co.uk team has compiled this past year.


Social media


Creating a buzz on social media

BuzzFeed UK editor Luke Lewis shared some of the key ingredients that make an article stand out on social media. His recommendations range from including visuals in the piece, to having a regional angle that makes it easier for the audience to relate to.

Tips for local news organisations

As social feeds rather than homepages become the 'shop window' for most news sites, this piece looks at 10 ways local media can engage with their communities on social networks.

Monitoring and sharing

From a Twitter archive like Topsy to a Google+ sharing tool, these 12 recommendations have you covered, whether you're looking to manage your social media presence or surface information and find sources.


Mobile journalism


Tips for smartphone reporting

The phone in your pocket can be a powerful storytelling tool, and can also allow you to get you footage or images from places where professional cameras might attract unwanted attention.

RTE's Glen Mulcahy has five tips for mobile journalists who want to put their smartphones to work – including advice for avoiding the dreaded "vertical video".

The mobile reporting kit

Christian Payne, freelance journalist and documentary maker, shared his favourite tools and digital storytelling apps for mobile journalism.

He advises reporters to combine skills they already have in order to produce interesting stories on mobile, and not to worry about making mistakes.

Useful iOS apps

This piece looks at ten apps journalists using iPhones and iPads should have a look at, covering all tasks from filming and video editing, to audio recording and adding sound to pictures.


Newsgathering and monitoring sources


Online monitoring tools

With so many channels of information now moving at lightening speed, staying on top of a subject area or geographical patch can be challenging.

These nine recommended monitoring tools – complete with screencasts and practical examples of how to use them – can offer a helping hand.

Useful IFTTT recipes

If This Then That (IFTTT) is a tool that makes a journalists' life easier by automating time-consuming tasks, such as pulling all tweets using a certain hashtag into a database, or receiving alerts whenever an interesting post comes up on Reddit.

We have compiled 10 IFTTT 'recipes' for journalists and newsrooms to try out.

Free data journalism tools

As digital tools for data journalism have become more accessible online, any reporter interested in working with databases can do so with a little will.

The Pew Research Center recently recommended a number of free and easy tools for working with data every step of the way.

Collaboration in the newsroom

Collaborative journalism can result in great stories, but in larger teams it can be rather hard to arrange and not very time efficient.

These 12 collaboration tools can make that process easier, from collaborative writing and editing, all the way to sharing code when working on interactive projects.


Multimedia storytelling and video


Mapping tools

For stories that cross borders or have a complicated background that needs in-depth explaining from several locations, mapping can be an effective way to present all sides and implications to the audience.

This piece looks at nine free mapping tools and resources for visual storytelling, from data journalism staples such as Google Fusion Tables to satellite imagery and "space journalism".

Break up text-heavy articles

Breaking up longer stories with infographics or audio clips, for example, can help your readers stay engaged right through to the end.

Presenting stories in a more immersive way also offers an opportunity to explain further elements of your story such as numbers in a more efficient way.

Ezra Eeman of Journalism Tools recommends his favourite tools for making text-based stories more engaging.

Engaging online video

Video has been one of the biggest trends in digital media in recent years, and is set to continue on this path as newsrooms invest in digital video operations. Some, such as Tech City News, are even building their own TV studios.

While there's no recipe to follow that guarantees online video success, The Times and The Wall Street Journal have some tips for producing engaging videos online.


Journalism skills and practices


Managing investigations

Investigations are usually time consuming and do not come cheap. At the Polis conference in March, three experienced journalists shared their tips for managing investigative projects, looking at ways to fund them as well as explaining how to best connect with sources.

Self-taught skills

We have been hearing a lot about coding recently, but what other skills should journalists today have? This piece looks at 10 essential skills journalists should consider teaching themselves – and yes, shorthand still makes the cut.

The web at 25: a journalist's job description

As the World Wide Web turned 25 this year, the Journalism.co.uk team looked at what is expected of journalists in the digital age, and tools to help them in their day-to-day work.

This piece looks at all aspects of what digital reporting entails, from newsgathering to publishing and even productivity tools and tips.

Resources for freelancers

For National Freelancers Day in November, we compiled a handy collection of apps, tools and online communities freelance journalists could use to organise their projects, keep track of ideas and meetings, and connect with other freelancers for support and advice.

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