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Cool Tools for Journalists
Nov. 14, 2023
Every few months, I like to just drop a newsletter with a list of AI and other tools that I think are cool and useful to journalists, with a little context sprinkled in.
So here are a few gems to make your life easier:
Toby Browser Extension: Toby is a browser extension that’s helpful to any journalist, teacher, student or anyone else who has a wide-ranging digital workflow. The tool — available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari — allows you to group bookmarks together in topics on your browser screen. You can save and relaunch them at the click of a button.
I use this extension every day and am often asked about it in my trainings. I group together my bookmarks for my classes, professional trainings and projects. It’s saved me many times, especially if my browser crashes (it’s rare) during a training. The browser extension requires a log-in so only you can access the bookmarks.
InoReader: If you’re having issues skipping around to dozens of social channels to track things, then this tool will bring them to you in one place. You can read up to 150 social media accounts in this reader.
Lose the Very: If you are working with young reporters and writers who love to use “very” as an adjective or adverb, introduce them to this tool. Have them type in the word they’re modifying (e.g. very smart) and it will give them synonyms that are one word. More editing tools:
Copy.ai: I learned about this tool from Jeremy Caplan at Wonder Tools. This AI text-generation tool will tailor its help to what you’re writing — email, social media post, memo, etc. It offers a free version up to 2,000 words a month, then various paid models. Stick with the free version unless you intend to use it a lot.
Another good option is Lex.page, which was beta-testing in late 2022. You can sign up to be added to their waitlist. In a future newsletter, I’ll explore an AI writing tool feature in the new Canva Docs.
Autodraw.com: A fun little AI tool from Google that’s been around for a few years. Autodraw helps you build rights-free icons based on what you draw on the screen. Log-in and use the drawing tool on the left toolbar to draw a basketball.
Across the top of the screen, you’ll see icons displayed that try to match what you’re drawing. The more detail in your sketch, the more accurate the icon options. You can select the icon and download it to use in a map or graphic. A simple, but helpful tool, especially if you do a lot of mapping.
Video: Create Vector Graphics in MidJourney
Video: How to use Jitter.video
Learn how to create animated graphics for social media using Jitter.video desktop tool.
Want More Training?
Contact Mike Reilley at mikereilley1 (at) gmail (dot) com to schedule an AI tools training for your staff.
More AI and Other Resources
Create YouTube summaries using ChatGPT in this Chrome extension.
Automates the typing process. Chome extension that cuts your writing time by 40% with AI-powered autocompletion and text generation.
Dimensions of Difference Guide
From Trusting News and Spaceship Media, this downloadable guide is “designed to support your newsroom in creating better content by helping you to identify, understand and talk about your own differences internally.”
Picovoice processes voice data locally on-device without sending it to the cloud, so only you have access to it.
Call for Entries: Mobile Journalism Awards
The search is on to find the best mobile stories produced by reporters with smartphones. Winners receive valuable prizes and have their work screened at international festivals.
Become a sponsor: Would you like to sponsor future Journalist’s Toolbox™ newsletters? Our rates are reasonable and our sponsors get results. Contact me at mikereilley1 [at] gmail [dot] com
The Journalist’s Toolbox
My new book, “The Journalist’s Toolbox A Guide to Digital Reporting and AI” will be published by Routledge on Dec. 22. You can add the book to your wishlist and have the opportunity to pre-order it on Dec. 1.
The book features tips, tricks and training videos on how to use digital tools, AI, mobile apps and more in your reporting. It makes for a great newsroom guide or textbook for reporting and digital courses. It’s available in “E-book Plus”, which embeds training videos and pop-ups directly into the book’s interface. It’s also available in paperback, hard cover and regular e-book format.
Data + Journalism
Samantha Sunne and I co-authored a textbook, “Data + Journalism” that’s available now on Routledge. (Order here). It’s an introductory- to intermediate-level guide to learning data storytelling from A to Z.
It features examples, interviews, links to tools and dozens of practical exercises to learn how to find, scrape, clean, visualize and write with data. We also explore ethics, transparency and basic math skills. We even offer a bonus chapter — Chapter 13 — on diversity and inclusion for free on our blog.
In Quotes …
“I hate it when journalists are called influencers. I am not a content creator. I am a journalist. I don’t want to live in a world of popularity. It’s forever high school.” – Maria Ressa
Copyright and Trademark 2023 | Mike Reilley