Published on April 17th, 2013 | by EJC2
Resource: Newsgathering Tools
News gathering in the digital age faces both opportunities and challenges. While the journalists can tap into more contents on the web, there is an issue with ‘discovery’; it is difficult to find the relevant, usable contents for journalistic coverage.
The platforms and tools listed on this page facilitate an easy search of the (journalistic) online content. The sources varies from curated news to raw crowdsourced text/audio-visual contents.
The news agency of the social media age. Storyful is a news gathering platform that curates updates from social media networks “to create a cohesive narrative around an event or topic.” Developed and used by journalists and media organizations, it also focuses on verifying breaking news from social networks.
This platform allows the creation of search databases. It is an open source data-sharing tool with built-in filter applications, tips for effective search results and help in building your database.
iWitness is a winner of 2011 Knight News Challenge which allows a user to discover geo-located tweets in realtime, and search through the archived tweets according to the date/time. It is an open source application and the code can be grabbed via Github.
Geofeedia (paid service) allows a user to search and monitor social media contents by location. A user can mark the location they want to gather crowd contents that are uploaded on Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, Instagram and Picasa, and gather them realtime. Worth taking a look at some of the case studies listed here.
- Google Alert
Google Alerts provides e-mail updates of relevant Google results (through the web, news, etc.) based on queries that are hand-picked by the user. As such, the Alert can be used to monitor the development of a news story or event. The alerts can be provided daily or as they happen and com in different formats.
Newsmap is an interactive news portal (launched in 2004). It visualizes the aggregation of news data at Google News, in the form of tree maps. The portal is real-time and simple.
Pulse lets users collect their favorite news, blogs and other reads from the web. Choose your sources and select on which content and topics you want to stay updated. It is also possible to store articles to read later. And a special import will help you transport your Google Reader feeds as that service will be closed on July 1st, 2013.
A map that provides information on the disease outbreaks and alerts. These are monitored real-time and are verified by a team of researchers and epidemiologists at Boston Children’s Hospital. Users can thus access a rich database of disease information that is geolocated.
- Weather and emergency (Facebook list)
A list on Facebook featuring the data and news published (real-time) by 94 agencies and news organisations, providing information on weather and emergencies.
Scoopinion is an add-on that analyses the online content that users read, and then filters other content that might be interesting. Journalists can furthermore use it to see which kind of stories “do well”.
- My Breaking News
Run by Toronto’s CP24, the public can publish their own images, reports and video on the My Breaking News site, which thus functions as a news gathering location for journalists. The reporters may later pick up this content and air it on the channel’s news programs.
- The Stream
A web-integrated show run by Al Jazeera, based around and featuring curated content from social media across the world.
- Public Radio Exchange
PRX is a “public radio distribution marketplace” where subscribers can publish, license and earn royalties from their work. Radio stations can buy pieces off the platform to put to air on their own programs. Story Exchange is an initiative run in collaboration with spo.us to crowd-fund public media.
- I Files – Centre for Investigative Reporting
Curated news channel on YouTube from the CIR that brings together investigative pieces from around the world. The channel includes content created by the BBC, Al Jazeera, ABC News and The New York Times.
A special YouTube blog that chronicles the way citizens use video to change the world, constructed in collaboration with Storyful. Also check News on YouTube .
Widely used by media outlets such as Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg TV, Tout is a real-time information network for up-to-the-minute video updates across news, sports, and politics. Get fresh 15-second video updates about the news, people, places and topics that matter to you most delivered right to your smartphone.
This app lets a user to upload and embed a maximum of 6 seconds video (with/without sound) on a tweet or blog post. This tool was used by a witness of a fire in a neighbourhood of San Francisco, reflecting that the app could potentially act as a (audio)visual newsgathering tool for journalists. Or see this article on the Mediashift idea Lab, on the use and difficulties of Vine.
Wochit is a platform that provides news sites with video reports, creating demand-videos every day (458 videos daily!). It can use footage from agencies like Reuters and Getty Images.
Truth Teller is a news application built by the Washington Post. The goal of Truth Teller is to fact check speeches in as close to real time as possible. The tool checks facts as they are spoken. The app is now in its prototype phase.
Blottr is a user generated/citizen news service. As citizens upload their (breaking news) stories, journalists can see these stories collected on the Blotter site.
- Public Insight Network
Managed by American Public Media, this membership-only service allows newsrooms to find the relevant sources on the ground. Today, 79 newsrooms are using this service to get connected with over 195,000 contributors.
Photo: Emilio Garcia