Top five digital tools for journalists

Several workshops at the International Journalism Festival were dedicated to the latest digital trends and tools. Here is a brief overview of the experts’ tips on useful apps and strategies for reporting, social media planning, data presentation, and self-publishing.

1. Live-stream on Twitter via Periscope
One of the highly recommended new tools is Periscope. This app, recently acquired by Twitter, allows you to feature a live video into the Twitter feed in the same way as a native video.

2. TweetDeck and TweetLogix 
Twitter lists are a great tool to optimize your experience on Twitter. Jérome Tomasini (Head of News & Politics at Twitter France) and Livia Iacolare (Media Partnerships Manager at Twitter Italy) recommend using TweetDeck to organise lists, better filter research results, and to monitor or analyse trends. Sue Llewellyn (BBC Social Media Consultant) also suggests using TweetLogix, an app that offers powerful filtering and search tools.

Photo: Rita Alessia Dispoto

3. Schedule publications on social media
One of the most basic tips for social media strategy is to provide a continuously updated feed. How to manage that in the busy life of a journalist? The scheduled posts on Twitter and Facebook, as Sue Llewellyn recommends, can be a great help for reaching your audience at the best time-slots and prolonging the life of the content.

Chiara Brambilla
Photo: Chiara Brambilla

4. Create catchy infografics on GoogleTrends or GoogleMaps
Need to create a chart for economical statistics or present the data on a map? Google has something for you. Matt Cooke, the expert from Google News Lab, explained how media can work with data on GoogleTrends or GoogleMaps. For instance, The New York Times used Google tools to map the data on poverty in the US and for other cases of data visualisation.

Photo: Diego Figone

5. Publish your story with Kindle Singles or Kindle Direct Publishing
Articles on print media tend to become shorter and shorter, while journalists have a lot of valuable data cut from their reports. Sometimes journalists have their own websites to share in-depth stories, but that can be time-consuming. Alessio Santarelli, director of the European Kindle Content Store, spoke about the Amazon’s self-publishing tools. Kindle Singles is designed specifically for journalistic articles, while Kindle Direct Publishing can help you publish a book. Do you have any doubt that long forms are still on demand? Santarelli said that only about 10 per cent of classified NSA data disclosed by Edward Snowden was printed in The Guardian. Edward Lucas published the rest of that information as an e-book, The Snowden Operation, through Kindle Direct Publishing.

Photo: Chiara Brambilla
Photo: Chiara Brambilla