Some journalists lament the shift from print to online for the loss of creativity that they perceive accompanies it — articles, they fear, will be reduced to text chucked onto a page without further thought. But that needn’t be the case; reporters can use the web medium to add extra dimensions of interactivity and design to their works, while using tools that subtly yet significantly transform the journalistic process.
Earlier this year, at the JEA Anaheim convention, Robert Hernandez, assistant professor at USC Annenberg, showcased an assortment of tools for the web journalist.
Of the dozens of tools that Hernandez lists, I’ve used a few, including Audacity, a simple yet effective audio editor; Cover It Live, a live blogging tool (you can see it in action here); Dropbox (but then who hasn’t); and Many Eyes, a data visualization tool that I’ve used to create word clouds and treemaps.
Other cool tools include Aviary, a web-based audio editor; Capzles, an interactive-timeline generator; Foursquare, a geolocation tool; Kaywa, a QR-code generator; Pixlr, a robust web-based image editor; and tlbx, a collection of web-development tools.
I could go on talking, but I think you’d rather try the tools out yourselves. So go ahead and explore.