Around the Wire: Tools for Learning How to Code, Factcheck Video and Take Control of Your Writing

Welcome to the latest installment of Around the Wire, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging, and freelancing news from the past week.

1. 9 Free Platforms for Journalists to Learn How to Code (

Whether you’re a young journalist looking to stand out in the job search, or a veteran scribe brushing up on new newsroom skills, learning how to code is becoming increasingly important. reviews nine platforms that will teach you HTML, CSS, Javascript, R, Python, and Ruby for free.

2. Amnesty International launches a new site to help journalists verify YouTube videos (Nieman Journalism Lab)

It looks like we have another digital verification tool to add to our Faster Factchecking series. On Tuesday, Amnesty International launched the Citizen Evidence Lab, a website which provides journalists and human-rights advocates the tools needed to authenticate user-generated video on YouTube.

3. The Prepared Writer’s Process for Creating Excellent Content Every Day (Copyblogger)

“Even when you write from a place of passion and purpose, you may still have trouble birthing your important ideas consistently,” writes Katie, a.k.a. The Wellness Mama on Copyblogger. Have a framework, schedule writing time, and create a two-minute outline are just a few of the tips she shares for taking control of your writing process.

4. Five Ways Local Media Can Help Itself (BBC College of Journalism)

At The Revival of Local Journalism conference, the BBC announced it is “open and willing” to explore partnership opportunities with other local media. Journalist and researcher Damian Radcliffe argues that this does not mean “the BBC is the panacea for the plethora of issues local journalism faces.” New models for local journalism are needed and he outlines 5 ways the community can come together to achieve this.

5. Take an Interviewing Approach to Find Stories in Data (PBS MediaShift)

Interviewing people is a skill that all journalists must practice and hone. And, just as a journalist would research the sources they’re interviewing for a story, the same goes for data.  Derek Willis, who works for The New York Times’ Upshot, reveals 5 steps for uncovering more engaging stories in the data, as well as the holes.

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Amanda Hicken is a media relations manager with PR Newswire for Journalists. Follow her at @ADHicken for tweets about the media, comic books, and her love of Cleveland.

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