8 Must-See Online Tools and Apps For Journalists and Publishers

news tools and apps for journalists

Fact: Being a journalist isn’t easy.

With the immediacy of the news cycle – and brevity many times being championed over deep reporting – reporters are asked to turn around attention-grabbing, consumable stories faster than ever.

Luckily, with the advent of chat apps and other newsroom-centered tools, mobile phones can act as a reporter’s Swiss Army knife to make the job a bit more manageable.

Last January, we talked about some newsgathering apps that were making waves in the media world. But, in just over a year a lot has changed. So, it’s time for a refresh.

Here are some of the newer apps and online tools out there that piqued my interest.


Sqoop. Designed for business reporters, Sqoop is a one-stop searchable database to find information about companies, relative to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, patent grants, federal court records and more. Rather than having to search across a variety of public data sites, journalists can search here or set up alerts to be notified of when new documents are filed.

Sqoop for journalists


Adobe post. Adobe post allows users to create eye-catching graphics for social media – a useful tool for when you need to draw attention to a story online. For freelance writers and smaller news organizations, this provides a quick solution for making social feeds more engaging, and with a consistent, professional feel. The app also allows you to re-size your design instantly, so that you can share across a variety of social networks with ease.


Chatfuel. Messaging apps are seeing increased adoption in the newsroom. Chatfuel lets publishers – and anyone, really – build bots for messaging apps to customize the experience and facilitate meaningful conversation with followers and fans. The tool right now works with Telegram, but will soon be available for Slack, WhatsApp and more.

Chatfuel – chatbots made easy


Ruptly Stringer. Launched by RT’s video news agency, this app allows anyone to become a paid contributor – connecting freelance journalists and eyewitnesses to major TV stations and websites. Luckily, the app isn’t relying on someone always being there when a story breaks. As soon as a participating newsroom hears that something is happening, editors can assign out work to users who are in close proximity to the story.

Ruptly Stringer App - sell your video



Twenty20. Good stock imagery can be hard to find, especially for a hard-hitting news story. Twenty20 allows photographers to get discovered by selling their photos to brands and digital creators, while publishers can license more authentic stock imagery much more quickly and easily for their stories.

Twenty20 stock photos


Lrn. Basic coding, much like SEO, is becoming an increasingly important skill for journalists to have in the newsroom. As stories become more interactive, having a solid understanding of the work involved and time it takes can help improve communication and collaboration between editorial teams and developers. Lrn features interactive mini-quizzes to help you learn HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby and Python, and can be easily done during breaks or on your commute.

lrn app - coding for journalists


Ban.jo for Media. Banjo Discovery gives journalists immediate access to the user-generated content needed to tell compelling, accurate, and breaking news stories. The tool allows media to discover, verify and publish information directly. It also makes for easy engagement with your audience and can connect you to potential story sources who are on-site at a live event.

Banjo Discover every event around the world as it happens

Verified Pixel. It can be difficult and time-consuming to verify user-submitted and eyewitness photos, especially when working on fast-moving news stories. The Verified Pixel Project, a prototype that was funded by the Knight Foundation, aims to speed up the process with an automated tool that allows newsrooms to quickly screen and authenticate photos. This is definitely a tool to be on the look out for.
verified pixel project

Is there a new, journalist-friendly app that you love? Let us know in the comments.

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Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for tweets on writing and social media. You can also catch her sharing the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.

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