5 Sneaky Digital Reporting Tools You Can Use To Find and Create Stories

digital reporting tools for journalists

A man who “put the ‘ah’ in Yahoo and ‘ooh’ in Google,” predicted tech trends would return to those that dominated a decade ago.

According to Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, that means podcasting, email newsletters, and blogging are hot.

Sreenivasan shared his “sneaky new high-tech reporting tools” at the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) annual writer’s conference in New York in May.

Here are a few of the tools that caught our attention:


Anyone who covers news should know what’s going on in the world. The Daily Skimm is an email newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning. Sreenivasan swears by the service’s subject headers, remarking that these folks know how to get folks to open an email. At the very least, The Daily Skimm may inspire a catchy headline. It’s sort of like this attention-grabber from The Guardian after the Pope offered an unusual reason to follow him on Twitter.


Speaking of Twitter, a tweetstorm is a series of tweets that allow users to get around the 140 character limit, essentially creating mini-essays or a list of tips. For a journalist in the field, it’s perhaps a great way to micro-blog news as it happens. To create one, simply take the most recent tweet and reply to it yourself. Here is an example of what one looks like (notice that the feed displays tips in reverse order):

You can see the full tweetstorm here. By the way, if you need to put your ego in check, plug your Twitter handle into Tweet Counter. The company tracks more than 200 million Twitter accounts, offering analytics to its subscribers. It’s free though to see where you rank among the crowd.

The Internet Archive

It’s hard to write about something unless you’ve done your research first. The Internet Archive is a non-profit library that provides free access to millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more.


Find multimedia content — free stock photos, videos, and sound effects — for stories at AllTheFreeStock. Photos are covered by the Creative Commons Zero license, which allows free use of the images — even for commercial projects.


A picture says a thousand words, and with the Typorama app, you can marry a quote with a photograph. It’s free to download in the Apple iTunes Store. At least one reviewer who appears to be from the UK noted that the in-app purchases are “worth every penny.”


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Wes Benter is a senior online community services specialist at ProfNet, a service that connects journalists with expert sources. He previously worked as a creative producer for PR Newswire’s MultiVu. Prior to that, Wes worked on-air as a reporter and weather anchor for network affiliates in the Midwest. Learn more by following him on Twitter @WBenter.

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