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Mobile Journalism

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This is a collection of mobile resources from Mike Reilley and the Poynter Institute's Regina McCombs, Dave Stanton and Damon Kiesow, as well as many others. A list of mobile reporting tools appears at the end of this page. Most apps are tailored to the iPhone but have versions available for many other smart phones, too.

Mobile Industry Reading

Mobile Journalism Tools
A great blog on mobile media resources from Will Sullivan at the Reynolds Institute.

Poynter: 10 Questions to Craft Your Mobile Strategy
From Regina McCombs.

Poynter: Six Ways to Be a Good Mobile Editor

Mobile-First Journalism: A Top 10 List
Blog post by Damon Kiesow, mobile editor at the Boston Globe.

Steve Buttry: Mobile First Strategy
2009's editor-of-the-year says newsrooms need to think mobile first.

Mobile Strategies for Community News and Information Resources
Great set of links, resources and tools from Amy Gahran and the Knight Digital Media Center.

Poynter: Tips on How Newsrooms Can Develop Mobile Strategies
Advice from the Boston Globe's Damon Kiesow.

journalism.co.uk: Could Google Glass Change Journalism?

21 Tips for Mobile Ninjas
From Jeremy Caplan's 2013 ONA presentation. Great resources.

PBS MediaShift: Blow up the live blog with real-time reporting tools

The Next Web: 10 Best Apps for Shooting, Sharing Video

Our Mobile Planet
Create charts of mobile usage and other stats in up to 48 countries.

Using Your Phone for iPhone Reporting
A Storify of a Twitter chat on iPhone reporting. Good tips, links.

10,000 Words: Why Journalists Shouldn't Dismiss Google Glass
A Storify of a Twitter chat on iPhone reporting. Good tips, links.

Storify: Mobile Tools from Jeremy Caplan
Resources from his ONA 13 presentation.

12 Must-Have Apps for Journalists
Great list of apps for recording calls, editing video, etc.

Root Metrics
Search by ZIP code and find cell and data performance in your area. Great for studying dead zones and how your audience may (or may not) be accessing your content.

iPhoneography
Great blog about shooting photos, video and audio using your iPhone.

Mobile-First Design Tips
Ideas on how to design for a small screen.

Mashable: Seven Ways Journalists Can Use Foursquare
Great basic tips.

10 Infographics on Mobile
Stats, facts and other resources.

Video: Recording Great Audio on Your Smartphone
Great tips for journalists.

Netted.net
Webbys e-newsletter on mobile.

iPhone Photography
TampaBay.com shows us that the iPhone camera can produce great work when put in the right hands.

Tips on Using a Camera Phone

Mashable: Best Android Apps for Photo Editing

Mobile First News

Global Mojo
A great mobile blog.

ReadWriteWeb
Mobile and social networking resources galore.

Silicon Alley Insider: Moblie

Reynolds Institute: Mobile Journalism Tools Guide
Great list of resources from Will Sullivan.

Mobile Apps for Journalists
From Val Hoeppner.

Creatavist
Media-rich publishing to the web, e-books and mobile apps. Free site.

Pop
A mobile visual storytelling approach. Free in the Apple app store.


Wickr
The safest way for journalists--and anyone--to communicate via mobile, and more than a million people are using it. Free in the Apple app store.


GoMo News

The Pragmatic Bookshelf
Books, readings and other resources on building mobile sites (code mostly).

25 Essential iPad Apps for Journalists

Open Buildings: Archiving the World's Built Environment
Cool site that uses GPS to track where you are and feeds information to you about buildings around you, from an architectural perspective.

Mobile Apps Gallery
Government-created mobile apps on hundreds of topics and services, ranging from weather to public works.

Smashing Hub: 10 Data Viz Inspirations for Mobile, Apps
Great examples and resources.

PBS MediaShift: News Apps to Watch in 2014
Great examples and resources.

Video: Mobile Journalism 101
Tips from a Newsday reporter.

iPhone Photography School
A great blog about shooting better photos with the iPhone. Tips, examples, interviews with photogs.

ProPublica: Design Principles for News Apps



App-Building Tools

Note: These mobile app and responsive design building tools are from several sources, including Jeff Cutler. Visit his site at 60Sites.com.

Responsive Design Checker
Enter a web address to see if the site is responsive web design.

PBS Media Shift: Platforms for Educators to Share Student Work

Periodical.co
Build apps and e-reader publications.

Embed Responsively
Allows you to embed video and other third-party apps for responsive design.

PRSS.com
Create iPad magazines.

UberFlip
Like AppStudio, it converts a finished PDF file into a mobile- and tablet-friendly HTML5 website.

Shoutem.com
App-making tool.

Appcelerator

MotherApp

PhoneGap

RunRev

AppMakr

MyAppBuilder


Sencha Touch
First HTML5 mobile app framework.

AppMakr
Use this free tool to develop your smart phone app.

PhoneGap
Use this free tool to develop your smart phone app.

MoFuse.com
Mobile content management system.

Mobify.me
Great tool for creating mobile websites.

Peepcode
Screencasts on how to build code for apps.

Modernizr
Library of Javascript code.

Dive into HTML 5

TwitterFeed
Feed your blog updates to your Twitter account using an RSS feed. Very cool.

Twitter Chat Etiquette
Great list of tips from Jennifer Hellum.

Typeform
Build content across platforms. Great for mobile.

BBC: Tips for Using Your Smartphone as a Reporting Tool


What the Hashtag?
Look up what various hashtags mean in this database. Great for finding Twitter chats.


HTML5 Readiness
Test what code/features work in which browser. More web-driven than mobile, but it can be helpful.

12 iPhone Application Resources


USA.gov: Mobile Apps
A handy list of which government agencies have mobile apps and mobile Web sites.


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Ragan: 14 Apps That Will Jumpstart Your Writing


Other Helpful Tools

Poynter: Adding Mobile Video to Reporting Skill Set
Great tips from an online chat Poynter did in April 2013.

Gramfeed Instagram Search
Great tool. You can search by people, hashtag, location, etc.

Photoshop Killer
Test an image to see if it has been Photoshopped or altered in any way. Not perfect but a good start at evaluating news photos and authenticity.

MobiForms Developer
Develop mobile apps in HTML 5 with no programming. Download the software from this site.

Embed Responsively
Allows you to embed videos from YouTube and Vimeo, Maps from Google and photos from Instagram so they are responsive on your site and will resize on any device.

Animoto
Video production and sharing tool. Works as an app as well.

TouchCast
For desktop and mobile. Create interactive videos.

GEMMA: Geospatial Engine for Mass Mapping Applications
From Gemma: "allows you to create Google Maps with data from a number of different sources. It is possible to create maps with gemma with layers from MapTube, SurveyMapper, OpenStreetMap and from your own data. Gemma even has an accompanying iPhone app that lets you record observations on the go and then upload them to a gemma map."

SwayWhat
Build charts and share them in a social community.

Chartbeat
Real-time analytics of your site.

JournoGraphica: Editing Video on iPad

RJI Mobile First Symposium
Links, resources galore from 2014 conference.

Poynter: Five Ways Journalists Can Use Social Media to Cover the Middle East

Poynter Social Media Page

10 Ways Newspapers Are Using Pinterest

Fuck Yeah Journalism Tools: Mobile


Recommended Apps for Journalists
Use these iPhone apps (many available on other smart phones) to transform your phone into a reporting tool. Suggestions? Let us know: mikereilley1@gmail.com

Social Media

Hootsuite
It launched in December 2009 to much fanfare. It has some handy tabs for managing multiple accounts, but it's not as easy to use as the Web-based version, which I use to manage six accounts. I find Tweetie 2's interface to be much quicker and easier to use. And Hootsuite (at least the early versions) crashed and had a lot of bugs.

Twitter for iPhone (formerly Tweetie 2)
In my opinion, it's the gold standard of Twitter management tools. It's easy to retweet, scan your followers' posts, your posts, add/delete followers, direct message, etc. I use this far more than I use Twitter itself.

Delicious
This social bookmark site makes managing your links and pages easy. It's free, and you can build a searchable database of resources for stories, term papers and other projects.

CoverItLIve
The iPhone app is even easier to use than the desktop version. Build an launch a chat on a specific topic in less than two minutes. Promote it over social media and imbed polls, video, audio and photos into the chat. Great for field reporting and user interaction. Nice tool for covering elections, sporting events and community meetings/events.


Graphic: What Happens on the Internet Every 60 Seconds


Reporting Tools

Dragon Dictation
This app records short interviews or dictations and turns them into text. I've used it a few times and I like how it easily converts copy and drops it into an e-mail. But be warned with this tool and any other dictation: words run-together and are lost in translation. Won can be replaced by one. The context isn't always clear. Plus, Dragon and other services, like Jott, struggle with accents and dialects. I would test this out a few times before trying it on a story.

Police Radio
This hasn't caught on as much with newsrooms, but I think it will in the future. This app allows you to listen to police, fire and rescue and other emergency calls in several cities across the country, including Chicago. It may not be perfect, but it beats lugging a police scanner around.

iTalk and SpeakEasy
Easily convert audio interviews into sound bites for the Web. I prefer iTalk because you can wirelessly transmit audio from your phone to a nearby laptop without using a cable or e-mail. You just have to be on the same Wi-Fi network.

Everyblock
Great hyperlocal, geo-location site created by Chicago's Adrian Holovaty. Look up public documents, news, reviews, photos and other information by ZIP code. It covers a limited number of cities, but it's a great help for reporters or anyone covering a specific neighborhood. MSNBC has purchased the Everyblock site and app, by the way.

Google, Google Earth
Google's app has voice-activated search. And Google Earth helps you find anything on the planet.

Maps/Maps Buddy
Maps Buddy works similar to AroundMe (see below). It's helpful for finding businesses, addresses and other locations.

ZIP Finder
Not sure of a city or neighborhood's ZIP? Find it here.

Cue Prompter
Teleprompter tool that works on mobile devices and on the web.

Reference and Helpful Tools

Dictionary

Thesaurus

Factbook

Convertbot
Great tool for converting heights, weights and other measurements. I use it several times a week along with the calculator. Great for quick fact-checking on stories, too.

WeatherBug
I like the interface better than the WeatherChannel's.

AP Stylebook
Messy interface, clunky and a waste of $30. Using the reference book is much faster ... and better! Don't buy this app.


Blogging

Wordpress
Easily file a short text post for your blog, but longer posts will tire your fingers quickly. It's good if you have no computer readily available, but I don't do a lot of mobile blogging.


Location-Based

FourSquare
News media are finding new ways to use this location-based app.

GoWalla
See FourSquare.

AroundMe
Another great app for journalists who travel. This shows you where restaurants, bars, hotels, coffee shops, banks and (yes) Apple stores are based on your location. I've used it several times while on the road. It shows you locations, maps, walking distances, etc. Very similar to MapsBuddy. I prefer both to the Where app. Just friendlier interfaces.

Taxi!
Contact any cab service based on your geo-location. This one costs a couple of bucks, but it's worth it for any reporter in an urban area.

FlightTrack
Helpful for journalists who travel. I've found it to be very accurate for my flights the few times I've used it.


Photography and Photo Editing

Photoshop Mobile
Editing and effects that the iPhone camera won't let you do. It's only basic edits, but if you're working as a backpack journalist or filing a mobile report, this is a handy tool.

Photo Forge
Has some of the same tools that Photoshop Mobile has. I used this app up until the Photoshop app became available.

PhoneGrafer, Snapture, CameraBag, Camera Zoom
Zoom and add various lenses and features to your iPhone camera shoots. Choose one or two as you see fit. PhoneGrafer is my favorite as it offers many settings and effects, and has a built-in level to make sure your shot is true. PhoneGrafer usually costs a few bucks, but I picked it up for free during a holiday sale. Keep any eye out for a deal in the iTunes store.


Video and Audio Recording/Editing/Streaming

ReelDirector
Sort of a mini-Final Cut Pro for iPhone video. You can add lower thirds, transitions like cross dissolves and other features to your video, then post to the Web. If you shoot/post a lot of video, get this. It offers many more editing features than the basic iPhone camera/video interface. Money well-spent.

Voddio
Originally 1st Video, this app also records audio and works with still images. It allows you to edit video and audio but does not allow you to enter lower-thirds onto your video like ReelDirector does.

iMovie
New to the iPhone 4, this app allows you to edit video on your phone. So far, it has received rave reviews.

Ustream
This app lets you stream live video from you iPhone video camera straight to your Ustream channel. I use a Ustream channel with my DePaul journalism classes: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chicagostories

Qik
Move videos straight to the Internet from your camera.

Skype
Great tool with iPhone 4.0's camera.

AudioBoo.fm
Create podcasts up to five minutes on your mobile device and post. It includes geolocation and photo features.


News Apps

Fluent New, NewsFeed and Byline
Good Really Simple Syndication apps. Fluent is the best in that it retains the branding of each feed site so you know what outlet you're looking at.

NY Times, CNN, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, NPR News, AP Mobile
Must-haves. All have nice interfaces. NPR's is particularly nice. AP and CNN have mobile alerts on top headlines daily.

Newsy
Terrible Web site but a great app from the people who created Ask.com. Shuffle through a collection of videos produced by University of Missouri journalism students that summarize how various media outlets covered a specific issue or top.

ABC News and MSNBC.com
Both have some nice features, but they don't live up to their Web sites. I would choose one but not both.


Sports

MLB.com
The best out there, hands-down. Radio and TV feeds from games anywhere, any time.

ESPN Score Center
Not impressed.

FOXSports
I prefer the scoreboards to ESPN ScoreCenter. They download much quicker.

Yahoo! Sportacular
An easy-to-use interface with alerts, news, standings and scores from every sport imaginable. It has some great soccer coverage.

ESPN Radio
Listen to local broadcasts in larger markets, or tap in to the national feed. Very user friendly and great sound.

AOL Radio
Listen to many CBS Radio stations, including many popular sports stations, and other regional/local broadcasts.


Music

Pandora, Slacker Radio, WunderRadio
If you're tired of listening to your iPod, this is a nice break.

Shazam
Made famous by the Apple ad, this app identifies recorded music by musician, title and links you to the iTunes store to buy it.


Miscellaneous

Wine Snob
Red or white with that steak and lobster? This will pair it with food, cheese, etc.

Urban Daddy
Nightlife tips galore.

GrubHub
Find out who delivers.

Tipulator
Break up arguments among those annoying people who can't figure out how much to leave. This calculator makes it easy.

Urban Spoon
Shake and find a restaurant near your geo-location.

RunPee
Funny. Offers suggestions on what point of a movie you can use the restroom ... and not miss a key scene.



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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Mobile Journalism category.

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