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  • About the Toolbox

    About the Toolbox

    Hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists, the SPJ Toolbox plays an important role in providing journalists, students, professors and people in many professions with reliable resources for reporting, editing, verifying and visualizing information for complex stories.

    SPJ Toolbox is a free resource for start-up newsrooms, legacy and local media, freelancers, entrepreneurs, educators, student media and people in many other industries. Updated frequently, it contains thousands of free (and some fee-based) resources organized by beats and topics within more than 160 searchable pages. Reporters new to a beat use the pages, organized much like a newsroom, to familiarize themselves with coverage and sourcing. Toolbox content has a  Creative Commons license, and educators are encouraged to share Toolbox resources in class and in course materials.

    Over the years, the Toolbox has contributed to coverage of many important global stories, including:

    • 9/11
    • Iraq war and the war on terror
    • Seven presidential elections and countless local elections
    • Columbine, Sandy Hook, Uvalde and dozens of other mass shootings
    • Ferguson and George Floyd protests
    • Coronavirus outbreak
    • Dozens of natural disasters, including hurricanes Katrina and Harvey, the California and Australia wildfires, Midwest floods and more

    History:  The site was launched in January 1996 by Mike Reilley as a course syllabus resource page while teaching newswriting at Northwestern University. The site expanded into a full dot-com by 1998 and was hosted by the American Press Institute from 2003 to 2007. SPJ began hosting the site in early 2008.

    The site you see today was created by Reilley, designed by Billy O’Keefe and is managed by SPJ staff.

    Suggest a site:  SPJ accepts submissions and suggestions  for resources. You also can suggest a section or topic to include in the Toolbox, but you must submit at least 10 links to help get the page started.

    Flagging broken links:  If you see a broken link, please let SPJ know.

    Posting policy:  The links and tools shared on Journalist’s Toolbox are not endorsements. We may recommend a web scraper or graphics tool helpful to a journalist to do a job, but we also share links to stories and content about very sensitive issues. Some of the content may be offensive to many, but are often necessary for journalists to cover a complex story. The Toolbox does not accept money or trade for posts. SPJ retains the right to accept or reject links based solely on their value to journalists.

    Flashback: SPJ Toolbox (formerly Journalist’s Toolbox) Designs Throughout the Years


    September 2001

    February 2003 August 2005



    2014-June 2020


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