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Tools with Ren

NEWS

This free tool will help you make beautiful timelines

Timelines are a great way to make your stories visual, and there are several tools to help you build them. This week, we explore a free, easy way to build beautiful, interactive timelines. Hare: Hey! So I’ve been using Grammarly and loving it (minus the way it harasses me about Oxford commas, which it’s intent on doing.) What’s … Read More
NEWS

This tool will catch your grammar mistakes (and harass you about Oxford commas)

Did you spell that word right? Is that an independent clause? That's not a dangling participle, is it? This week, we explore a tool that can help you catch those grammar mistakes. Hare: Hey! So, what’s our tool this week? LaForme: I want to do something a little different this week, in that I’m going to share a tool that … Read More
NEWS

This tool will help you keep tabs on what's happening in local government

Last week, we introduced a tool that will help you figure out how your DSLR camera works. This week, we're focusing on a tool that can help shrinking newsrooms keep up with local and state government. Kristen Hare: So, what are we trying this week? Ren LaForme: Late last week, I was looking back on all of the … Read More
NEWS

This tool will help you figure out how your fancy camera actually works

For all the digital tools that can make your work better (and your life easier), some things are hard to perfect. This week, we try out a tool that will help you decode a classic you may still have sitting around. Kristen Hare: Hey! What are we talking about today? Ren LaForme: Let me start by asking you a question. Read More
NEWS

This tool tells you when sources try to make quiet changes online

We've talked about a lot of tools in the last few months, and this week I tested one of them out for myself (see the very end.) Have you tested any tools we've talked about? My colleague, Ren LaForme, and I would love to see the results. What new thing are you going to tell us … Read More
NEWS

This free tool will help make your stories more visual (and shareable)

Journalists are expected to juggle several different skills nowadays. This week's tool, as my colleague Ren LaForme explains, offers an easy and free way to do more. You found a big hit last week, and people were very excited about this tool that accurately transcribes interviews. We kind of shut the site down for awhile, right? Yeah, we … Read More
NEWS

This tool, made by college students, will save you all that time you spend transcribing

Update: Scribe has been overwhelmed by our interest and now recommends asks users not to upload files longer than 10 minutes. Also, it looks like they've started charging by the minute. Interested in the transformation of local news? Join the conversation in our weekly newsletter, Local Edition. So what are we talking about this week? I'm going to … Read More
NEWS

This tool will put captions on your video for you

Poynter's Ren LaForme and I have spent several weeks exploring cheap or free tools journalists can use. First, we spent some time on video tools, then a few weeks on tools that can keep journalists more secure on the internet. Now, we're going to try breaking from the "series" approach and just pick tools that seem useful and … Read More
NEWS

This tool will help you clean up after your online footprints

We've spent the past few weeks talking about tools for keeping reporters and their sources safe. This week, Poynter's Ren LaForme is focusing on a tool that will help you find which information about you is on the internet, what you may want to clean up and what you can discover about sources. So, what are we talking … Read More
NEWS

Here's a free tool that could prevent your newsroom from getting hacked

With news organizations getting hacked now on a semi-regular basis, it's more important than ever for journalists to protect their work from would-be cyberattacks. That's why, after several weeks focusing on video tools, Poynter Interactive Learning Producer Ren LaForme and I are switching this month to talk about digital security tools. Our conversation has been edited for … Read More
NEWS

Make your video better with a tool you're probably already using

This is our final week talking about video tools before moving on to a new subject. Previously, we looked at tools that help you record, present and edit video. What's our tool this week? We've talked a lot about what to do with video, how to shoot it and how to edit it on … Read More
NEWS

No budget for big video cameras? Just use your phone (and this app)

Last week, Poynter's Ren LaForme told us about a free and easy tool for making video interactive. We're going to stick with video this week and learn about an app that gives you a lot more shooting power. LaForme and I spoke via Skype. Our conversation was edited for length. What are we learning about this week? So … Read More
NEWS

Want to make video interactive? Try this simple tool

Poynter's Ren LaForme has spent a lot of time with digital tools (the things you use to create new things, not the online know-it-alls). (OK, Maybe both.) As we look at the big ideas that explain what local journalism needs to evolve, we want to look at the small ideas, too. Tools seem like a good place to start. So, … Read More
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