Digital Tools

Digital Tools for Journalists

Tools make our journalism more powerful. They unleash our storytelling potential, unlock secrets in data, and help us share stories in new and compelling ways.

As newsroom ranks and audience attention spans shrink, tools are indispensable. Lucky for us, more and better ones are released every day.

Poynter’s Try This! — Tools for Journalism is an effort to find, share and provide training around the best journalism tools. We understand that great tools can be difficult to find and harder to learn (though you’d be surprised how quickly some of them will make their way into your daily work). We're here to help.

This page is the home for all of our journalism tools articles. For more:

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Try This! — Tools for Journalism is supported by Google News Lab as a part of a partnership with Poynter to help journalists find and use digital tools, including but not limited to Google's tools. This project is also supported by a generous gift from the American Press Institute and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, who fund a digital transformation project at Poynter. Poynter retains editorial control over site content.


Poynter Results

  • Digital Tools


    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, beginning this week, LaForme and I are going to have a weekly chat about a digital tool in the hopes that newsrooms without R&D departments or big budgets can find cool things to try for themselves.

  • Digital Tools


    5 questions to ask before adopting Peach (or any other social network)

    A colleague texted me last month with a question that made doubt my early-adopter status.

    “Are you on Peach?”

    I was not. In fact, I didn’t even know what it was. But a quick Google search told me it was a new messaging app from the man who brought us Vine, the popular video-sharing network that Twitter acquired in 2012.

    I quickly downloaded it, registered my standard username and texted her back: “Of course.”

  • Digital Tools


    Tools are the future of news

    I saw the future of the news industry in a pixelated battle between George W. Bush and Hulk Hogan.

    The vulgar, 16-bit “Emogame: The Anti-Bush Game” pitted characters like He-Man, Mr. T and emo music heartthrob Chris Carrabba against Bush-era politicians in a war to elect John Kerry. Nestled between skirmishes with anthropomorphic warpigs and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft were surprisingly deep (and, in hindsight, likely biased) explanatory scenes about budget debts and Iraq War casualties.

  • Digital Tools


    Digital tools you should have been using in 2014

    For many journalists, reporting is a recipe perfected long ago. Adding a new ingredient or changing a step can throw the finished product out of whack.

    But new demands and technologies mean journalists need to change the way they work, or risk being pushed out of the kitchen.

  • Digital Tools


    Why newsrooms don't embrace digital tools

    Many newsrooms in the U.S. are still not taking advantage of the low-cost digital tools for gathering and distributing journalism, even when journalists and producers know about the alternatives to traditional technologies.

    That's one of the findings in a report published today by Mark Stencel, Poynter Institute digital fellow, Bill Adair, Knight chair of computational journalism at Duke University, and Prashanth Kamalakanthan, a former assistant at the Duke Reporters’ Lab.

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