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Week 13 – The Poor Journalist’s Toolkit

You’re a journalism student. You open your wallet looking for a fiver but a moth flutters out.

Turns out you don’t quite have the cash to pay for the tools you need to become an award-winning reporter. After all, Photoshop, Office, Audition and Final Cut Pro don’t come cheap. So what to do?

Luckily, there are alternatives that are pretty close to as good as the industry standards.

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Week 10 – Data visualization, aka graphics

One thing is increasingly true wen it comes to journalism online: People don;t like reading long grey blocks of text.

“Small screens and ever-present distractions make it imperative that content be easily digestible and, if possible, interactive,” Tim Currie writes on page 295 of The New Journalist.

He adds that today there are more and more agencies, government included, that are making data public. These can be a goldmine for a journalist. But they tend to be database or spreadsheet tables — not very digestible.

So what to do?

“The answer,” Currie writes, “is data visualizations.” wins big at OCNA awards

I was lucky enough to see old Vaughan Today/Town Crier colleagues again on May 14 at the Ontario Community Newspapers Association awards gala. The night was made sweeter thanks to a couple of awards I got to share with my friends.

Free tools to help present info visually online

I was at an all-day workshop yesterday at the Toronto Star put on by Robb Montgomery of Visual Editors out of Chicago. The entire day was about thinking of ways to present info visually to readers of online newspapers or blogs — and probably just as important to smaller outfits with limited resources, how to that for next to nothing.

Free blog options abound – here are 17

This post started out as research for a workshop on the basics of blogging — how to set a free one up, really — that I ran last week for journalism students at Centennial College in Toronto. I focused mainly on WordPress because it’s what I’ve worked with most, but I still wanted to give them options.