Val Hoeppner’s Apps for Journalists 2017

Your phone is a powerful reporting tool, much more than calls, emails and text messages. Your smartphone is a computer, camera, recorder and publishing tool that is always in your pocket. My Apps for Journalists list contains only apps that are practical and useful for journalists.

Notes, documents and file transfers

EVERNOTE – A note-taking app that syncs text, photos and audio to Internet connected devices. Journalists can use it to take notes, dictate short stories (and photo captions) with audio option, write stories, captions and submit for editing. Evernote is more than an app, available as a Mac OS download, via Google Chrome, Windows and other browsers. FREE — available on iPhone, Android and other mobile platforms.

DROPBOX – Dropbox is a transfer station for sending and storing files. Dropbox also allows you to view files on the go, download files for offline viewing, sync photos and videos and share links to your files in your personal Dropbox. Dropbox is connected to many multimedia apps and is a simple solution for transferring and archiving mobile media. FREE — available on iPhone, Android and other mobile platforms.

GOOGLE DRIVE – Create and edit documents and spreadsheets. Store and share photos, videos and audio files. Connected to many multimedia apps on iPhone. FREE 15 GB of space, available on iPhone and Android.

GENIUS SCAN – A PDF app that allows you to scan a document, create a PDF and email it as a JPEG or PDF. The Genius Scan+ version costs $2.99 and allows you to send scans to Dropbox, Evernote and Google Docs. FREE — available on iPhone and Android.

ABBYY TEXT GRABBER – Capture printed text from documents, magazines, books, etc. Text can be copied, pasted and edited. Text Grabber recognizes 60 different languages. A similar software is used by law firms to copy documents. $7.99 — available on iPhone and Android.

Audio and call recording

TAPE A CALL – Record incoming and outgoing cellular phone calls. No time limit on recordings, upload to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive. $5.99 Available on iPhone and Android.

IAUDITION – iAudition was designed for voiceover artists, but also a great solution for journalists in need of an audio recording app. Record high quality audio, make quick edits using familiar functions and send them via email or FTP site. The audio file arrives as an MP3 file and can be instantly played on virtually any computer, mobile device or tablet. $4.99 for the iPhone.

AUDIONOTE – Record audio while typing notes. Syncs audio to text notes. Great tool for recording meetings, conferences, speechs while taking notes. Available on iOS and Android.

VOICEBASE – Get machine or human transcriptions of your audio files from your phone, a recorder or laptop. Try it for free with up to an hour of transcriptions.

Photography, photo editing

VSCO Camera – Simple camera app that allows you to lock focus and exposure points. The app includes some basic photo editing tools. FREE — available on iOS and Android.

Camera+ – A camera app that allows you to shoot in automatic mode or manual mode. Use manual exposure, focus and white balance to get the best image. Basic photo editing tools. $3.99 — available on iOS.

FILTERSTORM – A photo-editing app for the iPhone and iPad. Filterstorm contains editing tools similar to Adobe Photoshop on your computer. You can edit using layers, curves for adjusting tone, color correction, sharpness, noise reduction and a history brush. Filterstorm has two important features for journalists: 1 – the ability to add IPTC or caption information to images and 2 – the ability to send images directly from the app to an FTP server, email, Dropbox and more. $3.99 — available on iPhone and iPad.

TERIPIX – Developed by photojournalists this app allows journalists to quickly add images and video to their digital platforms and archives. “Take pictures or video in the field, upload via smartphone, post to the media organization’s web site – all within minutes”. One of the best features of this app is the ability to add caption information to the image before uploading. There is a free version of this app for still images only. Teripix is an enterprise app and can be licensed for newsrooms.

Video and video editing

MOVIE PRO – A filmmaking app with full auto and manual controls for focus, exposure and white balance. What sets this app apart from others is the ability to listen to the sound you are recording with your video. Using a TRRS adapter you can record sound and listen live. Movie Pro also features a single-track video editor so you can create simple videos and quickly publish them. $4.99 for iOS.

FILMIC PRO – Shoot video with manual controls like focus, exposure, white balance. Shoot various frame rates and monitor your audio levels through headphones.This is the app being used by filmmakers to create feature length films. $7.99 for iOS.

IMOVIE – The updated version of iMovie for iOS is one of the few video editing apps that has two tracks of video and two tracks of audio. Trim clips, bring them to the timeline, split clips, detach audio and much more. iMovie is my go-to video editing app on my iPad and iPhone. Free on new iOS devices, $4.99 to purchase.

VIDEOSHOP – Simple video editing app that allows you to trim, add text and other effects. Best part of this app is that you can create social videos timed specifically to Vine, Snapchat and Instagram. The timeline tool guides your editing for each social video platform. You can also upload video directly to Snapchat which means you can add more polished video stories in both horizontal and vertical formats. $1.99 for iPhone, iPad and Android.

VIDEOLICIOUS – Quickly add your voice to still or video images, Videolicious will automatically add transitions. Journalists can make quick and easy videos with voice over. Free personal account, business account is $60 per year – only available on the iOS.

Social media tools

BUFFER – Share to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google + from one place and at optimal times. Add up to five tweets/posts to your “buffer” for automatic posting at the best times throughout the day. You can also schedule the buffered posts. Use the app, web version or post from Feedly, Nuzzle and other RSS feed apps. Free — available on iPhone.

HOOTSUITE – Allows you to manage multiple social accounts from one app. Manage multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook, . Free — available on all platforms.

IFTT – If This Then That allows you to use and/or create “recipes” that tell your apps what to do. One example is a recipe I use that takes my Instagram images and makes them native Twitter images then tweets them automatically. IF recipes run in the background once they are set up. DO recipes create a custom button with a function. FREE – available on the iOS and Android.

CANVA – The Canva app and Canva.com allow you to create high quality social media graphics including Instagram posts, Facebook posts and headers, twitter posts, Snapchat My Story graphics and Snapchat Geofilter graphics. Canva is free but there is an upgraded version that is paid.

Extras

REPORTERS COMMITTEE FIRST AID APP – This app created by the non-profit Reporters Committee is designed to give on-the-spot resources to reporters who may have legal questions or encounter roadblocks while on assignment – See more at: http://www.rcfp.org/app#sthash.fkWozIYZ.dpuf. Free on Android, iOS and Kindle.

5-0 POLICE SCANNER – Allows users to listen live to local, national and international police, fire and ambulance radio traffic. This app runs in the background on your mobile device so you can listen while writing a story or capturing photographs. FREE — available on iPhone. Android offers a variety of scanner apps, my favorite is Scanner Radio.

MOBILE PATROL – Information from local law enforcement including arrests, sex offenders, emergency information.

 

Val Hoeppner, Digital, Mobile, Social and Multi-platform Storytelling and Training

 

Data Visualizations with Many Eyes, Datawrapper and Timeline JS

Data visualizations can be made quickly and easily with free tools like Datawrapper, Many Eyes and Timeline JS.
The hardest part of any data project is getting the data and cleaning it. Data must be entered into an XL Spreadsheet or Google Spreadsheet in its most simple form.

You can learn to set up a spread sheet from Dr. Ken Blake, a Middle Tennessee State University professor who runs a website called “The Data Reporter”.

For my data projects below I used data from the CDC website on Ebola cases and deaths. In the Datawrapper and Many Eyes projects I used and XL Spreadsheet. In the Timeline JS project I used Google Spreadsheet. Timeline JS has a Google Spreadsheet template for you to copy and use to create your own project. The Timeline spreadsheet must be a Google sheet so it can be published to the web.

You can download my data sheets from Google. Ebola cases and deaths, Widespread ebola and Google sheet for Timeline JS.

Datawrapper is used to create simple charts, graphs, data charts and maps by many news organizations, including Vox.

Many Eyes is a project of IBM and allows users to create word tree, tree maps, bubble charts, bar charts, maps and other visualizations of data. Many Eyes works best with Safari or Firefox on the Mac and Firefox on a PC.

Timeline JS was created by Zach Wise for The Knight Lab. Timeline JS allows you to use a Google Spreadsheet to make an interactive timeline with text, images, video and sound clips.

All three of these tools create embed code which can be pasted into an article post for most content management systems.

Same data, different visualizations

Many Eyes

Datawrapper

Datawrapper

Leading causes of death in Africa from WHO

Many Eyes Bubble Map

Datawrapper

Timeline JS

Apps for Journalists 2015

Apps for Journalists
Mobile Storytelling – 2015
Val Hoeppner, Digital, Mobile, Social and Multi-platform Storytelling and Training
vhoeppner@mac.com – @vhoeppner

EVERNOTE – A note-taking app that syncs text, photos and audio to Internet connected devices. Journalists can use it to take notes, write stories and captions and submit for editing. FREE — available on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia platforms.

DROPBOX – Dropbox allows you to view files on the go, download files for offline viewing, sync photos and videos and share links to your files in your personal Dropbox. Dropbox is a simple solution for archiving mobile media. FREE — available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry platforms.
GOOGLE DRIVE – Create and edit documents and spreadsheets. Store and share photos, videos and audio files. Connected to multimedia apps on iPhone. FREE on iPhone and Android

GENIUS SCAN – A PDF app that allows you to scan a document, create a PDF and email it as a JPEG or PDF. The Genius Scan+ version costs $2.99 and allows you to send scans to Dropbox, Evernote and Google Docs. FREE — available on iPhone.

ABBYY TEXT GRABBER – Capture printed text from documents, magazines, books, etc. Text can be copied, pasted and edited. Text Grabber recognizes 60 different languages. A similar software is used by law firms to copy documents. $7.99 — available on iPhone.

GOOGLE VOICE – Record incoming cell phone calls for free, make free international phone calls, have voice mail translated into text. FREE – available on the iPhone/iPod/iPad and Android.

TAPE A CALL – Record incoming and outgoing cellular phone calls. No time limit on recordings, upload to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive. $5.99 Available on iPhone and Android.

SKYRECORDER – Record Skype and VOIP calls, record audio. Unlimited recording time. $1.99 on iPhone and iPad.

iTALK – iTalk Recorder is an audio recorder with high quality files. Press the big red button to record; press it again to stop. Files can also be saved to Dropbox with the Pro version. FREE for the basic edition, $1.99 for iTalk Pro, which features Dropbox uploading. Android has Voice Memo which is free.

DropVox – Record audio and automatically upload it to Dropbox $1.99 — available on iPhone.

VSCO Camera – Simple camera app that allows you to lock focus and exposure points. The app includes some basic photo editing tools. FREE — available on iPhone/iPod.

ProCamera – A camera app that allows you to shoot both still images and 16:9 video. The still image mode includes an expert mode, rapid fire and full screen trigger. $1.99 — available on iPhone/iPod.

FILTERSTORM – A photo-editing app for the iPhone and iPad. Filterstorm contains editing tools similar to Adobe Photoshop on your computer. You can edit using layers, curves for adjusting tone, color correction, sharpness, noise reduction and a history brush. Filterstorm has two important features for journalists: 1 – the ability to add IPTC or caption information to images and 2 – the ability to send images directly from the app to an FTP server, email, Dropbox and more. $3.99 — available on iPhone and iPad.

Buffer – Share to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and App.net from one place and at optimal times. Add up to five tweets/posts to your “buffer” for automatic posting at the best times throughout the day. You can also schedule the buffered posts. Use the app, web version or post from Feedly. Free — available on iPhone.

HootSuite – Allows you to manage multiple social accounts from one app. Manage multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn. This app automatically shortens links and allows you to schedule tweets. Free — available on iPhone.

5-0 POLICE SCANNER – Allows users to listen live to local, national and international police, fire and ambulance radio traffic. This app runs in the background on your mobile device so you can listen while writing a story or capturing photographs. FREE — available on iPhone. Android offers a variety of scanner apps, my favorite is Scanner Radio.

MOBILE PATROL – Information from local law enforcement including arrests, sex offenders, emergency information.

VIDEO PRO CAMERA – Lock your focus, exposure and white balance with this app. Most important feature is the ability to monitor your audio through your headphones. This is the only iPhone video app that allows audio monitoring while using an external microphone. $4.99 – only available on the iPhone/iPod.

FILMIC PRO – Shoot video with manual controls like focus, exposure, white balance. Shoot various frame rates and monitor your audio levels.

VIDEOLICIOUS – Quickly add your voice to still or video images, Videolicious will automatically add transitions. Journalists can make quick and easy videos with voice over. Free personal account, business account is $60 per year – only available on the iPhone/iPod/iPad.

IMOVIE – The updated version of iMovie for iOS 7 is one of the few video editing apps that has two tracks of video and two tracks of audio. Trim clips, bring them to the timeline, split clips, detach audio and much more. $4.99 for iPhone and iPad.

SPLICE – Splice together photos and videos, add music from your iPhone/iPod/iPad library, sound effects, transitions, borders, effects (like Ken Burns, slow motion and fast forward), trim video and audio, narrate with your own voice, and much more. Journalists can use Splice to edit short video packages on their Apple device and share them. $3.99 – available on iPhone.

ANDROID PRO VIDEO TRIM – Allows you to trim and merge video clips into a simple story. Pro Video Trim does not work on all Android devices so try before you buy.

BANJO – An ambient social network app that allows you to see people around you and connect with them. FREE – available on the iPhone/iPod/iPad.
BEEN VERIFIED – Do instant background checks from your iPhone. Been Verified searches public records for criminal history, known addresses and names, etc. FREE – available on the iPhone/iPod/iPad.

Custom Digital Media Training – Val Hoeppner will travel to your newsroom or university to train faculty, staff and/or students in the latest multimedia, mobile and social media techniques.
What I teach: Video storytelling, video editing, audio reporting and editing, social media for journalists, video and multimedia strategies for newsrooms, photojournalism, mobile newsgathering strategies, newsgathering with iPhone, Android and iPad, apps for multimedia, video, audio, social media, mobile video editing, mobile strategies for breaking news and use of breaking-news apps, and digital newsroom management — where to invest your resources. You choose the number of days and topics for training.
Contact Val Hoeppner, for pricing and more information about customized training. 615-426-7160 or vhoeppner@mac.com.