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Three free tools for finding local stories

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To keep tabs on community issues and tell local stories, reporters increasingly rely on maps, data, photos and video.

In a recent post from Street Fight, reporter Stephanie Miles recommends several tools to help journalists streamline the process of gathering data and creating multimedia content. Here are three that are free and useful to journalists worldwide:

Blottr

Citizens post video, photos and written accounts of local news events on Blottr. "Hyperlocal journalists can use Blottr for story research, or to find first-hand sources for articles they’re working on," Miles says.

Storify

Many journalists already use Storify to curate social media content, but the tool can also be useful for hyperlocal reporters who want to find content on a certain topic or location. A reporter covering the Madrid riots could use images and video on Storify from citizens who have submitted content, and post it on a news website or blog.

TweetCharts

"Reporters who focus on targeted areas or beats can use TweetCharts to dig into the information that other people are posting on Twitter," Miles writes. The site provides data including how often a term or phrase is tweeted, who is tweeting it, and what links are being posted on the subject. Local reporters should check out the "most mentioned user" section, which shows who is talking about the topic. An education reporter, for example, could check out what local parents are saying.

Via Street Fight.

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