6 essential digital journalism tools from Reported.ly

by Rachel Wise
Oct 30, 2018 in Digital Journalism
Phone call

Reported.ly was a news operation that covered breaking news primarily on social and distributed platforms. It was also the first place many people turned to verify developing stories. But in August 2016, its parent company, First Look Media, pulled funding and shut down the site.

The Reported.ly team was small and spread out across the globe, which meant they relied on many digital and social tools. Before they said goodbye, the staff compiled a list of some of the tools they found most useful. We take a look at six of their favorites.

  • On its website, the Reported.ly team wrote a post — a rundown of some of Reported.ly’s favorite tools — which lists 11 in total, complete with tips and “why we love them” qualifiers. Here are the six we feature.
    • Social-media managers: Clients such as Tweetdeck and HootSuite helped them monitor Twitter feeds around the world and search for specific phrases like “explosion” and “breaking.”
    • Geolocation tools, such as BanjoTwitter Advanced Search and SAMdesk, helped the team find local reports and reactions to big news events.
    • Reverse image search tools, such as Google Image Search and Tineye, allowed the staff to verify a photo’s authenticity and helped flush out old photos geotagged as new.
    • Google Earth was useful for recognizing landmarks in footage to help identify a photo or video’s specific location. Reported.ly also used Google Earth to create a virtual tour of locations in Nepal ravaged by an earthquake.
    • Trends24 gave the team a global view of trending topics and hashtags.
    • Quickshot for Mac, a screenshot manager that keeps files organized and desktops decluttered, is now called Screenie.
  • The other tools on their list include BreakingNews.com, newsletters, Pablo by BufferGIF Keyboard for Mac and Slideshare.
  • Breaking News, a popular app and Twitter account owned by NBC News, was included in Reported.ly’s list. But on Dec. 31, Breaking News was also shut down by its parent company.
  • Since Reported.ly was shuttered in August, there have been no official updates about plans for its future. But founder Andy Carvin says he hopes to work with First Look Media to eventually take ownership of Reported.ly and carry it on somewhere else.

Rachel Wise is a senior editor at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and editor and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos. You can also sign up to receive email notifications of each new episode.

Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via Esther Vargas.