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Two Minute Tips

Engagement resources for business journalists

October 13, 2015

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Photo taken from Beth Rankin

Is your newsroom looking to interact more with your audience? Create better timelines, charts and graphics? Be more efficient in your work individually and within a team? Here are some resources that will help.


Livestreaming is a must for media organizations. If your outlet wants to get in the game, you’ve got several choices: Periscope and Meerkat, among others.

Which is right for you? Periscope is owned by Twitter and allows users to not only stream video live and announce their stream over Twitter, but also save broadcasts for people to watch for up to 24 hours later.

Meerkat doesn’t allow you to share your streams to Twitter, but does allow you to share your streams to Facebook. The down side? You can’t save those streams once you stop the broadcast. However, Meerkat does allow you to schedule and pre-announce your streams for your followers up to 24 hours before they begin.


Want to collaborate better with your colleagues in a dispersed newsroom? Two of the strongest productivity apps available are Slack and Trello, and they integrate with each other. Slack is a team messaging service that also allows you to host and send files to your group. Trello is a project management platform. Think of it as a whiteboard that tracks everyone’s progress on the project and sends updates whenever new steps are made.


Two powerful timeline creators are Timeline JS and Tiki-Toki. Timeline JS, created by Knight Labs at Northwestern University, is a free, Web-based timeline creator. It lets you create and embed attractive, informative timelines on your website.

Tiki-Toki is also a Web-based timeline creator but also has a desktop version. It has more features and graphically impressive editing. However, it requires a paid subscription to use the more powerful toolset.


Chartbuilder is an online tool that lets you easily create line charts and bar graphs. Answer its questions to input your data. Download the resulting chart image, and use it wherever you want. Chartbuilder is a simple way to get into data visualization without learning some of the more complex software.

Datawrapper is another tool that makes it easy for journalists to create impressive charts. While similar to Chartbuilder, it can visualize more complex information and create more kinds of charts, all of which can be embedded.

For simple, fast chart creation, Chartbuilder is the way to go. If you want more options and a more detailed graphic, then Datawrapper is for you.

Audio Interviews

Cogi is an app for iOS and Android that boasts a very useful feature – the ability to record just what you want from an interview. Rather than recording everything from the moment it’s turned on, it keeps a buffer of the previous 45 seconds of audio. If you hear something interesting or useful, activate Cogi and it will go back and record up to the previous 45 seconds. This cuts down on interview file sizes and keeps only what is relevant and useful to you.


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