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Embed in­ter­ac­tive tech­nolo­gies to go beyond tra­di­tional news­room prac­tices


Top five in­ter­ac­tive dig­i­tal tools that will give an edge to any news story

News sto­ries are no longer ruled by text-heavy pages and twodi­men­sional im­agery. With mo­bile sources be­com­ing a ma­jor source of traf­fic for news web­sites, tech hon­chos are re­defin­ing the way sto­ries are told on­line as well as off­line; think in­ter­ac­tive news apps or tools to watch videos cor­re­spond­ing to news­pa­per sto­ries at the click of a but­ton. New age jour­nal­ists can in fact use a num­ber of tools to write quick, in­for­ma­tive and com­pelling sto­ries.


Some of the best dig­i­tal tools sim­plify tasks that ear­lier re­quired spe­cialised or tech­ni­cal skills. Videolicious, a free mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion, helps jour­nal­ists edit and share videos quickly on the move through their mo­bile phones. One can record a small video byte, choose ex­ist­ing videos, add ti­tles and cred­its and pub­lish it within min­utes. Plat­forms iOS, An­droid

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Built by North­west­ern Univer­sity’s Knight Lab, StoryMap.js is an open source sto­ry­telling tool that high­lights sto­ries as a se­ries of events. It is most po­tent when used for sto­ries that take place across lo­ca­tions. Jour­nal­ists can sim­ply fill in the lo­ca­tion where the event took place, add a head­line, body text and me­dia files. The story flows as the sub­ject moves from one lo­ca­tion to another. The built-in gi­gapixel for­mat al­lows ex­plo­ration across large images. Plat­forms Web (storymap.knight­

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Tweets that have graph­ics and images get a 35 per cent boost in en­gage­ment as com­pared to use of any other fea­ture. But it can be tough to al­ways have a pho­tog­ra­pher or de­signer near. Canva is a de­sign tool that sim­pli­fies the process of cre­at­ing graph­ics. With free lay­outs and in-built de­sign tools, it can help jour­nal­ists cre­ate any­thing from sim­ple to com­plex graph­ics, change back­ground images, text styles and colour. The pub­lish­ing tool also al­lows users to ex­port their me­dia files in a num­ber of for­mats. Plat­forms iPad, Web (

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Storify is a pow­er­ful tool for cu­rat­ing con­tent from so­cial me­dia plat­forms. News web­sites have in­creas­ingly been us­ing this tool to cap­ture re­ac­tions and high­light in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sions tak­ing place across so­cial net­works. Re­cently, it has found use in jour­nal­ism schools where ed­u­ca­tors are us­ing it to cre­ate mul­ti­me­dia course con­tent, or­gan­ise hand­outs and teach stu­dents how to cu­rate in­for­ma­tion from so­cial me­dia. The tool is a one-stop web pub­lish­ing shop for even the most techno­pho­bic ed­u­ca­tor. A user can di­rectly pub­lish his sto­ries on nu­mer­ous plat­forms or embed it on his web­site or blog. Plat­forms Web (

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Datawrapper is an open source tool for cre­at­ing charts and other data vi­su­al­i­sa­tions with­out any prior knowl­edge of cod­ing. Cre­ated by data jour­nal­ists for data jour­nal­ists, a user can up­load his data as CSV (comma-sep­a­rated val­ues) file or paste it on the web­site’s dash­board and vi­su­alise it in dif­fer­ent forms such as his­togram, pie chart, line chart. Data Wrap­per has re­cently in­tro­duced maps in its fea­ture where one can eas­ily make choro­pleth and sys­tem maps from the data with ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tions. Plat­forms Web (

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