Thursday, May 19, 2016

Digital Storytelling Tools for Journalists (Panel 5/19)

Panel Topic: How do new forms of storytelling engage publics in new ways?

Key Points:
  • For people reading stories on their phones or mobile devices, it can be very hard to stick with a story that's a block of text no matter how well it's reported.
  • Four recommended storytelling tools for journalists: Storify, Autotune, Google News Lab, and Gifs. 
  • Storify: Recommended use for breaking news on social media.
    • Live blog stories that combines traditional storytelling with engaged audiences. 
    • Involves real-time collaboration.
    • Capacity to search social media for any topic, then drag and drop within its story editor to build a story.
    • Create multimedia timelines that show the unfolding of event
    • EX:
  • Autotune: Recommended for data visualizations.
    • Turning text into data visualizations. 
    • Easy-to-read documentation. 
  • Google News Lab: Recommended for the discovery of new trends
    • Can help to see what people are searching to kickstart new ideas, and see the popularity of search terms. 
    • Google Maps/Crisis Maps allow journalists to build interactive maps that they can embed in their own story editors and publish. 
    • The Crisis Map can help journalists visualize and share crisis-related data, and includes relevant information such as shelter locations, weather, evacuation zones, post-event satellite imagery and more.
  • Gifs: Recommended for highlighting important parts of the story.
    • Readers aren't likely to watch long news related videos, but an article that is accompanied by a gif allows the journalist to pull out the highlights.
In Conclusion:
  • These tools allow for journalists to tell their stories in different ways, while being able to cater their stories in the way they like
  • New ways to reach readers
  • Interactive

  • Do you think these digital storytelling tools are going to soon take over the traditional journalism space? Will they be quickly adopted by new journalists entering the work-force?
  • Would you be more inclined to read an article that used these digital storytelling tools rather than a traditional article? 

Truong, E. (2016, January 25). Starter storytelling tools for new journalists. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from


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