Journalist's Toolbox Update: Nov. 30, 2015

3-D storytelling: RJI's 3-D Technologies and Tools database is filled with information about 3-D technologies/tools. Great resource for journalists who want to tell immersive stories using various 3-D technologies.

Covering people with disabilities: Considering Disability
Considering Disability: Considering Disability Journal is an entry-level global disability studies publication, established and operated by expert volunteers.

Winter weather: There are dozens of resources for covering the winter season in our Weather section. Also, the NOAA has an "event" database that can tell you what weather events have occurred in your state down to the county level.

Election/politics archive: We're building out our Election 2016 resources. The page also has a great archive of resources from past elections.

Social media: LinkedIn has a great list of nine free social media tools, many which focus on analytics.

Data visualization: We've updated the Data Visualization page with several new tools, including Tik Tok Vertical Timeline Tool, CloudStitch Data Viz Tool and PixelMap Generator

Add data visualization: Here's a must-bookmark: US Local Data Portals, a Github account that lists dozens of data portals. is a list of more than 400 data portals from around the world.

Public safety: Silk has a Journalism Safety Toolkit

Public records: Sqoop aggregates public records data to make it easier for reporters to search and also set alerts. Very helpful for investigative reporters combing the web for data.

Investigative journalism: Investigative Reporters and Editors have posted tipsheets from its 2015 conference.

Twitter: Twee-Q tells you what proportion of that account's recent retweets (made during the last 100 tweets) were of comments or opinions issued by men or by women. Who Tweeted It First lets you type in keywords or a web address to see who sent a tweet first. It's good for tracking competitive outlets covering the same story.

Cybersecurity: This Powerpoint Security Tools for Investigative Journalists is full of resrouces and tipsheets to help protect your data and reporting.

Web audio: The Knight Lab has a great piece on trends with web audio. Worth a read.

Data visualization: Our friends at Journalism2ls have a great Pinterest board of infographic and data visualization tools.

Public employee pay database: The Center for Investigative Reporting built a database that let's you search public employee salaries. Search by city, county and state. Very handy.

Beat coverage: posted an interesting list: Nine Online Tools to Help Journalists Monitor Their Beats.

Online journalism tutorials: Cal Berkeley's Jeremy Rue was kind enough to share these free online tutorials for journalists and students: multimedia training, public records and journalism jobs.

Teaching how to cover trauma: San Diego State journalism professor Amy Schmitz Weiss worked with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma to produce a series of tip sheets for journalism educators to teach students how to cover sensitive topics such as suicide, homicides, sexual assaults, etc.

Business: Covering the start-up industry? CrunchBase is a comprehensive dataset of startup activity and that's accessible to everyone. It has more than 500,000 profiles of people and companies that are maintained by thousands of contributors.

Gas prices: Mapquest has a page to track gas prices in your area. Use resources in the Toolbox's Business Resources section to track the housing market , gas prices, food costs and other economic issues.

Social media tools: is a great tool for tracking hashtags and building out pages. Zeef lets you search and filter content from those you trust. You can curate links in a way similar to Delicious. Another fun tool is Twurly, which compiles a daily email of links from your Twitter timeline.

School violence: Harvard's Journalist's Resource site has an in-depth collection on school violence that includes research findings on underlying dynamics, response and prevention. It features links, stories, analysis and a lot of data.

Weather: If you are covering outbreaks of severe weather, you'll find some great resources on our Weather page.

Data portal search: Open Prism lets you search data portals from all over the world by typing in one keyword.

Privacy and protecting sources: Here are some resources from a Reporters Without Borders privacy and encryption session on April 11.'s Online Survival Kit gives you tools and shows you how to protect yourself from leaving a digital trail. is a free proxy that lets you surf anonymously online, hide your IP address, secure your internet connection, hide your internet history, and protect your online identity. VirusTotal lets you run any suspicious files through a free, encrypted tool to detect any viruses. TrueCrypt is a free, on-the-fly, open-source encryption tool.

Public records: Five Great Tools for Mining Public Records is a must-bookmark for quick reference to some key sites, including and FOIAonline. Also, FOIA Shaming is a fantastic Tumblr blog that shines a spotlight on universities that stonewall FOIA requests. Share it on social media. and here area a couple of tools that can help with requesting public records and managing those requests: The FOIA Machine allows you to automate your FOIA requests. MuckRock is an open government tool powered by state and federal Freedom of Information laws and a Sunlight Foundation grant.

Census resources: The U.S. Census Quick Facts page helps you find current census information at the state or county level by using a pulldown menu or image map. The what's new tab at the top of the page shows all of the new data entered at the local levels.

Federal government: Here's a helpful site: Directory of All Congressional Twitter Handles. Mobile Apps is a handy list of which government agencies have mobile apps and mobile Web sites. Great quick-reference.

Broadcasting: Find the correct pronunciations of newsmaker names at The Name Engine. Another great resource is the EarIt Demo, which allows you to roll over a name or word and get the correct pronunciation.

Politics: The National Institute on Money in State Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization revealing the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states, has a comprehensive and verifiable campaign-finance database available for free on its site. Poligraft is a Sunlight Foundation site that adds political context to news stories by scanning news articles you enter for the names of donors, corporations, lobbyists and politicians and shows how they are connected by contributions.

Writing with numbers: Weird Converter is great for analyzing numbers and coming up with odd facts and figures for stories. It's great for comparing sizes, weights and gives the reader some perspective. Find more resources in the Toolbox's Writing With Numbers section.

Covering people with disabilities: You'll find hundreds of resources on the Disabilities page.

Teaching tools: Many of you who use this site train your newsrooms and classrooms how to do online research: College Media, High School Journalism, Design, Broadcast Journalism, Ethics, Writing, Reporting Tools, Writing with Numbers, Photojournalism and Copy Editing.

Reporting Tools: Reporting Tools, Phone/E-Mail/Maps Directories, Search Engines, Expert Sources, Investigative, Form 990s, Public Records, Ethics, Check Domain Names, General Research and Writing With Numbers.

Student resources: College and high school students will find many helpful Toolbox resources for researching papers, reporting and more: Reporting Tools, Public Records, History, Ethics and Copy Editing.

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