A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


Digital Media Toolbox


February 6th, 2012 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

In today’s journalism industry, it is imperative that journalists are active in their digital community. For decades, some journalists have been criticized for being distant, out of touch and elitist — and in many ways, we were. The high cost of content creation and distribution made it possible for members of the press to keep their distance from the community and interact with the public on their terms.


December 2nd, 2011 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

Ever write a story about a bunch of folks doing something, and it seems like you — and the reader — need a scorecard to keep everyone straight? Sometimes scorecards or diagrams aren’t such a bad idea. Say you’re a cops or courts reporter and you’re trying to explain to people the inner workings of a drug cartel.


October 4th, 2011 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

Three years ago I quit my job at a mid-sized metro daily newspaper to be part of a startup online news operation. And ever since then I’ve had people coming up to me, emailing me, calling me, asking me about the startup news site they dream of launching.


August 4th, 2011 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

There once was a time when reporters dealt with words and someone else dealt with the numbers and pictures. But not anymore. There are plenty of free, easy tools now to get any journalist, regardless of their word-centricity, started on data visualization all by themselves.


June 1st, 2011 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

The Web offers journalists countless free opportunities to enhance their reporting. The biggest hurdle facing them is knowing where to find the most relevant and timely information. Google should be part of every journalist’s e-toolkit. In addition to quickly locating pertinent search results and maps, the technology giant also highlights trends, allows for easy sifting through government databases, and even allows folks to follow the spread of the flu.


April 4th, 2011 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

Let’s face it: Foursquare can be a little creepy. The mobile social networking site lets you “check in” to places you visit using your smart phone. By linking to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, your visits become public knowledge among your friends and followers.


February 2nd, 2011 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media/Generation J Toolbox

Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare or the hundreds of other social media sites online, new technologies are changing the way we work as journalists. For a lot of us this means more work and more tasks being crammed into a short amount of time.


December 2nd, 2010 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

Editor’s Note: This column was adopted from the SPJ Digital Media Committee’s strategic report, “Will SPJ Remain Relevant in the Digital Age?” Download the report. America’s oldest and largest journalism organization should become the news industry’s premier source of information on the latest technology, newsgathering approaches and business models.


October 11th, 2010 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

I probably would have spit coffee on my microphone if you told me in 2008 that I’d soon go from a TV news reporter to a new media journalist running a 3,000-member social networking site. It all began in summer 2009, after a Dallas, Texas, Fox affiliate and I parted ways amid the industry turmoil.


August 2nd, 2010 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

The pocket video camera is one of the best new tools for journalists who are dipping their toes into the waters of digital reporting. Pocket video cameras are relatively inexpensive (Flip camera $199; Kodak Zi8 $129.95; iPhone $199 with service plan; BlackBerry $129.99 with service plan), easy to operate and extremely easy to carry around on and off assignment.


May 31st, 2010 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox – May/June 2010

Lisa Parker can still feel her old dread when she remembers listening to career coaches chattering about résumés inside the “transition assistance room” of an Army base in 2006. The class was supposed to help the former first sergeant move into civilian life after a 21-year, full-time career in aviation for the Florida Army National Guard.


March 31st, 2010 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

For some of us it takes quite a leap to sign up for accounts on social media sites like Twitter; to others it’s just a part of the job. No matter which side you’re on, the true test comes after creating an account.


January 31st, 2010 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

Most major digital SLR cameras offer high-definition video capture. Popular among them are the Canon 5D Mark II/7D and the Nikon D300s/D3s. Despite the technological leap this change represents for camera manufacturers, I have found many news photographers are still poised, knees quaking, on the side of the pool, afraid to jump right into news videography.


December 2nd, 2009 • Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
Digital Media Toolbox

You’ve pulled a 14-hour shift on the desk. You’re dog-tired. But as you walk out of the newspaper office, you know that thousands of people will pick up the paper from their lawns tomorrow morning and see your story. Fast-forward to our brave new online world.