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Source Sleuth Looks to Connect Journalists, Bloggers with Quality Sources

source sleuthGood story sources aren’t always easy to come by, as most journalists can attest. And, the stress of deadline pressure can make finding those sources an even more daunting task.

But, while there are several free services out there to help, there are few that take the time to vet those same sources.

Enter Chicago-based Source Sleuth, a free service that seeks to connect journalists, bloggers and other writers with “quality sources.” Read more

CNN Researching Drone Use For Newsgathering

Drone

Photo by Don McCullough on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

Drones are just getting their start in the journalism industry, but one media organization wants to lead the pack when it comes to figuring out how to use them for newsgathering. CNNMoney’s Brian Stelter wrote a story yesterday outlining CNN’s plan to partner with the Georgia Institute of Technology on studying drone use.

The “research initiative,” as it’s being called, will begin later this summer, and Stelter reports that the duo will release the data they collect to the Federal Aviation Authority ”as it considers regulations that will allow for the safe and effective operation of UAVs by media outlets.”

Given the precariousness of FAA laws and how they translate to the media industry, many news organizations can only dream of using UAVs for news, photo and video collection, but CNN and Georgia Tech’s findings may help pave the way for new FAA drone rules, which are already due by September 2015.

Read more

Muck Rack Adds Feature to Track Social Shares

muck-rack-bannerAre you a certified Muck Rack journalist? If you aren’t, you should be. It’s like a portfolio site, news feed, and job board all in one (and the daily newsletter isn’t too shabby either). No, I’m not on their payroll, but they run the one Twitter chat I can stand, and just came out with a new feature for journos to track their success on social media. It’s not exactly Chartbeat, but as a verified journo or Muck Rack Pro user, you can create PDF reports about your social shares.

I know — PDF reports? But it does acknowledge a real truth for journos in smaller markets where publishers still talk about the legacy of print and are frustrated by the transient nature of all things digital. (Oh, wait. That happens in New York, too.)

Sometimes it’s nice to have it on paper. You can bring it to a job interview for reference, slap it down on your editor’s desk when she questions your ability, or just hang it up on the newsroom refrigerator to taunt your coworkers. There are a lot of uses for PDFs.

There are even more uses to have a Muck Rack account though. It’s a nice little hub on the interwebs, so take some time this weekend to play around with it. You don’t have to generate PDFs all day to make it worthwhile.

Do We Need Open Interviews?

redcurtainI realize that I may have harped a bit on Vox.com recently, but that’s because it’s new and doing work worth noticing. This week, via a tweet from Jay Rosen, I noticed that they had a toggle feature on an article. You can read the story and then toggle over to see where the pull quotes came from.

It’s a cool feature and one that I think many journo professors and media navel gazers think is necessary. We used to edit because we were limited to column inches. You can fit everything and anything on your website — so why not go for full disclosure? I get it. Open interviews are good for transparency, add value and all of that.

But is everything really fit to print? Read more

Knight Foundation Helps Fund 17 Innovative Media Projects

KnightLOGOMore media innovation is coming, in part thanks to the Knight Foundation (and of course, the great minds they help fund). The foundation recognizes that money and time are often obstacles to people who have big ideas about making media and journalism processes better, so they have chosen 17 inventive projects to fund through their Prototype Fund program.

The $35,000 grant allows media creatives to fully develop their ideas over a six-month period and then demo the final product before their peers and Knight folks at the end of the ride. After glancing at the list, these projects stood out as significantly useful tools for journalists and digitally-native news organizations. Read more

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