Reporting Tools
When you're out in the field on assignment, you'll need a variety tools to help you tell stories. (Tools are free unless otherwise listed.)

Text

  • Writing
    • TextEdit (Mac) or NotePad (Windows) -- Simple
    • Microsoft Word (Mac or Windows, $119+)
    • iA Writer (Mac, $10) -- A minimalistic approach to writing
    • Byword (Mac, $10) -- A minimalistic approach to writing
    • WriteRoom (Mac, $10) -- Distraction-free writing software
    • Ommwriter -- Minimalistic writing tool, with audio and color schemes to aid in creativity
    • xPad (Mac) -- Write and sort your writings.
    • Google Docs -- Cloud-based writing. Great for real-time collaboration.
    • WriteWithMe -- Online writing tool for real-time collaboration.
    • Whiteboard -- Collaborative writing tool
    • Scrivner (Mac, $45) -- Writing tool designed for long-form writing projects
    • Pro Writing Aid — Free tool to help you edit your stories. Looks for repetitive words, long sentences and grammatical mistakes.



Audio


  • Recording
    • WireTap Studio (Mac, $69) -- Desktop-based audio recording software
    • Piezo (Mac, $10) -- Simple recording off your computer
    • Cinch -- Record audio and syndicate recordings via mobile phone
    • Scribie (Windows only) -- Record and transcribe Skype calls





Video


  • Recording From Your Computer Screen
    • Snapz Pro X (Mac, $69) -- Desktop-based video and screen capture software
    • ScreenFlow (Mac, $99) -- Screencasting software
    • Screeny (Mac, $14) — Screen capture software

  • Editing
    • Final Cut Pro(Mac, $299) -- Powerful video editing software
    • Premiere($799) -- Powerful video editing for both Windows and Mac
    • iMovie(Mac, $15) -- Basic video editing software
    • Stroome -- Online video editing and collaboration tool
    • WeVideo (Free, or $7+ per month) -- Collaborative editing in the cloud
    • Animoto (Free, or $5+ per month) -- Create videos from photos, video and audio that you've collected (including from other users)
    • Vidmaker -- Store, manage and collaborate on online video editing projects

  • Hosting Video Online
    • Vimeo -- Video hosting and sharing
    • YouTube -- Video hosting and sharing
    • UStream -- Stream video live on the web
    • Brightcove ($99+ per month) -- Advanced video hosting and delivery
    • Wistia ($79+ per month) -- Video hosting and analytics, plus tools to customize embeddable videos
    • Qik -- Stream video from your phone
    • Bambuser -- Stream video from your phone
    • Twitcam -- Stream video on Twitter
    • Vokle -- Stream and host live video events
    • Yowie -- Group video chat and town hall-style broadcasting
    • Procaster -- Live stream an event or your desktop
    • MoPix -- Host and sell your video content or films


Mobile

  • Will Sullivan's Mobile Journalism Reporting Tools guide (RJI) -- A comprehensive guide to tools you'll need for your smart phone
  • Mobile Reporting Field Guide (USC) — An even more giant guide to tools and software for your mobile device
  • 360 Panorama (iPhone or Android) -- Take 360-degree panoramic photos with your phone
  • Autosticher (iPhone only) -- Stich together panoramic photos on your phone
  • Photosynth (iPhone only) -- Panoramic photo app
  • Snapseed (iPhone or iPad, $5) -- Photo-editing software
  • Total Recall (Android only, $8) -- App to record phone calls
  • BanjoApp -- See who's talking and checking in near a specific location
  • Highlight (iPhone only) -- Find and make connections with people near you
  • Sonar (iPhone only) -- Find and make connections with people near you
  • Glassmap (iPhone or Android) -- Find friends and events nearby
  • Mobile Media Toolkit-- Tools and resources for mobile reporting
  • NewsIT -- Mobile crowd reporting platform for creating and sharing news
  • Tackable -- Share and find live photos and video
  • Rawporter -- Share and find photos and videos as they're posted live around the world
  • Meporter -- Empower citizen journalists to report on hyperlocal stories
  • Swivl ($179) -- Personal cameraman for shooting iPhone video
  • Socialcam (iPhone or Android) -- Take and share video, add custom filters
  • Frameographer (iPhone only, $3) -- Make HD time-lapse and time-lapse movies
  • Luma (iPhone only) -- Take video, with built-in features and video stabilization
  • Arqball (iPhone/iPad) -- Create 360-degree spin photography
  • UpNext (iPhone only) -- HD maps
  • Piictu (iPhone only) -- Start discussion about pictures you're taking.
  • Burner (iOS only, $2) -- Disposable phone numbers for working on sensitive stories
  • CloudOn (iPad or Android tablet) -- Use Microsoft Office on your tablet
  • VerbalizeIt ($.50+ per minute) -- Translation tool for your mobile device
  • VoiceGem — Send a voicemail to anyone via email

Photo


  • Edit Photos
    • Adobe Photoshop ($699+) -- The most powerful photo editor on the market
    • Picasa -- Online photo editing tool from Google
    • PicMonkey -- Online photo editing tool
    • Resizr -- Easily resize photos online
    • Seashore (Mac) -- Open-source photo editing
    • Fhotoroom -- Online and desktop photo editing and sharing. Works with .jpg, RAW and HDR files
    • Analog (Mac, $8) -- Desktop tool to add Instagram-style filters and borders to your photos



Information


  • Searching Government Databases
    • American Fact Finder -- Search the Census for population, housing, economic and geographic data
    • BRB Public Record Search -- Search local, state and federal records
    • FedStats -- Statistics from more than 100 government agencies
    • Poligraft -- Search for connections within the political world
    • OpenSecrets -- Search campaign contributions
    • Follow the Money -- Search for contributions made in state government
    • USASpending -- Search contracts awarded by the federal government
    • TRAC -- Government transactional records access clearinghouse search
    • Legistorm - Search Congressional data and salaries