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Mobile Journalism Resources

This is a collection of mobile resources from Mike Reilley of The Journalist’s Toolbox. Also contributing are the Poynter Institute’s Regina McCombs, Dave Stanton and Damon Kiesow. A list of mobile reporting tools appears at the end of this page. Most apps are tailored to the iPhone but have versions available for Android and other operating systems.

Creating Video Packages on Your SmartPhone

Mobile Industry Reading

Steve Buttry: Mobile First Strategy
2009’s editor-of-the-year says newsrooms need to think mobile first.

Journalism Tools: Mobile Reporting Tools

Poynter: 10 Questions to Craft Your Mobile Strategy
From Regina McCombs.

RJI: Five Mobile Journalism Basics

Poynter: Tips on How Newsrooms Can Develop Mobile Strategies
Advice from the Boston Globe’s Damon Kiesow.

Mobile Strategies for Community News and Information Resources
Great set of links, resources and tools from Amy Gahran and the Knight Digital Media Center.

Knight Foundation Study on Mobile News Consumption
Curation of content and a heat map of new ideas and models for solutions journalism.

Tinius Trust Report on Future of the Media
What’s the future for independent media?

MediaShift: 7 Ways to Build a Mobile, Multi-Platform Newsroom
How ASU’s Cronkite School shifted Cronkite News to a mobile platform.

Must-Have Mobile Journalism Accessories

Journalism2ls: 5 Must-Have Mobile Journalism Accessories
Glen Mulcahy’s recommendations.

TV VJ: Definitive Guide to iOS Audio Accessories

Mobile Journalism Tools
A great blog on mobile media resources from Will Sullivan at the Reynolds Institute.

Product Hunt: Best Tools for Livestreaming
Great list that includes Periscope and Meerkat.

Mounts, lenses, tripods and other mobile journalism tools.

Data Journalism Needs to Go Mobile and Who Does it Well

Essential Tools and Tactics for Video on Social

IJNet: Top Mobile Phone Apps for Journalists (Spring 2017)

Storm App
App lets you gather tweets for a tweetstorm.

10 Infographics on Mobile
Stats, facts and other resources.

21 Tips for Mobile Ninjas
From Jeremy Caplan’s 2013 ONA presentation. Great resources.

How to Get Started in Mobile Journalism
Nice overview from

Storify: Mobile Tools from Jeremy Caplan
Resources from his ONA 13 presentation.

Google Test My Site for Mobile/Desktop
Test your site’s performance across mobile and desktop devices.

12 Must-Have Apps for Journalists
Great list of apps for recording calls, editing video, etc.

PBS MediaShift: Blow up the live blog with real-time reporting tools

The Next Web: 10 Best Apps for Shooting, Sharing Video

Connects your apps to help your workflow become more efficient.

Field Recorder
Android app that is great for recording phone conversations.

Wannabe Hacks: Must-Have Phone Apps for Journalists
Links galore.

Five Things to Know About How Younger Generations Consume Media

BBC: Writing for Mobile

Video: Smartphone Photography Tips and Tricks
A three-minute video with cool tricks.

A phone app billed as “The World’s Simplest Photo Animator.”

Our Mobile Planet
Create charts of mobile usage and other stats in up to 48 countries.

Using Your Phone for iPhone Reporting
A Storify of a Twitter chat on iPhone reporting. Good tips, links.

Poynter: Six Ways to Be a Good Mobile Editor

Newsroom.Tools: Mobile Journalism Tools

Mobile-First Journalism: A Top 10 List
Blog post by Damon Kiesow, former mobile editor at the Boston Globe.

100 Best iPhone Apps of All-Time

Nick Garnett’s Mobile Journalism Blog
Great resources and tips from a mojo.

Create your own logo instantly.

Numerous App
Stores important numbers in your life and makes them visual.

A free app for high-risk journalists.

An iPad app that helps tell personal stories.

IJNET: Smartphone video shooting tips
Stores important numbers in your life and makes them visual.

Tips on Writing for Mobile Devices

10,000 Words: Why Journalists Shouldn’t Dismiss Google Glass
A Storify of a Twitter chat on iPhone reporting. Good tips, links. Could Google Glass Change Journalism?

Root Metrics
Search by ZIP code and find cell and data performance in your area. Great for studying dead zones and how your audience may (or may not) be accessing your content.

Great blog about shooting photos, video and audio using your iPhone.

Type in an address to get longitude/latitude. Also use it wit Twitter’s search to locate tweets in a specific area.

Easy Guide to Mobile Data Collection
Data viz, social media, verification and more.

Mobile-First Design Tips
Ideas on how to design for a small screen.

Seven Most Useful Mobile Apps for Journalists

Mashable: Seven Ways Journalists Can Use Foursquare
Great basic tips.
Turn your website, blog, YouTube page, etc. into a native mobile app with a few clicks.

Digital Dirty Dozen Tools and Apps for Journalists
Good list of basic apps and tools from Ohio State’s Doug Haddix.

The Ultimate iPhone Photography Guide
Good list of basic apps and tools from Ohio State’s Doug Haddix.

Video: Recording Great Audio on Your Smartphone
Great tips for journalists.
Webbys e-newsletter on mobile.

iPhone Photography shows us that the iPhone camera can produce great work when put in the right hands.

Tips on Using a Camera Phone

Mashable: Best Android Apps for Photo Editing

25 Cool Apps for Digital Nomads

Mobile First News

Global Mojo
A great mobile blog.

Mobile and social networking resources galore.

Silicon Alley Insider: Moblie

Reynolds Institute: Mobile Journalism Tools Guide
Great list of resources from Will Sullivan.

Nieman Lab: Making Data Viz Work on Mobile

Mobile Apps for Journalists
From Val Hoeppner.

Media-rich publishing to the web, e-books and mobile apps. Free site.

A mobile visual storytelling approach. Free in the Apple app store.

The safest way for journalists–and anyone–to communicate via mobile, and more than a million people are using it. Free in the Apple app store.

SLAM Mobile Toolkit for Journalists

GoMo News

The Pragmatic Bookshelf
Books, readings and other resources on building mobile sites (code mostly).

25 Essential iPad Apps for Journalists

TrueFilm Photo Editing App for Mobile

Open Buildings: Archiving the World’s Built Environment
Cool site that uses GPS to track where you are and feeds information to you about buildings around you, from an architectural perspective.

Mobile Apps Gallery
Government-created mobile apps on hundreds of topics and services, ranging from weather to public works.

From Arcivr, this app lets you build audio slideshows on your phone.

POP app
Sketch an idea for a mobile app on a piece of paper, use this app to make it interactive on an iPhone or iPad.
From First Look Media, global news delivered entirely through social media.

Smashing Hub: 10 Data Viz Inspirations for Mobile, Apps
Great examples and resources.

PBS MediaShift: News Apps to Watch in 2014
Great examples and resources.

Video: Mobile Journalism 101
Tips from a Newsday reporter.

YouTube Creators Academy
Primers, tips and training videos galore.

Mobile Tools for Video

Mobile Tools for Photos

MacStories: Must-Have 2014 iPad Apps

iPhone Photography School
A great blog about shooting better photos with the iPhone. Tips, examples, interviews with photogs.

ProPublica: Design Principles for News Apps
Create mobile and web apps without code.
Comment on videos and mark/discuss exact moments in a video.

Buffer: The Ideal Length of All Online Content

5 Things We Know About How Younger Generations Consume Media

App turns photos on your phone into cool story websites.

Add audio/music to those cool hyperlapse videos.

BBC: Writing Basics for Mobile

App-Building ToolsNote: These mobile app and responsive design building tools are from several sources, including Jeff Cutler. Visit his site at

Responsive Design Checker
Enter a web address to see if the site is responsive web design.

PBS Media Shift: Platforms for Educators to Share Student Work

A phone app billed as “The World’s Simplest Photo Animator.”
Build apps and e-reader publications.

The Internet in Real-Time
See how quickly content is generated with this real-time ticker. Very cool. Good teaching tool.

Content Curation Tools Supermap
Resources galore from Robin Good.

Embed Responsively
Allows you to embed video and other third-party apps for responsive design.
Create iPad magazines.

Like AppStudio, it converts a finished PDF file into a mobile- and tablet-friendly HTML5 website.
App-making tool.
Tool for building data visualizations on mobile.







Forbes: Best iPhone Camera Apps

Graphic and Links to Dozens of Cool Apps

Sencha Touch
First HTML5 mobile app framework.

Use this free tool to develop your smart phone app.

Use this free tool to develop your smart phone app.
Mobile content management system.
Great tool for creating mobile websites.

Screencasts on how to build code for apps.

Library of Javascript code.

Tool for encrypting IMs on mobile devices.

A push notification app.

How to Get Started with Drones

Dive into HTML 5

Feed your blog updates to your Twitter account using an RSS feed. Very cool.

Twitter Chat Etiquette
Great list of tips from Jennifer Hellum.

Build content across platforms. Great for mobile.

BBC: Tips for Using Your Smartphone as a Reporting Tool

9 Apps for Adding Text to Your Photos

What the Hashtag?
Look up what various hashtags mean in this database. Great for finding Twitter chats.

HTML5 Readiness
Test what code/features work in which browser. More web-driven than mobile, but it can be helpful.

12 iPhone Application Resources Mobile Apps
A handy list of which government agencies have mobile apps and mobile Web sites.

Ragan: 14 Apps That Will Jumpstart Your Writing

Other Helpful ToolsPoynter: Adding Mobile Video to Reporting Skill Set
Great tips from an online chat Poynter did in April 2013.

Gramfeed Instagram Search
Great tool. You can search by people, hashtag, location, etc.

Photoshop Killer
Test an image to see if it has been Photoshopped or altered in any way. Not perfect but a good start at evaluating news photos and authenticity.

MobiForms Developer
Develop mobile apps in HTML 5 with no programming. Download the software from this site.

Embed Responsively
Allows you to embed videos from YouTube and Vimeo, Maps from Google and photos from Instagram so they are responsive on your site and will resize on any device.

Video production and sharing tool. Works as an app as well.

For desktop and mobile. Create interactive videos.

Real-time social media/multimedia sharing app.

GEMMA: Geospatial Engine for Mass Mapping Applications
From Gemma: “allows you to create Google Maps with data from a number of different sources. It is possible to create maps with gemma with layers from MapTube, SurveyMapper, OpenStreetMap and from your own data. Gemma even has an accompanying iPhone app that lets you record observations on the go and then upload them to a gemma map.”

Build charts and share them in a social community.

Mobile app to organize screengrabs.

Real-time analytics of your site.

JournoGraphica: Editing Video on iPad

RJI Mobile First Symposium
Links, resources galore from 2014 conference.

Poynter: Five Ways Journalists Can Use Social Media to Cover the Middle East

Poynter Social Media Page

10 Ways Newspapers Are Using Pinterest

Fuck Yeah Journalism Tools: Mobile

Web Metrics Basics for Journalists

Recommended Apps for Journalists
Use these iPhone apps (many available on other smart phones) to transform your phone into a reporting tool. Suggestions? Let us know:

Social Media
It launched in December 2009 to much fanfare. It has some handy tabs for managing multiple accounts, but it’s not as easy to use as the Web-based version, which I use to manage six accounts. I find Tweetie 2’s interface to be much quicker and easier to use. And Hootsuite (at least the early versions) crashed and had a lot of bugs.
Twitter for iPhone (formerly Tweetie 2)
In my opinion, it’s the gold standard of Twitter management tools. It’s easy to retweet, scan your followers’ posts, your posts, add/delete followers, direct message, etc. I use this far more than I use Twitter itself.
This social bookmark site makes managing your links and pages easy. It’s free, and you can build a searchable database of resources for stories, term papers and other projects.
The iPhone app is even easier to use than the desktop version. Build an launch a chat on a specific topic in less than two minutes. Promote it over social media and imbed polls, video, audio and photos into the chat. Great for field reporting and user interaction. Nice tool for covering elections, sporting events and community meetings/events.Graphic: What Happens on the Internet Every 60 Seconds

Reporting ToolsHow to Take a Good iPhone Photo in the Dark

Top 10 Paid iPhone Apps for Photojournalists

Dragon Dictation
This app records short interviews or dictations and turns them into text. I’ve used it a few times and I like how it easily converts copy and drops it into an e-mail. But be warned with this tool and any other dictation: words run-together and are lost in translation. Won can be replaced by one. The context isn’t always clear. Plus, Dragon and other services, like Jott, struggle with accents and dialects. I would test this out a few times before trying it on a story.
Police Radio
This hasn’t caught on as much with newsrooms, but I think it will in the future. This app allows you to listen to police, fire and rescue and other emergency calls in several cities across the country, including Chicago. It may not be perfect, but it beats lugging a police scanner around.
iTalk and SpeakEasy
Easily convert audio interviews into sound bites for the Web. I prefer iTalk because you can wirelessly transmit audio from your phone to a nearby laptop without using a cable or e-mail. You just have to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
Great hyperlocal, geo-location site created by Chicago’s Adrian Holovaty. Look up public documents, news, reviews, photos and other information by ZIP code. It covers a limited number of cities, but it’s a great help for reporters or anyone covering a specific neighborhood. MSNBC has purchased the Everyblock site and app, by the way.
Google, Google Earth
Google’s app has voice-activated search. And Google Earth helps you find anything on the planet.
Maps/Maps Buddy
Maps Buddy works similar to AroundMe (see below). It’s helpful for finding businesses, addresses and other locations.
ZIP Finder
Not sure of a city or neighborhood’s ZIP? Find it here.

Cue Prompter
Teleprompter tool that works on mobile devices and on the web.

Reference and Helpful Tools

Great tool for converting heights, weights and other measurements. I use it several times a week along with the calculator. Great for quick fact-checking on stories, too.
I like the interface better than the WeatherChannel’s.
AP Stylebook
Messy interface, clunky and a waste of $30. Using the reference book is much faster … and better! Don’t buy this app.

Easily file a short text post for your blog, but longer posts will tire your fingers quickly. It’s good if you have no computer readily available, but I don’t do a lot of mobile blogging.

News media are finding new ways to use this location-based app.
See FourSquare.
Another great app for journalists who travel. This shows you where restaurants, bars, hotels, coffee shops, banks and (yes) Apple stores are based on your location. I’ve used it several times while on the road. It shows you locations, maps, walking distances, etc. Very similar to MapsBuddy. I prefer both to the Where app. Just friendlier interfaces.
Contact any cab service based on your geo-location. This one costs a couple of bucks, but it’s worth it for any reporter in an urban area.
Helpful for journalists who travel. I’ve found it to be very accurate for my flights the few times I’ve used it.

Photography and Photo Editing
Photoshop Mobile
Editing and effects that the iPhone camera won’t let you do. It’s only basic edits, but if you’re working as a backpack journalist or filing a mobile report, this is a handy tool.
Photo Forge
Has some of the same tools that Photoshop Mobile has. I used this app up until the Photoshop app became available.
PhoneGrafer, Snapture, CameraBag, Camera Zoom
Zoom and add various lenses and features to your iPhone camera shoots. Choose one or two as you see fit. PhoneGrafer is my favorite as it offers many settings and effects, and has a built-in level to make sure your shot is true. PhoneGrafer usually costs a few bucks, but I picked it up for free during a holiday sale. Keep any eye out for a deal in the iTunes store.

Video and Audio Recording/Editing/Streaming
Sort of a mini-Final Cut Pro for iPhone video. You can add lower thirds, transitions like cross dissolves and other features to your video, then post to the Web. If you shoot/post a lot of video, get this. It offers many more editing features than the basic iPhone camera/video interface. Money well-spent.
Originally 1st Video, this app also records audio and works with still images. It allows you to edit video and audio but does not allow you to enter lower-thirds onto your video like ReelDirector does.
New to the iPhone 4, this app allows you to edit video on your phone. So far, it has received rave reviews.
This app lets you stream live video from you iPhone video camera straight to your Ustream channel. I use a Ustream channel with my DePaul journalism classes:
Move videos straight to the Internet from your camera.
Great tool with iPhone 4.0’s camera.
Create podcasts up to five minutes on your mobile device and post. It includes geolocation and photo features.

News Apps
Fluent New, NewsFeed and Byline
Good Really Simple Syndication apps. Fluent is the best in that it retains the branding of each feed site so you know what outlet you’re looking at.
NY Times, CNN, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, NPR News, AP Mobile
Must-haves. All have nice interfaces. NPR’s is particularly nice. AP and CNN have mobile alerts on top headlines daily.
Terrible Web site but a great app from the people who created Shuffle through a collection of videos produced by University of Missouri journalism students that summarize how various media outlets covered a specific issue or top.
ABC News and
Both have some nice features, but they don’t live up to their Web sites. I would choose one but not both.

The best out there, hands-down. Radio and TV feeds from games anywhere, any time.
ESPN Score Center
Not impressed.
I prefer the scoreboards to ESPN ScoreCenter. They download much quicker.
Yahoo! Sportacular
An easy-to-use interface with alerts, news, standings and scores from every sport imaginable. It has some great soccer coverage.
ESPN Radio
Listen to local broadcasts in larger markets, or tap in to the national feed. Very user friendly and great sound.
AOL Radio
Listen to many CBS Radio stations, including many popular sports stations, and other regional/local broadcasts.

Pandora, Slacker Radio, WunderRadio
If you’re tired of listening to your iPod, this is a nice break.
Made famous by the Apple ad, this app identifies recorded music by musician, title and links you to the iTunes store to buy it.

Wine Snob
Red or white with that steak and lobster? This will pair it with food, cheese, etc.
Urban Daddy
Nightlife tips galore.
Find out who delivers.
Break up arguments among those annoying people who can’t figure out how much to leave. This calculator makes it easy.
Urban Spoon
Shake and find a restaurant near your geo-location.
Funny. Offers suggestions on what point of a movie you can use the restroom … and not miss a key scene.