Two Great Online Journalism Tools

Feb 18, 2009 at 08:36 am by staff

As we say in Tennessee, we are smack dab in the middle of convention season. Here in the states, most press associations conduct their conventions sometime between late January and late April. In Canada, they tend to come a little later, around April and May.

As convention season approaches, I tend to do a lot of research to prepare new information. Last week, in Indianapolis, I addressed the publishers of the state on my latest topic titled, “Online Journalism II: The Sequel.” Over the past two years, my most request convention topic has been related to converging media. Now that media has converged, it seems like the right time to take a look at where we are and where we’re headed.

During my research over the past few months, I’ve become increasingly aware of the changes that have overtaken our industry in a short period of time. Online newspapers, rare just a few years ago, are now the norm. Audio slideshows and videos, unheard of on newspaper sites three years ago, are now the norm.

As many of you have shared with me, trying to keep up with the options available to online newspapers is nearly impossible. In my research, I’ve come across several tools, available to newspapers of all sizes, that could take your Web site to the next level. Here are two of them: When the news broke of Illinois governor Blagojevich’s arrest, Chicago Tribune complemented their extensive original reporting with a roundup of coverages from journalists and blogs around the Web. The Tribune used a Publish2 newsgroup to dynamically update the page as the story evolved, creating one of the most popular collections of Blagojevich news on the web.

What does this mean to a paper that doesn’t have the staff of Chicago Tribune? The same thing it meant to them. Publish2 is free to journalists and newsrooms. Select a topic and see a listing of what others are writing. If you see something of interest, include it on your own Web site or, if you want to automate the operation, Publish2 stories and blogs can be updated automatically.

Angela Dice is Web editor and food lover at the Kitsup Sun in Kitsup County, Washington. On the newspaper Web site, she writes, “In addition to cooking and eating, I also find myself reading a lot of great articles and blogs posts elsewhere on the Internet. I run across interesting food tidbits, recipes and more and I get so excited by some of them that I want to share.

So, as a way to share some of the more interesting things I’m reading, I’m using this tool for journalists called Publish2 that lets me bookmark and share stories and comments on them after I read them. You can find it on the right-hand column of this blog under ‘Food Stories’ under the ‘More Stuff’ heading.”

Tom Chester, Director of Newsroom Operations at the News Sentinel in Knoxville, Tennessee tells me one of their most visited areas was created using Publish2. When the University of Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer resigned in November, gathered stories and blogs from newspapers throughout the United States using Publish2 and created a place for visitors to go when they wanted more information.

According to Tom, this made the place to go if you were looking for information about Fulmer. Hits increased dramatically as a result of Web surfers searching for this information. To learn more about this free service, visit

Did you ever wonder how those big newspapers get live video streaming on their sites? Wonder no more. Mogulus is a service used by many newspaper and television Web sites, among others, to broadcast live video. Users can use the Mogulus browser-based Studio application to create live, scheduled and on-demand internet streaming to broadcast on your Web site.

The Mogulus player can be embedded on most Web sites. Simply customize the player and paste the code into the HTML editor on the site where you wish to embed it. Then, using a webcam or cellphone, you’re ready to broadcast live video to the masses. Press conferences, county commission meetings and more can be streamed live to your community.

Mogulus comes in two flavors: The free, which is ad supported, and Pro, which requires payment for usage. For more information, visit


or Register to post a comment