The Year’s Best Social Media Tools for Journalists

    by Margaret Looney
    January 2, 2014
    Original graphic by SalFalko and used here with Creative Commons license.
    Click the image for the full series. Photo illustration by wildfox76 via Flickr Creative Commons.

    Click the image for the full series.
    Photo illustration by wildfox76 via Flickr Creative Commons.

    It’s no surprise that social media are on the rise. For example, 59 percent of journalists across 15 countries use Twitter in 2013, compared to 47 percent last year, according to the Oriella Digital Journalism Study.

    "The more that journalists use social media, the more tools pop up to help them."

    The more that journalists use social media, the more tools pop up to help them search multiple platforms at once, showcase content in a new way, follow social media chatter by location and more.


    Here are IJNet’s top picks of social media tools we’ve covered this year:

    1. Rebelmouse

    mouse-beta-inviteRebelMouse is a social media aggregator that culls content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr, RSS feeds and more, organized on your own RebelMouse page. You can filter content by hashtag, keyword and more, or embed your RebelMouse feed directly to your own CMS.

    Newsrooms like Al Jazeera America, the Guardian and NBC News have used the tool to feature user-generated content, live-blog breaking news, engage with their communities, build personal portfolios and showcase a more personal side of the newsroom. IJNet also had some fun setting up its own RebelMouse page, which automatically gathers any training opportunity or blog post that we tweet throughout the day. Learn more about the tool here.


    2. Storyful Multisearch

    Storyful Multisearch is an open source tool that lets journalists search multiple social media platforms at once as a Google Chrome browser extension. Once you search for a keyword, you’ll receive results from Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Storyful News, Storyful Viral and Spokeo, with each result showing up in a different tab. Facebook search is currently not supported.

    Markham Nolan, managing editor for news services at Storyful, said prominent newsrooms have embraced the platform. “We’ve had feedback from journalists in the Wall Street Journal and Al Jazeera, to name just a few, who have said that it’s been a big help,” he told IJNet. Learn more about the tool here. (Note: Storyful was recently purchased by News Corp.)

    3. Geofeedia

    geofeediassGeofeedia focuses on where news is happening, curating posts from Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Picasa or Instagram around a certain location. Many of these platforms provide the geographical whereabouts of the user by default, so each tweet, post or pic is often accompanied by coordinates. Geofeedia gathers this geo-located content for its newsroom subscribers to search for breaking news coverage, finding sources on the ground or finding user-generated content.

    Journalists can search by location, keyword, time frame, social media platform, user and other terms, but the results are unfiltered, meaning all social media chatter around a specific area will show up in search terms even if it’s not related to the breaking news event at hand. Learn more about the tool here.

    4. Topsy

    Topsy is a powerful social search tool which features an archive of all tweets since Twitter began in 2006, featuring more than 400 billion pieces of content. To make sense of it all, Topsy uses a ranking system that considers how often a piece of content is cited by others.

    You can also search through links, photos, videos, your top influencers or social trends in 10 languages, or track content across the web with Topsy’s analytics tool. For more information, click here.

    IJNet Editorial Assistant Margaret Looney writes about the latest media trends, reporting tools and journalism resources.

    ijnetlogoThis post originally appeared on the The International Journalists’ Network’s site, IJNet.org. IJNet helps professional, citizen and aspiring journalists find training, improve their skills and make connections. IJNet is produced by the International Center for Journalists in seven languages—Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish—with a global team of professional editors. Subscribe to IJNet’s free, weekly newsletter. You can also follow IJNet on Twitter or like IJNet on Facebook.

    Tagged: ijnet journalism and social media social media social media tools

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