Top 5 Narrative Journalism Resources–Digital Edition

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Last week, I discussed a few of my favorite print resources for narrative journalists. This week, we’ll get more high-tech with online and computerized resources to help you tell the stories around you. So without further ado:

#1: The iPad + Tiny Keyboard Combo

I swore I’d never get a tablet. Ever. But then I was out running around reporting everywhere, needing to type and submit stories on the go. Carrying my laptop a) hurt my back, and b) seemed like an expensive theft waiting to happen. So I caved and handed Apple some of my precious, grad school income. And it’s been a great investment so far.

Typing on the iPad’s screen is enough to drive anyone a little crazy, but once you pair it with a lightweight, bluetooth keyboard, you can type all your 500-word plus stories with ease. Bonus: You can record decent video, take pretty good pictures, and capture adequate audio from your iPad less awkwardly than you can from a laptop.

#2: TweetDeck/HootSuite

When you start using Twitter to follow news events or multiple feeds/tags, you start cursing Twitter’s homepage and start looking for something like this:

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I’m partial to TweetDeck, though I have HootSuite for the iPad.  Not only can you follow multiple streams, you can monitor multiple accounts if you have them. You can tweet, RT, edit and RT, tweet photos/videos, and schedule tweets to publish throughout the day/week/month. Without this, I would cry.

#3: Instapaper

This amazing website and app has become essential to my research and backgrounding. Find a cool website that gives you all helpful info to your piece on foreclosures while you’re on the school’s computer? Just click the little “Read Later” applet in your favorite bar, and you can get to it from home, or your phone, or your tablet…It’s genius. You can actually save to different folders too, so you can keep all the online resources for one story in one place.

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Bonus: Find an article that you are dying to read, but can’t get to it now because you’re working? Instapaper will actually let you download a PDF file to your phone/eReader/tablet so you can read it on the go without running up your data usage bill.

#4: SoundNote

This handy iPad app lets you record audio while taking notes. Plus, it syncs your notes to the audio. No, I’m not kidding. This is real.

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Say you want to double-check that direct quote from your source? No need to slog through the entire half-hour of interview to find it. Just go to that spot on your notes and press play. Bonus: Since you’re typing these notes and not handwriting them, you can actually read them.

#5 Really Helpful Websites

There are loads of useful journalism websites, but here are a few that I just keep returning to over and over again:

Those are some of my favorite tech-related journo tools. What are some of yours? Let us know and leave a comment. Thanks!