Research/Reporting

Hypothesis

☀☀☀☀ Hypothesis is a free nonprofit Google Chrome extension designed “to enable conversations about “the world’s knowledge.” Annotate web pages and PDF files, and discuss content directly on the content itself. Installing the tool and creating an account is easy and worth it. Though Genius offers competition, Hypothesis holds its own, allowing users to organize their research quickly. Journalists working on stories can use Genius add personal notes to their source material and hear what others say about the same research. Nisa Ayral

Dictionary.com

☀ ☀ ☀ ☀☀ Dictionary.com brings a dictionary and a thesaurus to your phone. You can star favorite words and save a word list. A translation feature includes more than 25 languages. Audio pronunciations help you learn new words. Install the offline dictionary to search for words anywhere, any time. A word of the day pops up to greet you. Dictionary.com’s database includes more than two million definitions, synonyms and antonyms. The blog gives fun word facts (the difference between “no good” and “not good,” for example) as well as grammar tips. Download the app for iPhones or Androids. Sarah Hunt

Journalism Dictionary SMART Guide

☀☀☀☀☀ Journalism Dictionary SMART Guide defines more than 1,000 journalism terms from 13 categories. Just hit play to hear a definition. Quizzes can be taken to test your knowledge. I discovered the word ‘Flash’ in the Radio category. Definition: “short news story on a new event.” User reviews praise the app (one of several journalism dictionary apps out there). It also offers in-app purchases. For $2.99 you receive 800 more terms. The app is free, available on iPhones. Julia Bashaw

 

Fake News Monitor

☀☀☀ Fake News Monitor is a free browser plug-in available only on Google Chrome. It helps identify unreputable web pages. The tool uses research from Alexa.com, third party blacklists and MBFC News. It generates a 1-10 “trustworthiness” score for each web site. If the site is  unreliable (under 5), a red “X” appears in the status bar.  If the site is deemed reliable (between 8-10) a green check mark appears. (Yellow indicates a score of 6 or 7.)  Reviews are mixed. Some users say the data is inaccurate while others say they couldn’t live without it. — Dillion Eddie

ESPN Fantasy Sports

☀☀☀☀The revitalized ESPN Fantasy Sports app is much more accessible. In years past, ESPN had separate apps for every fantasy sport, but now one application encompasses all of your teams, not just football. For sports fans and fantasy fans, this app is available on all mobile platforms. Fantasy sports have become a part of the lives of many sports journalists, and one app to house all information is a boon to journalists seeking immediate knowledge. — Cole Feinbloom

Trello

☀☀☀☀ Trello is a way to organize your work. It separates projects into “boards” filled with “cards” containing facts and links on particular items. I could see Trello being used by journalists to organize their “beats” or keep editors on track with story development. Reporters could create Trello boards with updates on interviews. Users can open cards and add comments, upload files, create lists, add deadlines and labels. Trello does come at a cost but is free to download from the app store. It’s a handy tool for staying organized. — Scotty Bara

Whitepages

☀☀ Whitepages is a public record service with more than 200 million registered households and businesses. Get a phone number, or look up a phone number to get a name and addresses. The downside: Whitepages costs money, even if you want to access basic information. I was not able to access a phone number and address when I typed in a name in the search bar. The Whitepages app is free to download on the Apple and Google play store. — Scotty Bara

Pushbullet

☀☀ Pushbullet bills itself as a way to share links and files between different devices, but its design more closely resembles messenger apps such as Skype chat or Line. There’s a limited selection of third party “channels” that send you notifications about things such as Google acquisitions. Alternatives such as Pocket and Google Drive are much better at saving content. — Chris McCrory

Newsela

☀☀☀☀ Newsela teaches news literacy by providing journalism tailored to an individual’s reading level. The news starts at around a fourth-grade reading level and goes up to a Lexile level of more than 1300 (roughly college level). There are optional quizzes to check a student’s  comprehension. Newsela was praised for its ability to cover the 2016 presidential election in terms young students could understand. Journalists can use this tool to promote news literacy in the schools. (And to understand different reading levels). — Hailey Koebrick

Steller

☀☀☀☀ Steller allows you to create multimedia stories. Using photos and videos from your camera roll, the app creates a flipbook-style work of art. Available on Google Play and the App Store, Steller allows journalists to embrace the digital era through photographic storytelling. Visual storytellers will appreciate a multitude of themes, and within the themes, customizable layout and text. OnMedia says the app may be best for “picture-driven stories attracting the more ‘visual reader’ on a quick commute.” For multimedia journalists, this is a prime way to tell your story. — Cole Feinbloom

☀☀☀☀☀ Steller: storytelling with a modern twist. Create multimedia stories on any topic with photos, videos, text and trendy designs.The app’s layout is similar to Instagram’s. Users follow, like, comment and share. You can embed your creations to blogs, websites and various media accounts. A product of Mombo Labs LLC, the app’s own design is simple and sweet. Named one of the App Store’s best apps of 2014 by Apple, Steller’s current version (4.3.3) has an average five-star rating. Journalists looking to enhance social media presence: this is for you. —Emily Taylor