Online News Tools

This list is from, what, 2008? Seriously, move along. There are better sources for this information.

A short list.

This isn’t meant to be all-encompassing, but it’s a good starting point for any exploration of the wide range of tools and toys available to the online journalist.  For more, check out the Tools You Can Use group at Wired Journalists.

The copious majority of these tools are free, hosted, and embeddable, which means you don’t need a Web developer to use these.  You don’t need your own servers.  You don’t need to know a lick of code, you just need to know how to copy and paste.



  • Free, embeddable, great Flash interface for building maps with overlays, data import.
  • Free, embeddable, users can add their own points. Supports HTML embed of images, video, etc. in each map popup.
  • Free, embeddable, use as a simple locater map or use the “MyMaps” feature to build your own map to embed.
  • Static Map Wizard: A free tool to help you create a static image of a Google Map.  Use this as a simple locator map online.

Data visualization

  • Free and easy visualization of the words used on any Web site — or in any text.  Paste the mayor’s “State of the City” speech here to get an idea of what she spoke about.


  • Built by a photojournalist, this is the granddaddy of simple audio slideshow creation tools. Priced from $40 to $70, with lots of examples, support, and ideas available around the Web and at news sites everywhere. The fatal flaw is that these aren’t embeddable: You’re going to need some server space to host the final product.
  • Free, embeddable slideshows with plenty of flavors and accessories.
  • Wild little free, embeddable music video creation tool.
  • Creative organization of photos, audio, video, links, especially in the “collage” tool.


Live streaming video

  • Free, embeddable, records from your browser, viewers can chat live, add their own streams.
  • Free, embeddable, scheduling and archiving of shows.
  • Live mobile video streaming.  Shoot video with your mobile phone and stream it live.
  •  As mobile-as-you-are streaming, very professional look and feel, RSS ticker, live mixing of video, audio, stills.


  •  Audacity is free audio editing software.  Consider this a free alternative to Garage Band, with the basic features required to turn raw audio into an mp3 file.
  • Record audio from your mobile phone and feed it live to Twitter or an RSS feed you can take anywhere.
  • Dial-in to record a phone call straight to an RSS feed.


  • SproutBuilder.comFree, embeddable Flash presentations built in a WYSIWYG tool that requires zero programming skills to use. [UPDATE: As of Feb. 1, 2009, this will cost more than I’m willing to pay.  Looking for a replacement… Have a suggestion?]

11 thoughts on “Online News Tools”

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