Tools for better accountability journalism

Creating charts, videos and interactives to enhance fact-checking and accountability reporting doesn’t need to involve a huge staff and expensive equipment. Here are some free or inexpensive tools and software that can help you create fact- and data-dominated presentations.

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An Adobe Illustrator script that turns illustrator documents into HTML and CSS — important for designers on a deadline. Here’s an example.


A Google Documents-based markup language developed by The New York Times to make it faster and easier to render text into interactive graphics. Try it out in the sandboxHere’s an example.


Reporters and others who aren’t designers can easily create images, like quote cards. Here’s an example.


A startup designed to create “cards” and link them to appropriate content on your website. Here’s an example.  


Produce better-quality videos on your phone. Users can edit audio and video within the phone and move it directly to a server. Here’s an example.


Create “context card” that can link to each other and other content. From MIT Media Lab. Here’s an example.


A tool that lets you annotate any page on the internet. Perfect for transcripts, document dumps and speeches. Here’s an example.


An annotation tool that allows group editing. Here’s an example.


Post photos from ongoing stories, run interactive campaigns, gather feedback and collect donations. Here’s an example.


Create interactive maps without coding. Here’s an example.


The Associated Press is using this Microsoft tool to create visuals from data, even on deadline. Here’s an example.


Journalists can enhance transparency and understanding by providing transcripts of interviews. This tool helps convert audio recordings to text that can be edited for clarity. Here’s an example.


Annotate graphics, videos and photos; works with social media platforms. Here’s an example.


Make interactive timelines that include photos, videos and links to other content. Here’s an example.


Several news organizations have used this interactive video platform that allows viewers to choose a “path” in the video presentation. Here’s an example.