Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Photography and visual journalism

Covering news issues with comics: 7 good questions with Jake Halpern

Experimenting with visual storytelling formats can allow a newsroom to rise above the clutter by taking a fresh angle to news topics. Last January, The New York Times did that by launching Welcome to the New World, a fully reported graphic narrative. It is the first series of its kind, according to editor Bruce Headlam. […]

His photos are striking and real. But is Chris Arnade a journalist?

A former Wall Street banker, Arnade quit his cushy gig, and now his full-time, poorly-paid gig is driving his light-blue minivan around the country to photograph its poorest places. His photos and articles are regularly published on The Guardian, but his primary outlet remains social media, where he posts photos, comments, rants, and thoughts often […]

A tool called MapHub helps easily create interactive maps

MapHub is a free, online tool that can help create interactive maps to accompany stories. Users can import their own data into MapHub, or search by location. MapHub also includes text labels, the ability to add multiple points of interest, and including routes between locations on the map.’s Mădălina Ciobanu outlines how to use […]

12 useful Instagram features you may not be using

Mashable’s Raymond Wang rounds up some useful Instagram features even the most seasoned Instagrammers may not be using. Some useful features for news organizations: Link other social media accounts to Instagram to share posts throughout your network, select your own cover image for Instagram videos to get more clicks, and use Instagram’s standalone apps for […]

NPR studies what makes people start and finish visual stories

Using data from Google Analytics, the NPR visuals team analyzed how people interact with its stories and what elements get people to finish reading (or watching) a story. The lessons from their analysis: Clear calls to action that tell the reader to do something, like “go” or “begin,” have higher start rates, and people were […]

How Fusion is automating the process of collecting and tagging images from the 2016 election

Fusion’s Political Image Machine captures every image the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a process that Fusion has automated. Fusion is using a product called Clarifai to assign automatic tags to the almost 70,000 images, which uses a deep learning algorithm and allows images to be added in real-time. […]

The New York Times wants its first virtual reality film ‘The Displaced’ to be ‘the moment when VR went mainstream’

After delivering more than a million pre-assembled cardboard virtual reality viewers to readers, The New York Times wants people to see its first virtual reality film “The Displaced” as “the moment when VR went mainstream.” NYT says the launch of its virtual reality app was the most successful NYT app launch ever, with more downloads […]

How publishers are using original illustrations to enhance stories

Instead of using stock photos, more publishers are using original illustrations to accompany their stories, Laura Hazard Owen writes. Fusion’s art director Kent Hernandez says they usually use illustrations or animations for stories where the topic is abstract or complex and separate pieces of art are created for social media: “We are living in a […]

How newspapers in Alabama, Florida are making use of their photo archives to inform readers and engage communities

“Newspapers may provide the proverbial ‘first rough draft of history,’” Susannah Nesmith writes, “but when history moves on, are there still ways to mine value from all that accumulated material, much of it sitting in dusty file cabinets?” The Miami Herald and Alabama Media Group, which includes The Birmingham News and The Huntsville Times, are […]

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