Innovation Tools JMC 494: Honors Contract


ATs Weather


Meteorology is an experience for all to enjoy with ATs Weather. Weatherman Aaron Tulttle of ABC Tulsa created the free app to take users beyond dull temperature predictions. You can learn about everything from dew points and humidity levels to air pressure. Maps show incoming weather fronts. A blog discusses environmental threats and newly set records. Simple navigation but also a tutorial. It incorporates Road Angel roadside assistance service, though membership comes at a fee. Pop-up ads distract from app. Journalists with a future in meteorology/storm chasing: check it out.

Personal Use: To help me prepare for a possible future in meteorology I use ATs Weather to become familiar with the lingo of this field. Its shown me what to look out for and how to keep my audience engaged.

Social Media Management



Manage your time and social media with Hootsuite. With a layout similar to that of Twitter, Hootsuite allows you to manage media activity, schedule postings, write content and search trends. Users monitor viewer traffic through analytical reports. The app is free and works on mobile devices or desktops. I didn’t need the free training; the tool explained itself. Upgrade plans are available for professionals with more advanced needs. Some users have complained of Facebook malfunctions. Journalists might want to try it.

Personal Use: I plan on using Hootsuite to schedule blog posts and social media updates. It is important to maintain a flow of content to keep audience engaged and growing.




Politifact’s Settle It app hopes to make awkward political arguments a thing of the past. A project of the Tampa Bay Times, the independent organization’s goal is to bring truth to politics. Facts undergo a thorough process before being rated on a “truth-o-meter.” Users filter facts by topic, speaker or what is trending. Compile a favorites list and digitally share facts with peers. Skeptical about a recent claim? Submit a fact you want checked. Conservatives say the app has a liberal tilt, but Settle It “shows its work” so you can judge.

Personal Use: Most journalists cover politics at some point throughout their careers. Though I do not solely rely on this source, PolitiFact is a point of reference when consuming political news I will continue to use.


PromptSmart Lite


Master the art of public speaking with PromptSmart Lite. Users have a personal teleprompter at their fingertips for $3.99. Adjust font size and scrolling options, type scripts, or upload them from Google Drive, Dropbox or elsewhere. Text moves at your natural speaking pace due to voice-recognition. Learn diction and pace. Share audio files with colleagues. Though not economical in my view, an upgrade plan of $14.99 provides more customization. Broadcast journalists: use this to practice.

Personal Use: This app has helped me rehearse my scripts for The Cronkite File. Though most broadcast journalists do not get to practice before filming, PromptSmart Lite helps me get comfortable reading from a teleprompter and pacing myself.


RCFP First Aid


RCFP’s free First Aid app targets journalism issues for both national or neighborhood reporters. It offers quick answers to legal questions that arise when covering news. Topics range from public records to source confidentiality. The Reporters Committee provides a hotline for legal questions. The app encourages users to create an iFOIA account to request federal/state records. Since the release of First Aid Version 2.0 in 2013, it has not been updated. Though it is not as interactive as its partner app, Covering Schools, it still removes legal roadblocks.

Personal Use: I learned several laws while reading through this app I will apply throughout my time as a student reporter. RCFP's First Aid will come in handy as it is essential to know the state-by-state journalism laws.

Fashion Journalism

Vogue Runway


Find today’s fashion frenzies in one place - Vogue Runway. This free app, which calls itself “digital front row to fashion week,” gives users a peek into new design trends. Filters show brand, fashion show, or season. Vogue gives fashionistas ample videos of designers and models. Ipad users have access to more photos and content. Simple to navigate. Could be more interactive with sharing abilities and options suited to individual users. Always keeps fashion journalists/bloggers in the “know.”

Personal Use: This is one of my new favorite apps. Vogue Runway provides a sneak-peek in to the up-and-coming fashion scene, giving me inspiration for blog posts and social media content.

Created By
Emily Taylor


Created with images by sethink - "lightning storm weather" • Deep Owl - "ready for your closeup?" • NinaZed - "Maxwell"

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