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The 10 Most-Used Tools in Today’s Newsrooms

In the very early days of building Sonr*, we talked to newsrooms all over New York City and London to get a sense of what tools journalists are currently using to get the job done. Some of these newsrooms were more traditional than others, but we found that there was a core set of digital tools that most writers and editors couldn’t get through the day without. Let us know what you think, or if this list is missing anything in the comments!

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New Tools Open Up Virtual Reality to Journalists

When Gustavo Cerati, a legendary Argentinian musician and songwriter, was asked to share his best advice for new musicians, he refused—saying instead that “experiences are not transferable.” You may agree or may not with his statement, but if you’ve ever worn an Oculus Rift or a similar virtual reality (VR) headset, you’ll know we are getting closer and closer to transferable experiences.

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A Media Resource Center for the Rio Olympics

On Thursday, June 30, a group of journalists met at a house in Botafogo in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro for a full day of training in the city’s access to information laws, followed by a debate on transparency in the context of the upcoming Olympics. “We wanted to do something before the Olympics on access to information, because so many people don’t know how the system works,” explained Mariana Simões, manager of Casa Pública.

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A Tour Of Aleph, A Data Search Tool For Reporters

In a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, the Aleph is a point in space that contains all others. To those who see it, it presents the entire universe at once -- an investigative reporter's dream. Over the past six months, I've been working for OCCRP to produce a tool named after this mythical object. It's based on a prototype I hacked up as part of my 2014 Knight International Journalism Fellowship, and it has now grown into a data research tool as part of the Investigative Dashboard.

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Top Ten #ddj: The Week’s Most Popular Data Journalism Links

What's the data-driven journalism crowd tweeting? Here are top links for July 7-11: Our World in Data (@MaxCRoser); narrating networks (@JWYG); sentences off the grid (@edwardtufte); FiveThirtyEight's ddj workflow with R (@FiveThirtyEight); Netzwerk Recherche conference video (@spreerunde); & more.

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“Keep Moving Forward” — Ideas for African Media

For the image on her new Twitter account, Congolese journalist Nanythe Talani features part of a quote by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “If you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

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When Virtual Reality Meets Data Journalism

Isn’t the best journalism always immersive? Whether it’s Walter Kronkite’s journalistic take on history “You are There” from the 1950s or Declan Walsh’s mobile phone reporting from Syria in June, the best journalism makes you feel like you are part of the story. You care what happens. Virtual Reality is a powerful tool in making journalism more immersive to its readers and increasingly it’s becoming an essential part of the journalist’s toolkit. There are great examples of reporters using VR, such as the work of VR pioneer Nonny de la Peña, The Guardian’s 6×9 exploration of solitary confinement, or the Berliner Morgenpost’s exploration of life as a refugee.

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Top Ten #ddj: The Week’s Most Popular Data Journalism Links

What's the data-driven journalism crowd tweeting? Here are top links for June 23-30: Brexit data (@webk1d & @timesredbox); Aleph data search tool (@pudo); spatial data (@enjalot); digital startups & human rights (@dw_akademie); humanizing data and Mexico's missing women (@gijn).