Kevin Smith outlines ‘Digital Dirty Dozen’

SPJ Louisiana is publishing articles written by University of Louisiana at Lafayette chapter members who attended the SPJ Region 12 conference in New Orleans.


Kevin Smith, deputy director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at The Ohio State University, itemized his list of new digital tools available for journalists to a packed audience at the SPJ JournCamp and Region 12 conference.

About 100 people packed the room to hear Kevin Smith detail the “Digital Dirty Dozen.” Photo by ROBERT BUCKMAN

Smith compiled the list together with Doug Haddix, director of the Kiplinger Program. They call it the “Digital Dirty Dozen.” The categories are: research, notes, social media, newsgathering, monitoring, audio, crowd sourcing, photo/video, data mining, video editing, mapping and sharing.

For notetaking, Smith recommended Dragon Dictation, but he admonished the audience, “Don’t stop taking notes.”

Among the new digital video tools, Smith highlighted the use of the iWatch. For photo, he cited ProCamera 8 + HDR.

The hottest new tool in video editing, he said, is Videolicious, and he said Poynter has made a demonstration available that is “quick and easy.” He also recommended iMovie, and stressed its simplicity.

The social media, he said, are essential now for sharing information, noting that newsrooms are increasingly monitoring Twitter to see who is tweeting and who is being retweeted.

About 100 people packed the room to hear Kevin Smith detail the “Digital Dirty Dozen.” Photo by ROBERT BUCKMAN

Smith also praised Instagram, citing its caption blogging and calling it “a unique way to take a visual platform and create many stories. This is a great opportunity to create great visual art and share it in a way that people can read it.”

For news gathering, he recommended StoryCheck; for monitoring, HootSuite; for mapping, MapAList; and for data mining,

He concluded by listing “stuff” for handy references, such as tables and converters for such things as converting foreign currencies to dollars or kilometers to miles. He also noted the AP style book is available in digital form.

He pointed out Fyuse, a three-dimensional tool, and Bubbli, which provides a 360-degree panoramic photo.

For complete information on the Digital Dirty Dozen, Smith invited interested journalists to contact him at


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