‘Dirty Dozen’ digital apps for journalists goes viral

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A packed house at the Dirty Dozen workshop at Excellence in Journalism.

Late last spring when I was brainstorming workshop proposals for Excellence in Journalism 2014, I decided to visit a theme that successful trainers had been drawing from for the past few years.

I admit the plan for Digital Dirty Dozen wasn’t original, just maybe a clever modification on the many sessions I’ve sat through in which digital media experts have shared their favorite apps and programs.

EIJ14, the combined national conventions for the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio, Television and Digital News Association, would have more than 80 programs, and making the cut requires guile and progressive thinking. Going this route of the tried and true was risky.

But, after sitting though one particular session at another convention where the speaker attempted to show off 100 journalism “must-haves,” I decided that Kiplinger could do this with a little more pizazz and less blitzkrieg.

So, the Digital Dirty Dozen was born. When I told Kiplinger Director Doug Haddix we were on the hook for this if it was accepted, he raised an eyebrow. When we got word it was accepted, both eyebrows were raised. We were both a little skeptical since neither of us had gone this route. But, we were confident we could do it well.

The plan was to split the dozen into the various elements of story building – research, reporting, video, photography, etc. Doug took six that best suited his expertise, and I took the six I best could represent. The angst built.

We didn’t expect the showing we received at EIJ14 – a standing room-only crowd of about 100 people. They traveled with us as we covered a dozen digital media tools in our 70-minute presentation. The reviews came quickly and were positive.

Six weeks removed from EIJ14, our Digital Dirty Dozen is available online and has been downloaded nearly 4,000 times. Off the charts. We have a hit that we will continue to work on.

If you have any suggestions for other key news apps, please share them with us at Kiplinger@osu.edu. We don’t want to rest on our laurels.




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