When I first started in TV News, I made a handwritten list of go-to websites for tips and tricks related to geography, math and the statistics most journalists hate to track down.
I’ve transferred that list into some great bookmarks on all of my Apple devices. I’ve shared a few of the best links that have helped me enhance stories and develop great ‘break-out’ angles that help the viewer understand why they should care.
I won’t give you all my secrets, but the links below will be a good resource in helping you write better content.
– City Data: This site was recommended to me by Randy Wardell, a former colleague who helped me become a much better writer and producer. You’ll find everything from basic information to detailed breakdowns of demographics for most cities, towns and pretty much any other area in the United States.
– Florida’s Counties: Here’s a great resource for everyone working in Florida provided by Enterprise Florida. It gives you great details about the local economy. Keep in mind, the facts aren’t always current (many times they’re pulled from the most recent Census report).
– RefDesk.com: This is an awesome site with a lot of links. You have to do the work to find your info, but I really consider this a must-have on every producer or reporter’s bookmark list.
– Journalism Resources: This is a great list of online style guides, converters, calculators, fact-finders, encyclopedias and geopolitical resources. Check it out. You’ll find some gems here for other links too.
– Age Calculator: You’ve got a mug shot and a birthdate, however, you’re not a mathlete on the fly. Neither am I. Use this to be certain.
– City Town Info – US: Another go-to for data.
– Online Conversions: Web polls are wonderful. Translating them into words may not be so easy. It’s better to use a tool like this and look cautious behind the scenes, than be wrong.
Those are just a few of my favorite ‘go-to’ links. If you have any you’d like to add, send them to me and I’ll be more than happy to share them!