Here are the tools and technology journalists are using to tell the coronavirus story


As if there was any doubt, thanks to technology we know for certain that everybody is focused on the spreading coronavirus outbreak.

We can tell that everybody is writing about coronavirus with MuckRack Trends, which reports a whopping 1.6 million articles about the virus since the beginning of the year.

We can tell that everybody is reading about coronavirus with Currents, a tool that tracks what types of news stories are most popular across the whole of the journalism landscape. As I’m writing this, all but two of the top 10 topics are explicitly about the virus, and the other two are Donald Trump (possibly also in reference to the outbreak) and Bernie Sanders.

We can tell that everybody is talking about the coronavirus, well, by looking at social media or reading email or speaking with just any other human being. But if you’re looking for something a little more curated, check CrowdTangle, the content discovery and social monitoring platform. The team there put together a social media display of U.S. coronavirus coverage.

Journalists are taking advantage of technology this story in new ways, too. The New York Times and The Washington Post have both launched newsletters devoted exclusively to the coronavirus. So did BuzzFeed News, which also put together a texting service where readers can ask specific questions.

And where would we be without a punctual novelty site? Is It Canceled Yet? lists all of the big conferences, festivals and events that have (or haven’t been) canceled.

Lastly, if you’re working from home, Google and Microsoft have a little solace for you. Google is making “advanced” features for Hangouts Meet available for free until July 1, unlocking a bunch of handy features for remote workers. Similarly, Microsoft is offering a free six-month trial of Microsoft Teams premium, which includes workplace chat, video meetings and file storage. Microsoft is also opening up the free versions of Teams, allowing all users to create teams of any size and to schedule video calls and conferences.

No technology can substitute for the best way to stay healthy, washing your hands — though of course there’s an app to help you remember to do that.

Source: Poynter newsletter



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