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Sword and Pen – Mike Reilley: The Journalist’s Toolbox

By February 23, 2024Podcast

By Lori King, host of Sword and Pen

On this episode of Sword and Pen, I talk about journalism tools with journalist, author and educator Mike Reilley, who just published his second textbook, The Journalist’s Toolbox: A Guide to Digital Reporting and AI, which just came out in January. This interactive textbook focuses on the “how” and “why” of digital reporting, and equips readers with all the skills they need to succeed in today’s multimedia reporting landscape.

Reilley, who teaches data and digital journalism at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has made it his mission since 1996 to continuously stock his trademarked online Journalism Toolbox with every kind of tool, resource and training you can imagine. It is truly astounding that he can keep track of it all, but considering his tool collection dates back to 1996, when he started with just a dozen tools, he’s figured it out.

Here is just a very tiny sampling of what you can find in the toolbox: AI-driven tools for fact checking, editing, headline writing, Geo tracking, prompt writing and building charts with ChatGPT Plug-in; YouTube training videos on everything from mobile journalism, creating MidJourney Vector Graphics, how to use in reporting and editing, how to use Canva and Google docs, and even finding diverse expert sources; links to the Broadcast Education Association, the Student Newspaper Survival Guide,, and even AP Style Exercises Online.

If there’s a tool out there, he’s got it on his website.

Listen as Reilley talks about:

  • how military journalists can benefit
  • the origin of the Journalist’s Toolbox
  • how many new AI tools are available (about 2000) and old tools he deletes because they’re dead … each month!
  • a big of online journalism history
  • how news orgs were wrong to cannibalize their print product with a free version of a digital product

Social Media

⁠The Journalism⁠⁠⁠⁠ | Reilley on X ⁠@itsmikereilley⁠ | Substack

Got an idea for a podcast guest or topic? Shoot Lori an email at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠[email protected]⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

Sword and Pen is a Military Veterans in Journalism production.