Some New Tools for News Orgs from NICAR 2018

Chicago skyline from Lincoln Park

The INN Labs team spent a few days in Chicago for the NICAR conference earlier this month. We came back with plenty of inspiration and a long list of tools for journalism on the web. (Many more links can be found in Chrys Wu's annual NICAR roundup.)


  • Coolors: a fun generator to help build color schemes
  • ColorBrewer: find accessible color schemes for maps and other data visualizations.
  • Colorsafe: another color and accessibility tool, this time focused on proper contrast.





  • notes for voice conversations.
  • Temi: fast speech to text transcription.
  • Cassette: more transcription and search.



  • Amper: an AI composer for soundtrack music.
  • Take: an iOS app for recording and collaborating on musical ideas.
  • Figure: make beats and music on iOS.


Social Video and Images

  • This by Tinrocket: annotate images for social media use.
  • Legend: create text-based animations on iOS.
  • Spark Post: fast graphics for social media from Adobe.
  • Quik: create quick and simple videos on mobile devices.



  • publicly available style guides for code, design and content with plenty of ideas to crib from.
  • Dropmark: visual organization for links and files, like Pinterest meets Google Drive meets Delicious.
  • Mural: digital, virtual whiteboarding tool.