How to get more out of Google Chrome in the newsroom

I’ve been using Google Apps in my current job for a while now, and I’ve tried to make the most of having Chrome as a main browser.

Here are some good reasons to get into the habit of logging in to Chrome every morning and installing a couple of extensions to work more efficiently…

Login to Chrome via the 3 horizontal bars, top-right, go to > Settings > “Sign in to Chrome”…this will load your saved bookmarks, settings and any extensions each time.

And here is a list of suggested extensions and web apps worth installing for Chrome if you work in  newsroom or, frankly, any digital media role:

Efficient browsing

Screenshot of Bitly sharing in Google Chrome

Example of sharing links via Bitly in-browser

  • Awesome Screenshot – capture tweets, grab websites that might disappear, examples of our own website issues.
  • Bitly - logs you in to your link shortening account automatically, one-click to get a short URL/or share straight to specific accounts, see example screenshot, right.
  • Gestures for Google Chrome – navigate more quickly using mouse strokes.
  • AddThis - share the page to various services & bookmark.
  • Grammarly Spell & Grammar Checker – erm, checks your spelling & grammar.
  • Classic Retweet – lets you retweet allowing you to edit the tweet and add a comment.
  • OneClick Cleaner for Chrome – speeds up browser by clearing memory/cache after a busy morning/few hours.


  • Edit in Pixlr [WebApp] – for simple or advanced online photo editing with more tools, similar to Photoshop > open an image in Pixlr using mouse right-click, make simple edits, crops or use more advanced tools including blurring.
  • 2 extensions to help find the origin of an image:
    Search by Image (by Google)
    TinEye Reverse Image Search

Advanced tools

ExtensionSocial Analytics – shows interactions for the page you are on on most social platforms, likes, shares, tweets etc.

More suggested lists:

Brevity, clarity and wit.. designed to be ‘finishable’ – a template for news apps

From the Economist’s preview of its own Espresso morning news digest app/email shot. I’ve yet to try Espresso, at least in digital format (chuckles to self), but strikes me that this should be a mantra for all such products :

brevity, clarity and wit, it provides a concentrated, stimulating shot of global analysis that can be consumed quickly as part of your morning routine. Like the weekly, it is designed to be “finishable”—gathering up what you need to know into a compact package

Could be a general template for all new news products. It’s what makes the i newspaper and The Week digest in print still so appealing in our seemingly time-poor digital age.

How Twitter helps you teach better

Richard Kendall:

Twitter has many uses across many professions, news media and education being two obvious entry points.
The key elements that it breaks down barriers and it’s immediacy make it too valuable a communication tool to be ignored.
Mr Buttry has a good collection of curated examples highlighting the value of Twitter by crowdsourcing the question via Twitter – making such a task easier, quicker and reach a far wider audience than in olden times.

Originally posted on The Buttry Diary:

At today’s meeting of the faculty of the Manship School of Mass Communication, I will be discussing why and how faculty should use Twitter.

Dean Jerry Ceppos asked me to discuss the topic following my discussion earlier this month about why editors should be active on Twitter. We agreed that a similar discussion of Twitter’s value in teaching communication students would be helpful.

Both to gather more views than just mine (and to demonstrate Twitter’s usefulness in crowdsourcing), I asked my tweeps:

My tweeps, as usual, were most helpful in their responses:

My examples lean more toward teaching journalism than the other specialties taught in the Manship School: political communication, advertising and public relations. I think a lot of the advice…

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Newsroom skills and essential training

Advice from head of operations at the Financial Times’ Lisa MacLeod on changing newsroom culture at the 13th International Newsroom Summit, from 10 ideas from the FT for digital change in newsrooms –, a few choice points and quotes:

‘Training 101′

Skills such as “basic web production, tagging, hyperlinks [and] understanding media law that applies to the internet” are all important areas that may seem like a given for young journalists in 2014, she said, but are areas in which an organisation needs to be responsible for training its staff.

all newsrooms and journalists should understand how, why and when their audiences read stories.

‘Decoding code’

Coding lets staff “take journalism and turn it into something functional on the web that is easy to use”, she explained, and is something all journalists should at least have a passing knowledge of.

‘Creative collaboration’

Different departments and teams are regularly invited to work together to come up with new ideas, she said.

‘Communicating and educating’

The FT has an in-house editorial blog, where journalists are invited to share ideas from inside the newsroom but also anything they spot from competitors that may be of value, said MacLeod.

FOI: How local journalists make a difference by sticking with a story

Richard Kendall:

A great example of utilising FOI to dig out the important facts that can’t be ignored. And hoping this story goes some way to getting some of those flood defences repaired…

Originally posted on David Higgerson:


At certain times in the last 12 months, it will have been quite hard to avoid journalists in the West Country as news outlets from across the country followed wave after wave of floods hitting the region.

The 24-hour news cycle, the instant update world of social media and the ease of publishing online have all combined to ensure big events become ones of national focus very quickly. As a result, the thirst to lay blame can emerge more quickly, which in turn can result in big promises and pledges from those in power.

The widespread flooding in the South West resulted in big promises from the Government to get flood defences fixed, and rivers dredged to reduce the risk of a repeat this year.

Almost a year on, and it’s pretty much only the local media who are still covering a story which, for a while, led national news…

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