Slack as a Collaboration Tool

After reading through the example articles on tools for journalism and storytelling, it struck me that there are so, so many resources out there for journalists. How do you keep track of all these items while collaborating with colleagues? Slack, a tool first widely adopted by the tech community, has features that will help journalists work together effectively and efficiently. It’s a messaging and collaboration tool for teams that is being rapidly adopted across industries.

  • Use channels for topic specific conversations – These channels could be specific stories or even elements within a story. They can be public with your entire team or private to a specific group of people.
  • Contact team members directly for one-on-one conversations using direct messaging and one-in-one calls.
  • Easily share and upload files.
  • Use search to easily find information. The files you upload are indexed, so search even works within PDFs.
  • Use Slack integrations, like twitter and google alerts, to quickly see relevant information in appropriate channels.

Slack is primarily meant for teams and workplaces, but can be used informally also, among just a few collaborators or across many dispersed journalists. Some newsrooms, including Vox and The Associated Press, are already using the tool for collaboration. Is can also be used more widely across organizations. For example, Muckrock created a Slack team, which has recently become very popular, to help investigative journalists to retrieve data and documents from the government through the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Lauren’s Bio

Hey, everyone! I’m Lauren, a first year MBA at MIT. I also like to call myself an engineer, web-developer, feminist, avid podcast listener, political junky, among other things.

I am in awe of everyone who introduced themselves on the first day of this course, and am excited to learn from the incredibly diverse set of people in the room throughout the semester.

As a kid, I had a “newspaper” I would create and pass out to our neighbors, who were kind enough to humor me. I didn’t end up becoming a reporter, but I have always been fascinated by and engaged with the world of civic media, even more so, in light of the recent election and the rise of “alternative facts”.

The election is not the only recent event that has me thinking more about the role of news in our society. As a former UVA student, I was rocked by the since debunked Rolling Stone article about a gang rape on UVA’s campus and was fascinated by the Washington’s Post analysis of the Rolling Stone’s mistakes.  I was especially struck by that author’s conclusion about the importance of supporting local news.

My goal of this course is to learn about more about this subject and become a better consumer, distributor and creator of content, especially where it supports the success of our democracy and society.