This week we offer smart ways to alert mobile readers to new stories, and we highlight two encryption tools that can help reporters protect confidential sources.

PART 1: Push alerts and notifications

Push alerts and notifications are becoming a central component of the mobile experience, especially with the emergence of wearable technology. Smart news organizations are harnessing the potential for connecting with audiences on the go. We look at some examples and offer some tips. Reporting by Daniel Shapiro.

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Apps/tools mentioned in our report:

  • Breaking News is available for Android and iOS. It’s also possible to see streams of news alerts via the website.
  • Newsy’s app is available on multiple platforms.
  • Hooks is available for iOS.
  • Roost offers a service for desktop push notifications. More information is available on their website.
  • Circa is available for Android and iOS. It’s also possible to read Circa’s coverage on the Web.
  • The Economist Espresso is available for both Android and iOS.
  • Yahoo News Digest is available for Android and iOS.

PART 2: Cryptocat and Signal

The ubiquity of digital surveillance and the rise of easy-to-use tools give journalists plenty of reasons to use encryption tools when dealing with sources, says Jeff Larson, data editor at ProPublica. He explains two tools — Cryptocat and Signal— that help keep confidential conversations truly private. Reporting by Raven Brown and Katy Mersmann.

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Information about other useful tools:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation conducted this evaluation of few dozen secure-messaging apps and tools, including free options like CrytoCat, Signal, ChatSecure, Orbot, RedPhone and TextSecure. More information can be found in this article from Computerworld. GFI software offers a list of free tools for data encryption, a few of which relate specifically to email. 

Rachel Wise  
Video Editor

Reuben Stern  
Director of NYC Partnerships


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