Toolboxes, good moms, and the importance of computer science: this week’s Fresh Powder Report

Crack open that toolbox:
In case you haven’t noticed yet, we’re big on finding free tools for journalists across the board to utilize. Here are 60 free tools for all of your writing, journalistic, storytelling needs. From fundraising apps to audio aides, this site has something (if not, many things) for everyone.

…here, have another:
While we’re talking about toolboxes, here’s another one; one that focuses specifically on our absolutely favorite type of journalism– the online kind. Infographics, tips from the Guardian, charts, story maps; it’s a treasure chest sure to fulfill all of your digital journalism dreams.

Calling all columnists:
We discuss a lot of journalistic styles in these weekly updates, but seem to consistently overlook one of the tried and true staples of journalism– columns. Here are 7 columns written by Bill Simmons that Benjamin Mullin over at Poynter has declared “the best.” Whether or not that’s true, they are great columns to read and get inspired by.

Mothers raise great journalists:
In honor of Mother’s Day, here’s an inspiring article about one woman’s maternal influence that transformed Pittsburg news anchor Mike Clark’s life from a young age, and gave him the confidence to speak in front of an audience.

Here’s an article that resonates here at SNO headquarters; why aren’t journalists being taught how to code? Sure, it’s possible to pick up some skills on your own; with tons of free, open source materials out there, journalism students can pick up some computer science basics if they want to make themselves even more marketable. But why should they have to? Shouldn’t it be an integral part of the student journalist’s education track? Source seeks to answer these questions, and provide some possible solutions.

These things also happened this week:
+ We’ve been hearing for years now that coffee may have significant health benefits;this article is here to further validate your caffeine addiction.

+ This next season of American Idol will be the last season of American Idol, which means you’ll have to go back to relying on karaoke nights to get your fill of embarrassing vocal performances.

+ Future broadcast journalists: don’t be this guy.