Storytelling tools, the new Grantland, and Facebook: this week’s Fresh Powder Report

Storytelling tools that never tire:

Poynter delivers a comprehensive list of some of the best storytelling tools for new journalists.  From Storify, GIF makers, and Autotune, it’s a good reminder that the most basic tools are usually the most useful when it comes to innovative reporting.

The Ringer:

After Grantland came to an end last year, Bill Simmons hopes to fill the sports-shaped hole the website left behind by creating a new digital venture called The Ringer. It is scheduled to roll out in March first as an email newsletter, though it promises to later provide “downloadable podcasts, webcasts and electronic publications in the fields of entertainment, sports, sports and social commentary, pop culture, movies, music, television, technology, electronics, celebrities, current events, news, politics, lifestyle, and topics of general interest…downloadable mobile applications including for the transmission of audio and video content, messages, and information.”

The biggest (mock) election yet:

The American Press Institute, Newslea, and Rock the Vote are coming together in hopes of planning what may be the biggest student-based mock election ever, Students Vote 2016. While Newslea and Rock the Vote are helping to create this election experience, API aims to introduce thought-provoking questions concerning the journalism voters may encounter, and which politics-based media they can trust.

Instant article gratification:

Facebook plans to open Instant Articles to all publishers this April— which is good news for small and local news organizations in terms of gaining equal access. There are hundreds of publishers currently using Instant Articles through Facebook, and there’s no question why. Former Instant Articles product manager Michael Reckhow explains that “Instant Articles get clicked on, interacted with, and shared more than regular articles.”

Why the current teacher shortage may matter more than most:

“Teachers always come and go, but in recent years there are some new reasons for the turnover. Polls show that public school teachers today are more disillusioned about their jobs than they have been in many years. One 2013 poll found that teacher satisfaction had declined 23 percentage points since 2008, from 62 percent to 39 percent very satisfied, the lowest level in 25 years. Fifty-one percent of teachers reported feeling under great stress several days a week, an increase of 15 percentage points reporting that level in 1985.” – The Washington Post

These things also happened this week:

The GOP primaries are starting to get a lot less humorous after Trump won– by a large margin— in Nevada last night.

Here’s a new map of the Milky Way. It’s pretty.

Facebook is getting ready to release its “reactions” feature— now, outside of simply liking your friends’ posts, you can express that you love it, share that it made you laugh, or even let them know it makes you sad. And, before you ask, no– there is still no dislike button.