Google is launching News Lab, an initiative “to help build the future of media”. After majorly revamping Google Trends to make it better, Google now aims to use it along with a number of other features that will bring research tools, statistical data and information sources together, enabling journalists to use Google in a deeper, more efficient way in their profession with programs like First Draft, YouTube Newswire and WITNESS Media Lab.
Steve Grove, Director of Google News Lab, stated in Google's official blog post, “Our mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media. And we’re tackling this in three ways: through ensuring our tools are made available to journalists around the world (and that newsrooms know how to use them); by getting helpful Google data sets in the hands of journalists everywhere; and through programs designed to build on some of the biggest opportunities that exist in the media industry today.”
The First Draft program is a platform that will help journalists collate eyewitness reporting and verification analysis skills in breaking news situations. The YouTube Newswire is being launched in collaboration with Storyful, and will be a curated feed of verified news videos. These first-hand eyewitness videos will be verified by Storyful’s team, and provide first-hand perspective into important incidents across the world. The WITNESS Media Lab will pertain to human rights and resources, telling stories of human struggles from the ones facing them.
Google News Lab has collaborated with multiple organisations such as ‘Matter’ and Hacks/Hackers, to provide journalists and developers with financial support. The News Lab has also collaborated with the European Journalism Centre to organise seminars for journalists in Brussels, Hamburg and London, with upcoming seminars in 2015 to be held in Warsaw, Amsterdam, the Nordics and Dublin. Google News Labs has also organised events, branded TechRaking, in collaboration with the Centre for Investigative Reporting, to help journalists, 'technologists' and designers discover and talk about modern tools that can help journalism. The company has also established the Google Journalism Fellowship where partcipants will receive a stipend and are expected to work with organisations that involved in modern journalism. Google has also set up the Computational Journalism Awards that will be given out to journalists working in fields where technology and journalism converge.
As Drove puts it in his blog, “..as both the media landscape and technology continue to evolve, we believe we can create a more informed world if technologists and journalists work together.”