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Google’s News Labs wants to give journalists new tools for reporting

Google News Labs

Google has launched a new initiative called News Labs which is looking to help journalists sharpen their digital skills for reporting. “From Maps to YouTube to Fusion Tables to Earth to Search, we offer many tools that newsrooms can use in their reporting and storytelling. Now, journalists around the world can access tutorials on these products created specifically for newsrooms,” Steve Grove, director of News Labs said in a blog post.

The new platform gives journalists a number of tools in the form of tutorials on how to better research, report, distribute and optimize stories for the Internet. The website also has a Data section which showcases some the best visualizations of data-driven journalism across the globe using Google Trends. Google Trends was recently updated and now has real-time data, and incorporates feedback we collected from newsrooms and data journalists around the world

News Labs has also partnered with a number of programs to help journalists and includes:

– Matter, a startup accelerator and VC with a mission to “change media for good”

– The European Journalism Centre in Brussels, Hamburg and London which have a formal partnership with Google

– The Center for Investigating Reporting which will produce a global series of events called TechRaking, dedicated to the intersection of journalism, technology, and design

– There’s also First Draft, YouTube Newswire and the Witness Media Lab which is YouTube’s journalism forays to help with the discovery and verification eyewitness news videos on the platform.

Competition from other technology platforms 

It’s worth noting that Twitter has been trying to get a slice of the journalism pie through its live-streaming app Periscope. Former CEO Dick Costolo in a recent earnings call said that one million people signed up with Periscope within the first 10 days of the application’s launch. Costolo also mentioned that people have started using Periscope to broadcast streams of videos of the recent Baltimore riots.

In terms of news curation, Twitter also launched a new free product called Curator that allows media publishers to search, filter and curate relevant tweets and Vine videos and publish it in real-time to their readers, across web, mobile and TV. The microblogging platform mentions that publishers will be able to create complex keyword and hashtag queries to discover Twitter content, and queries can be further filtered based on authors or verified users, follower counts, location, time zone, language, and number of retweets or favorites among others, to create embeddable collections of relevant tweets.

Twitter is taking an editorial approach to news curation, complete with a team of people with newsroom backgrounds who will identify the best tweets for anyone online trying to follow a news story with its Project Lightning, as reported by BuzzFeed.

Earlier this month Apple also announced a new Flipboard-styled application called News and has roped in 20 publishers on board for its application and includes The New York Times, Conde Nast, ESPN, CNN, Bloomberg, Time Inc, and Hearst with 50 more titles joining.  Apple also is developing a new format to push content to its news application via a News Publisher platform with crafted layouts, custom typography, rich photo galleries, videos, and animations.

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