The journalism industry is going through an interesting time, as technology evolves, people are discovering new ways to access information putting the mainstream journalism under pressure as it stumbles with publications, radio and television productions that no longer sell in an era of digital transformation. This has made it extremely difficult to distinguish what’s true from what’s fake online. In 2018, Google launched the Google News Initiative (GNI), in efforts to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Its three main objectives were to elevate and strengthen quality journalism, evolve business models to drive sustainable growth, and empower news organizations through technological innovation.
The tech giant has invested over $300 million in journalistic projects and recently it announced its new one, Journalist Studio, a suite of tools that uses technology to help reporters do their work more efficiently, securely and creatively, and two new products for reporters inspired by the need for giant collections of documents, images and audio recordings to boost the newsroom operations.
Pinpoint is one of the tools that helps reporters quickly go through hundreds of thousands of documents by automatically identifying and organizing the most frequently mentioned people, organizations, and locations. The tool will help reporters use Google Search and Knowledge Graph, optical character recognition, and speech-to-text technologies to search through scanned PDFs, images, handwritten notes, e-mails, and audio files.
The second tool Google is introducing is a beta preview of The Common Knowledge Project, a new way for journalists to explore, visualize, and share data about important issues in their local communities. Reporters can create their own interactive charts from thousands of data points in minutes, embed them in stories, and share them out on social media.
Other tools that are available in the Journalist Studio include; the Common Knowledge Project (Beta), Data Commons, DataSet Search, Fact Check Explorer, Flourish, Google Data GIF Maker, Google Public Data Explorer, Google Trends, Outline, Project Shied which defends against digital censorship and the Advanced Protection Program which safeguards users with high visibility and sensitive information, which are at risk of targeted online attacks.
Google will detail more on how to use these tools as it begins its series of virtual Google News Initiative training starting with nine regions this week and through tutorials on its Journalist Studio website.