Google News Lab - A Tool for Journalists

As we all work to provide more Digital Integration into our newscasts and look for ways to find news with immediacy, it appears Google is here to help.

Recently Google announced their new journalism project called News Lab.

In the words of Google this project is designed to:

“empower innovation at the intersection of technology and media. Our mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media. And we’re tackling this in three ways: though 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.”

One of the key parts of Google’s News Lab, something that should be especially interesting to Local TV, is called YouTube Newswire.  It’s a YouTube channel designed to serve journalists looking for User-Generated Content and other news-related videos.  The Nieman Foundation has a complete story on YouTube’s Newswire here.

A quick check of Newswire shows videos that would be newsworthy this week:

Couple Takes Shark Cages into Ocean to avoid Sharks

Musician Trolls KKK Marchers with Sousaphone

Protestors March in Turkey after Suicide Attack 

Wisconsin Balloon Festival Cancelled Because of High Winds

While your newsfeeds may provide similar video, YouTube’s Newswire should provide video from “real people” as well as news agencies.  Authentic User Generated Content can help your newscasts tap into the “happening now” feel viewers in the demo are getting on digital platforms. 

This looks like a particularly good tool for Morning News producers (as well as other day parts too) trying to find up-to-the-minute video.  Google has partnered with Storyful, a global social news agency founded in 2009.  Their journalists are authenticating the videos which eliminates the usual “is that really real?” problem.

Goodness knows your job isn’t getting any easier keeping up with the latest technology and sources for news.  Hopefully these tools designed by Google for journalists will help.