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Google to Drive Media Innovation with News Lab

Google has created the News Lab to empower innovation in the media industry, offering journalists more financial and technological support.

The new effort was designed to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to tap into technology, and transform the way news is created. To achieve that goal, Google has made tutorials around reporting tools specifically for newsrooms, including Maps, Search, Earth, YouTube and Fusion Tables. Journalists around the world will now have access to learn how to use those Google products for reporting purpose.

Two big focuses of the News Lab are media startups and citizen reporting, according to Google. As part of the global effort, Google introduced Google Trends last week to provide data journalists with deeper, broader real-time data. The company also offers data reporters a daily feed of curated Google Trends based on the headlines of the day, and develops partnerships with newsrooms on specific data experiments.

In terms of citizen reporting, the News Lab at Google is collaborating with news writing and sharing platforms First Draft and the WITNESS Media Lab to encourage users-generated news content. Google also introduced the YouTube Newswire last week, which allows users to curate eyewitness news clips. Non-journalists can use these open platforms to capture the most relevant events worldwide in real time.

Meanwhile, the News Lab and the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) are joining forces to connect journalists with technologists and designers through an eight-part event series called TechRaking summits, where reporters will learn how technology can help their reporting.

The News Lab at Google is not the tech sector’s first foray into the media industry. As news and technology are becoming increasingly intertwined, many technology companies are making a big push in the news world. For example, last month, Facebook partnered with nine publishers, including Buzzfeed and The New York Times to offer iPhone users Instant Articles.

Google is going to start the News Lab initiative in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany. The program will eventually be rolled out to other countries, though it is unclear when that will be.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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