Google Launches Media Tools – Aims To Put Journalists Ahead Of The Curve


Media is the new King today. Whether it is pure economics or brand equity, different forms of media are continuing to rule the roost in today’s age. And media is always powered by journalists. And journalists by information and data.

To continue helping journalists report the news in new and compelling ways, Google launched Google Media Tools, a centralized hub aimed at empowering journalists of various skill levels with more ways to connect with their audiences and communities.

Google Media tools

Consider this: Worldwide, the New York Times used Google+ Hangouts to interview U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about Syria’s chemical weapons. The Weather Channel used Google Earth to illustrate the damage of Superstorm Sandy through dramatic before and after satellite images and live YouTube video. And Svenska Dagbladet used the Google Maps API and crowdsourced information from readers to plot disparities in neighborhood mortgage rates, generating a meaningful debate in Sweden. Closer home, during last week’s Orissa cyclone Phailin, Google again came up with a crisis response.

The idea is to offer a one-stop shop where reporters can access and learn to use a number of Google services, from Google Search trends to Google Maps, as well as get details on how to use Google to enhance their reporting on topics ranging from political elections to humanitarian disasters and more.

These examples are just a few of the various different ways where technology is helping in news collection, or more precisely, internet tools including Google tools helping journalists in collecting news and staying ahead of the curve.

What’s on offer?

It is not just a collection of the various services Google offers. Actually, it has subdivided sections where reporters can dive into various topics they’re interested in to better learn the details of how things like Google’s Transparency Report work, or to learn how to get started using the Google Maps API to build customized maps and better visualize data.

It makes searches more effective by allowing them organize all the crucial information needed and collaborate on it with colleagues using various Google tools like Analytics and Trends, get engaged via Hangouts and visual tools like Google Earth and Maps API.

There are also tools for Publishing news on the web, the development toolkit for browser-based applications and help on niche topics like Politics and Elections, something which journalists in India would lap up for the next few months for sure.

Right time?

Google’s launch of Media Tools comes at a time when competitors on search, news and social fronts, namely Facebook and Twitter, have already made big pushes of their own to get data from their services into reporters’ hands to aid with their reporting.

Facebook has opened up the ability for anyone to embed public posts on external websites. The social network also recently announced the launch of the Public Feed API and Keyword Insights API, allowing select news organizations like CNN, Today Show, BSkyB and others access to programmatically search through Facebook’s public data for keywords and other trends.

Meanwhile, Twitter has for some time catered to the needs of media, with a dedicated site rich with materials for reporters in newsrooms with how-to guides and best practices and links to Twitter’s various resources for engaging an audience, getting support, understanding Twitter terminology and more.

By offering free tools that are up-to-date, Google is guaranteeing greater involvement in its products by journalists and researchers alike, thus becoming a one stop-stop for all needs.

With such interconnected tools, Google is ensuring that you don’t need any other tech platform to become the next sensation in Journalism!

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