How Google News Lab Can Help You Create Great Content
In the summer of 2015, Google came up with yet another useful tool called News Lab. It is a toolbox aimed at digital journalists, concentrating on four different areas that journalists have to deal with every day: researching, reporting, distributing and optimizing. By clicking on the tool, we even have a testimonial video with messages from media geeks that are well known online, such as Ezra Klein (Editor-in-Chief from Vox) and David Leonhardt (Editor at New York Times). With their testimonials in mind and the content of the website, here is how Google News Lab can help you with your content.
1. The Research Part
You probably already know of Google Translate or Google Alerts, and you have already been using them for ages if your specialization goes in writing. However, if you go on News Lab, you will see that Google made some improvements and packed them all in an upgraded tool called Public Data Explorer. By using that, it will be much easier for you to look for information based on keywords, and you can even play around with the visualization features if you have graphs to do. Keep in mind that this feature is pretty basic, so you may want to do your own graphs and charts if you want something more complex. You can also create your own surveys and analyses with Google Consumer service, but this feature may cost you extra.
2. The Report Part
This section combines Google Earth Pro and Google Maps. The data that you create can be visualized afterward on a map that can be used, for instance, to show where crimes have been previously committed in a city or what roads are generally prone to traffic jams. You can even customize the tool so that the map appears at a particular angle.
3. The Distributing Part
This tool might be more useful for publishers and editors than it is for reporters. However, anyone who has as much as a blog can benefit from this section. The “Distribute” part of Google News Lab focuses on how you can monetize your work and get it accepted by the Google News staff. You have lesson videos there, particularly part of YouTube Partner Programs which teach creators how to make money off their work. 🙂
4. The Optimization Part
Last but not least, this section dives into the arts of publishing – particularly into its complex and analytical aspects. While this one also may benefit publishers more, everyone can gain knowledge by learning about metadata, YouTube Analytics, and Google Analytics. The aim is to help reporters make high-quality content with lessons from the past and future content creators, popular or less popular. Google News Lab is used for innovation in a time where the web keeps growing, and Google gains power.
While this tool may have a year since it has been launched, it’s still a “shiny, new toy” that we have yet to discover fully as it keeps updating itself.
By Walford Guillaume