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Google News Blog

The official blog from the team at Google News.

Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 14:00:00 -0000


Find out how journalists across the world use technology todayFind out how journalists across the world use technology todayData Editor

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 14:00:00 -0000

How do journalists use technology around the world? A new interactive explorer produced by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and Google News Lab makes it easy to dig into a wealth of new survey data from hundreds of newsrooms worldwide.

Aimed at gauging how well journalists are keeping pace with the tech revolution, the  survey report garnered responses from more than 2,000 newsroom managers and journalists across 130 countries.

The data explorer allows you sift through this unprecedented dataset and surface new findings that shed light on trends in your region and around the world. You can filter by variables such as job position and newsroom type, as well as download the aggregated, anonymized survey data for further analysis.


With the explorer, you can get the answers to general questions around technology usage across the globe and even really specific questions, such as:

  • Which tools are reporters in Sub-Saharan Africa using to reach and interact with their audiences?
  • What types of training are most valued by news editors in Latin America and the Caribbean?
  • How are newsroom employees in Eurasia/the former USSR securing their data - and how does that compare to those in North America?

ICFJ partnered with Google News Lab, design studio Polygraph and University of Miami’s Knight Chair Alberto Cairo to build the data visualization tool using findings from its State of Technology in Global Newsrooms study, the first-ever global survey of the adoption of technology by the news media.

Check out the data explorer, and see highlights from the survey on Medium.

(image) A new interactive explorer produced by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and Google News Lab makes it easy to dig into a wealth of new survey data from hundreds of newsrooms worldwide.

Newsroom placements for students across EuropeNewsroom placements for students across EuropeHead of Partnerships & Training

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 12:00:00 -0000

Calling journalism students across Europe. If you have a passion for news, want to make and break stories and love technology, we have a program that brings all those skills together—the 2018 Google News Lab Fellowship.

This year we’re offering placements across 10 countries. For the first time, news publishers in Belgium and the Netherlands will be taking part—the Fellowship will open here soon—and each of will offer new opportunities for students to gain valuable experience. 

Applications are open in the following european countries: Austria, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Country-specific applications can be found on the News Lab website

In the coming weeks, the participating newsrooms will select their preferred candidates and identify a Fellow by the end of May. The Fellow will then join the newsroom for a two-month summer placement, and Google provides a €5,500 stipend for each publisher to allocate. Fellows who have completed their placement in previous years say it was a “golden opportunity to get full-time work experience” and an invaluable start to their career in journalism.

Attending a workshop in London, here are the 2017 News Lab Fellows, and one Googler—me on the far right!

During their placement, the Fellows are invited to contribute their ideas to stories and new projects. From fact-checking to data journalism, video to audio, each newsroom offers a unique opportunity. In previous years, we’ve seen Fellows secure a frontpage story, bring new thinking to analytics and introduce emerging 360 technology to their newsroom.

In 2017, selected Fellows from parts of northern Europe traveled to Google in London to take part in a training and innovation workshop. While here, they heard product experts from the YouTube Space and the News Lab and received practical tips to help strengthen their digital newsgathering and visualization skills.

While the program isn’t available on an annual basis everywhere, there are currently Fellowships taking place in Australia, South Korea and the U.S., and we’re always thinking of how to expand and test the program in other countries.

Thank you to all of the news organizations that are taking part this year—for example, Agence France-Presse, Wirtschaftswoche, The Telegraph and LCI—and those who’ve taken part in previous years. Good luck to everyone who wishes to apply!
(image) The 2018 News Lab Fellowship is opening across Europe—new opportunities in 10 markets.

Applications for Round 5 of DNI Innovation Fund are now openApplications for Round 5 of DNI Innovation Fund are now openHead of Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 08:00:00 -0000

Since its introduction in 2015, the Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund has offered more than €90 million to more than 460 ambitious projects in digital journalism, across 29 countries. The fund, our €150 million commitment to supporting innovation in the European news industry, is designed to provide no-strings-attached funding to those in the news industry looking for some room—and budget—to experiment. Today the DNI Innovation Fund is open for a fifth round of applications—the deadline to apply is April 9, 2018.

How the Fund works

The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news startups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries. There are three categories of funding available: Prototype (up to €50k of funding), Medium (up to €300k of funding) and Large (between €300k and €1 million in funding). For more information on eligible projects, criteria and funding, see our website.

We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism, support the development of new business models, or even change the way people consume digital news. Projects can be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and have a significant digital component. Successful projects will show innovation and have a positive impact on the production of original digital journalism and on the long-term sustainability of the news business.

New for Round 5: Diversifying revenue streams

As with Round 4, all Medium and Large track applications will need to demonstrate that they have a monetisation component within the idea to be eligible. This year, we’re also looking for ideas outside of the well-known approaches around paywalls. So in Round 5 we welcome a range of experimental and innovative approaches which diversify revenue streams.

Apply now

See the DNI Innovation Fund website for full details and and application forms. Applications must be made in English by April 9, 2018 at 23.59 CEST. We’ll announce recipients by mid July.

New approaches have never been more needed so it’s time to experiment, innovate and try something new. We’re ready and waiting to help you bring your ideas to reality—submit your applications now!

(image) European news organizations can apply for funding for digital journalism projects by April 9, 2018

Media Files:

Flourish helps journalists create easy data visualizationsFlourish helps journalists create easy data visualizationsData Editor

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:00:00 -0000

Data visualization brings more eyes, attention and understanding to complex stories. When it works well, it can make a story crystal-clear. But it takes effort, coding and time—and is sometimes out of reach for all but the biggest newsrooms.One easy way to make data visualizations is through Flourish, a tool that helps you design and create graphics to embed on a website or export as a SVG file. We’re making Flourish free for journalists, so that it’ll be easier for newsrooms of all sizes and budgets to create their own data visualizations.We’re also working with design studio Pitch Interactive to make free virtual reality templates for newsrooms in Flourish. Here’s an example: The visual above shows related Google searches for TV shows. Any journalist in a newsroom could use that template, but with different data. For example, the visual below shows searches for U.S. Senators before this year’s midterm elections. (And here’s the visual code on GitHub).Traditionally, creating the same visual with different data is a tricky job involving developers. Flourish makes that easy—visuals can just be reused as they are, or you can create “stories” to narrate the visual by adding captions and leading the user on a visual journey.With Flourish, journalists with no coding experience can make high-end interactive graphics  and stories with no tech support—check out these tutorial videos for extra help. Crucially for the data journalism community, Flourish lets newsrooms share templates with each other. Though newsrooms can create some private templates, they can open-source others.Flourish was soft-launched last year, and since then, the development team worked with designers and data journalists to build the launch version that has just been released. In that time, hundreds of journalists and newsrooms have signed up to use Flourish.Examples of how newsrooms have used data visualizations in their reporting.Flourish is just one of a series of tools and resources in our News Lab data journalism toolkit. Other tools include Tilegrams, Data Gif Maker and the Data Journalism Handbook. Look for more this year as we work to make it easier for data journalists to investigate, process, visualize and surface their data across the news industry. [...]A new tool gives journalists the power to create powerful data visualizations.

Chat apps: opportunities and challenges for journalismChat apps: opportunities and challenges for journalismGoogle News Lab Lead, APAC

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 14:00:00 -0000

Over the past year, the Google News Lab expanded into Asia with a focus on fueling innovation in newsrooms. In that time, we’ve seen how chat apps are quickly becoming the preferred medium for digital communication across the region. According to the 2017 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 23 percent of survey respondents now find, share or discuss news using a chat app—and Asia is at the forefront of this trend.The flow of information within chat apps is similar to a massive, virtual version of the children’s game of telephone where the quality of information can get worse the more it’s shared. And the proliferation of mis- and disinformation in these private chat room conversations pose difficulties for fact-checkers due to the closed nature of the platform. So, in collaboration with Institute for the Future, we conducted a study to better understand the role chat apps play in the creation and propagation of news and provide newsrooms around the world with learnings from a more advanced chat ecosystem.Our study was conducted in South Korea because it has the highest smartphone ownership rate, the fastest internet speed, and one of the highest adoption rates of chat apps in the world—making the country a useful indicator of where news media may be headed. We focused primarily on KakaoTalk, the most popular chat app in South Korea, used by 85 percent of people with mobile phones.Our research (also available in Korean) suggests three key insights for journalists and newsrooms to consider:Millions of ordinary people are driving the flow of news through chat apps: Not only do chat users directly distribute news to their friends and family members through chat, they often paraphrase, contextualize and editorialize news and information, shifting authority from professional journalists to citizens.Chat apps are changing how news is produced: Chat apps and smartphones are used by journalists to record interviews, edit stories and publish news. They’re also used to build networks of journalists that fact-check stories in real time. Chat apps are helping journalists and newsrooms coordinate news across a more decentralized workforce.These apps are redefining the relationship between journalists and readers, creating new monetization opportunities: Journalists can build closer relationships with readers and insert themselves directly into their conversations. With strengthened relationships, new monetization streams, such as crowdfunding, have emerged. Chat apps are changing the way readers, journalists, and newsrooms interact with each other. Though this changing landscape has created challenges for the news industry, this study confirms that there are also opportunities for both newsrooms and journalists to thrive in this environment. [...]New research shows how chat apps are changing the way readers, journalists, and newsrooms interact with each other.

Design-thinking bootcamps for local newsDesign-thinking bootcamps for local newsDirector

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 14:00:00 -0000

Local news has never been more important. It’s the bedrock of the news industry, both keeping institutions honest and keeping local communities engaged, informed citizens. But the economics of local news is increasingly challenging, and it can be hard for local newsrooms to devote resources to thinking about new ways of storytelling and connecting to audiences in a mobile-first age.

To help local newsrooms learn important skills to get new ideas and products off the ground, we're launching a series of design-thinking bootcamps tailored to local news with Matter Ventures, a media start-up accelerator, and supported by the News Media Alliance. In total, Matter will hold four tuition-free bootcamps for teams of six from 20 different U.S. newsrooms. Each bootcamp will last three days.

Google News Lab is backing the project and helping to facilitate locations of the events at colleges in the Google News Lab University Network in Georgia, Missouri, California and New York.

The goal of the bootcamps is to help local news teams learn how to design products and experiences that address growing challenges in reaching and connecting with digital-first audiences. At previous bootcamps, newsrooms built business prototypes both practical and whimsical, like social networks that highlight needs in the community (and connect volunteers to help address them), mobile-only feature stories on local businesses with e-commerce built in directly, and even a marketplace to match people who have dogs that need walking to people who would love to give some else's dog a walk. The goal is for participants to return to their newsrooms with new ideas, connections and tangible lessons and tools to drive innovation inside their own newsrooms and communities.

Applications are open, starting today. If you’re interested in applying, talk to colleagues and put together a team. Each accepted publication can bring up to six individuals. Teams are encouraged to be multidisciplinary, so consider making a team of diverse colleagues from editorial, business, tech, or design.

If you have questions, please reach out to our friends at Matter:

(image) We're launching a series of design-thinking bootcamps tailored to local news with Matter Ventures, and supported by the News Media Alliance.

Tips for newsrooms to tell the local story when it matters mostTips for newsrooms to tell the local story when it matters mostStrategic Partner Lead, News & Local Media

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 16:45:00 -0000

During crises like Hurricane Irma or the Santa Rosa fires, local reporters are often the first on the scene and capture critical coverage. They have in-depth knowledge of the community and its landmarks, providing insights and context to these breaking news events.  When Hurricane Irma was approaching Miami, the reporting team at the Miami Herald was ready to cover the storm, with journalists posted up at the office, and others positioned in the field. Tim Grieve, Vice President of News at McClatchy, says that was only half the job. "We needed to make sure this life-saving information got in front of readers, too. So we worked to take advantage of all the Google tools available to maximize our reach. The results were incredible—huge bursts of traffic on Play Newsstand and double the usual readership to the Miami Herald site.”We needed to make sure this life-saving information got in front of readers, too. So we worked to take advantage of all the Google tools available to maximize our reach. Tim Grieve Vice President of News, McClatchyWhen news is breaking, every minute of your newsroom’s time matters. So we want to make sure you’re set up and ready to go across Google products in the case of a crisis hitting your local community. We’ve created a checklist to help ensure your stories reach the biggest possible audience from Google’s platforms like Search, Google News and Google Play Newsstand—and that you’re aware of the array of tools that can help you report on breaking news.These suggestions include best practices to implement in advance of a breaking news event, as well as steps to take the moment an event happens—helping your reporters tell the important stories, while making it easy for local and national audiences to find them.In preparation for a breaking local news event:Create an edition in Google Play Newsstand: Google Play Newsstand is a news and magazine reading app with more than 100 million monthly active users. Readers get a customized stream of news that gets better as they use it, and can subscribe to specific publishers and topics of interest. Set up and publish your local editions on Google Play Newsstand to distribute your content to additional readers.Check your presence in Google News: Google drives more than 10 billion clicks a month to news sites, and Google News is a key piece of this process. Google News data feeds into many of our other tools, such as Google Search and Google Finance. Check that your local sites are included in Google News, and if not, start the application process. Once you’ve done so, learn more about additional Google News features like Editors’ Picks. With Editors’ Picks, your editors can choose what stories they’d like to highlight, and these stories could potentially appear right on the Google News homepage.Leverage the speed of AMP:More than 50% of people abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load, and mobile pagespeed is even more critical for users during times of crisis. With AMP, your mobile articles are consistently fast, easy-to-read and high-performing across devices and distribution platforms. AMP pages load four times faster—in less than one second when referred from Google Search. Learn the basics of AMP and how to implement AMP on your site. Create a presence on YouTube: Each day more than 5 million hours of news content is consumed on YouTube. Establish your presence by creating YouTube channels for your sites. It’s important to upload your top video content right away, and to always include location and descriptive information so your videos can be found easily.When a breaking local news event occurs:Maximize your potential audience: If you have a paywall, consider removing it during the breaking news event so those in the community can access the stories and information you’re writing. It's in these crucial times of need that local media can [...]

News Lab in 2017: the year in reviewNews Lab in 2017: the year in reviewDirector

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:15:00 -0000

In the news and technology communities, the collective sense of urgency about the future of journalism reached new heights this year. Never before has the press been so important—or so under threat. Technology and platforms like the ones Google has built present extraordinary opportunities to strengthen journalism, but they require newsrooms and tech companies working closely together to get it right. That’s why the Google News Lab exists.In a Keyword series this week, we’ve shared the work the News Lab is doing around the world to address industry challenges and take advantage of new technologies. Today, in our final post in this series, we’re stepping back to give a holistic view of 10 major developments in our work this last year. We’re looking forward to an even bigger 2018 and would love your feedback on how we can partner with the industry to build a stronger future for news.1. Combating misinformation in European electionsThe spread of misinformation is a growing problem for open societies everywhere. So, helping news organizations confront that challenge—especially during elections—was a key focus for us. We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UK, French, and German elections.2. Helping users identify trustworthy news content on GoogleWe worked closely with the news industry to better highlight accurate, quality content on our platforms with new product features and partnerships. Along with the Trust Project, we produced eight indicators of trust that newsrooms can add to their content to help users distinguish between quality content and misinformation. We also partnered with the International Fact-Checking Network and The Poynter Institute to increase the number of verified fact checkers across the world.  3. Empowering underrepresented voicesBringing underrepresented voices into newsrooms can help uncover important stories that are left out of mainstream news coverage. We supported ASNE’s survey to get a better sense of diversity in newsrooms across the U.S. We also partnered with organizations in the U.S., Brazil, France and Germany to provide journalists from diverse backgrounds with in-depth programs to develop their careers.4. Strengthening local newsWith revenue pressures challenging the creation of quality local news content, we began investing in projects to strengthen local newsrooms across the U.S. We partnered with the Society for Professional Journalists to train more than 9,000 local reporters in digital skills. We’re also supporting Report for America, an initiative that will use a Teach for America model to place a thousand journalists in local newsrooms over the next five years.5. Researching key challenges in journalismTo better understand key challenges facing the news industry, we produced studies on the state of data journalism in 2017 and how audiences experience VR and what it means for journalists. We also supported the ICFJ’s newsroom study on the usage of technology in newsrooms.6. Working with newsrooms to experiment on new technologyFrom drones to virtual reality, we helped news organizations understand and use emerging technologies to shape their reporting and engage audiences in new ways. And we experimented with machine learning, too—we partnered with ProPublica to launch Documenting Hate, a project which uses AI to help build a national database for hate crime and bias incidents.   7. Building tools for data journalismOur research into the state of data journalism found that while half of newsrooms have a dedicated data journalist, many lack the tools and resources to be successful. So we built a number of tools—Flourish, Tilegrams, Data Gif Maker, Election Databot— to make data journalism more accessible to newsrooms and journalists across the world.8. Training[...]

News Lab in 2017: Our work around the worldNews Lab in 2017: Our work around the worldHead of Partnerships & Training

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:15:00 -0000

This week we’re looking at how the Google News Lab is working with news organizations to build the future of journalism. So far, we shared how the News Lab works with newsrooms to address industry challenges and use emerging technologies. Today, we’ll take a look at the News Lab’s global footprint and its efforts to fuel innovation in newsrooms across the world.Technology continues to change how journalists across the world report and tell stories. But how technology shapes journalism varies from region to region. This past year our team, the Google News Lab, conducted in-person trainings for journalists across 52 countries. Today, we take a look at the unique challenges of newsrooms in the regions we serve and how we’ve adapted our mission for each region to help build the future of journalism.EuropeIn Europe, it’s been another big year for politics with major general elections taking place in the Netherlands, France, UK, Germany and Norway. We wanted to ensure we were helping newsrooms cover these critical moments with the accuracy and depth they required. So, our efforts across these countries focused on helping newsrooms verify digital content in a timely fashion and providing training in digital skills for journalists.We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UK, French, and German elections. In France, we supported First Draft's launch of CrossCheck; a collaboration among 37 newsrooms to verify or debunk online stories during the election. In the build up to the elections in the UK and Germany, we also supported fact-checking organizations Full Fact and Correctiv to help newsrooms identify new sources of information. These initiatives helped more than 500 European journalists verify content online and debunk 267 inaccurate stories shared on social during the French and German elections. Journalists across Europe used Google Trends to help visualize big political stories—here’s a peek at what they did. Journalists attending the European Journalism Centre News Impact Summit in Manchester, UK.We continued to ramp up our efforts to train European journalists digital skills. We worked with The European Journalism Centre on the latest series of the News Impact Summit, providing large-scale training events on news gathering and storytelling, combined with design-thinking workshops for journalists in Rome, Hamburg, Budapest, Manchester and Brussels. And our partnership with Netzwerk Medien-Trainer has provided over a thousand journalists across northern Europe with expert training on data journalism, verification and mapping.Asia PacificJournalists from across Asia attend a session at our first News Lab Summit in APAC.This year, we expanded our training and programs to the  Asia Pacific, where we’ve tailored our approach to meet the specific needs of journalists across this diverse landscape. In a part of the world that is largely mobile-first (or mobile-only) and chat apps are the norm, there are a unique set of opportunities and challenges for newsrooms.In July, our first News Lab APAC Summit welcomed 180 guests from 150 news organizations across 15 countries to our offices in Singapore. Product specialists and experts from newsrooms across the region came together to share best practices, learn about emerging technologies, and engage in open dialogue on challenges critical to the news industry.In India, our Teaching Fellow has provided training and support to around 4K journalists and journalism students across the country. Our partnership with the Digital Identities team helped journalists in New Delhi experiment and engage new audiences with their stories.Working in partnership with News Lab, the South China Morning Post released an immersive virtual reality project to[...]

News Lab in 2017: Helping journalists use emerging technologiesNews Lab in 2017: Helping journalists use emerging technologiesPartnerships Manager, Google News Lab

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:15:00 -0000

This week we’re looking at the ways the Google News Lab is working with news organizations to build the future of journalism. Yesterday, we learned about how the News Lab works with newsrooms to address industry challenges. Today, we’ll take a look at how it helps the news industry take advantage of new technologies.From Edward R. Murrow’s legendary radio broadcasts during World War II to smartphones chronicling every beat of the Arab Spring, technology has had a profound impact on how stories are discovered, told, and reach new audiences. With the pace of innovation quickening, it’s essential that news organizations understand and take advantage of today’s emerging technologies. So one of the roles of the Google News Lab is to help newsrooms and journalists learn how to put new technologies to use to shape their reporting.This past year, ourprograms, trainings and research gave journalists around the world the opportunity to experiment with three important technologies: data journalism, immersive tools like VR, AR and drones, and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).Data journalismThe availability of data has had a profound impact on journalism, fueling powerful reporting, making complicated stories easier to understand, and providing readers with actionable real-time data. To inform our work in this space, this year we commissioned a study on the state of data journalism. The research found that data journalism is increasingly mainstream, with 51 percent of news organizations across the U.S. and Europe now having a dedicated data journalist. Our efforts to help this growing class of journalists focuses on two areas: curating Google data to fuel newsrooms’ work and building tools to make data journalism accessible.On the curation side, we work with some of the world’s top data visualists to inspire the industry with data visualizations like Inaugurate and a Year in Language. We're particularly focused on ensuring news organizations can benefit from Google Trends data in important moments like elections. For example, we launched a Google Trends election hub for the German elections, highlighting Search interest in top political issues and parties, and worked with renowned data designer Moritz Stefaner to build a unique visualization to showcase the potential of the data to inform election coverage across European newsrooms.We worked with renowned designer Moritz Stefaner to build a visualization that showcased the topics and political candidates most searched in Germany during the German elections.We’re also building tools that can help make data journalism accessible to more newsrooms. We expanded Tilegrams, a tool to create hexagon maps and other cartograms more easily, to support Germany and France in the runup to the elections in both countries. And we partnered with the data visualization design team Kiln to make Flourish, a tool that offers complex visualization templates, freely available to newsrooms and journalists.Immersive storytellingAs new mediums of storytelling emerge, new techniques and ideas need to be developed and refined to untap the potential of these technologies for journalists. This year, we focused on two technologies that are making storytelling in journalism more compelling: virtual reality and drones.Virtual realityWe kicked off the year by commissioning a research study to provide news organizations a better sense of how to use VR in journalism. The study found, for instance, that VR is better suited to convey an emotional impression rather than information. We looked to build on those insights by helping news organizations like Euronews and the South China Morning Post experiment with VR to create stories. And we documented best practices and learnings to share with the broader community.We also looked to strengthen [...]

Digital News Initiative: €20 million of funding for innovation in newsDigital News Initiative: €20 million of funding for innovation in newsHead of the DNI Innovation Fund

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:30:00 -0000

In October 2015, as part of our Digital News Initiative (DNI)—a partnership between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation—we launched the €150 million DNI Innovation Fund. Today, we’re announcing the recipients of the fourth round of funding, with 102 projects in 26 European countries being offered €20,428,091 to support news innovation projects. This brings the total funding offered so far to €94 million.In this fourth round, we received 685 project submissions from 29 countries. Of the 102 projects funded today, 47 are prototypes (early stage projects requiring up to €50,000 of funding), 33 are medium-sized projects (requiring up to €300,000 of funding) and 22 are large projects (requiring up to €1 million of funding).In the last round, back in July, we saw a significant uptick in interest in fact checking projects. That trend continues in this round, especially in the prototype project category. In the medium and large categories, we encouraged applicants to focus on monetization, which led to a rise in medium and large projects seeking to use machine learning to improve content delivery and transform more readers into subscribers. Overall, 21 percent of the selected projects focus on the creation of new business models, 13 percent are about improving content discovery by using personalisation at scale. Around 37 percent of selected projects are collaborations between organizations with similar goals. Other projects include work on analytics measurement, audience development and new advertising opportunities. Here’s a sample of some of the projects funded in this round:[Prototype] Stop Propaghate - PortugalWith €49,804 of funding from the DNI Fund, Stop Propaghate is developing an API supported by machine learning techniques that could help news media organizations 1) automatically identify if a portion of news reporting contains hate speech, and 2) predict the likelihood of a news piece to generate comments containing hate speech. The project is being developed by the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC), a research & development institute located at University of Porto in Portugal.[Medium] SPOT - FranceSpot is an Artificial Intelligence-powered marketplace for curating, translating and syndicating valuable articles among independent media organizations, and is being developed by VoxEurop, a European news and debate website. With €281,291 of funding from the DNI Innovation Fund, Spot will allow publishers to easily access, buy and republish top editorial from European news organizations in their own languages, using AI data-mining technologies, summarization techniques and automatic translation technologies, alongside human content curation.[Large] ML-based journalistic content recommendation system - FinlandDigital news media companies produce much more content than ever reaches their readers, because existing content delivery mechanisms tend to serve customers en masse, instead of individually. With €490,000 of funding from the DNI Innovation Fund, Helsingin Sanomat will develop a content recommendation system, using machine learning technologies to learn and adapt according to individual user behavior, and taking into account editorial directives.The recipients of fourth round funding were announced at a DNI event in London, which brought together people from across the news industry to celebrate the impact of the DNI and Innovation Fund. Project teams that received funding in Rounds 1, 2 or 3 shared details of their work and demonstrated their successes in areas like local news, fact checking and monetization. Since February 2016, we’ve evaluated more than 3,700 applications, carried out 935 interview[...]

News Lab in 2017: working with news organizations to address industry challengesNews Lab in 2017: working with news organizations to address industry challengesDirector

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:30:00 -0000

Editor’s Note: This week we’re looking at the ways the Google News Lab is working with news organizations to build the future of journalism. This is the first in a four-part series.2017 was a critical time for both the news and technology industries. The battle against misinformation, rapidly-changing business models for news organizations and fundamental questions about the relationship between journalism and technology have made Google’s role in supporting quality journalism as important as it’s ever been. We started the Google News Lab in 2015 to work alongside newsrooms to navigate those issues and build a stronger future for news.No single technology, platform or partnership will solve every challenge the news industry faces, so we’ve focused on using our resources and technology to help newsrooms and journalists try new things. Three of the biggest challenges we focused on in 2017 were trust and misinformation, inclusive storytelling and local news. Today, we’ll provide detail on how we approached those challenges—and to ensure we’re tackling the right ones in the future, we’d love to hear feedback and new ideas.Trust and misinformationThough it's been a focus since we founded the News Lab, curbing the spread of misinformation and helping people understand what content they can trust has become even more important this year, in light of events across the world. Our efforts to fight misinformation focus on three key groups—platforms, newsrooms and consumers.Platforms:Google has launched a number of features to prevent the spread of misinformation on our platforms, and News Lab has built partnerships to strengthen those efforts. The Trust Project worked with75 news organizations to produce eight trust indicators that newsrooms can add to their content to help people distinguish between reliable and inaccurate content.We're working with organizations like World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and to help publishers develop and communicate “signals” that platforms can use to identify quality journalism. We also introduced a tag on Google News and Search that helps consumers understand the validity of a newsworthy claim by providing information on the claim, who made it and an assessment of whether it’s factual. And we partnered with the International Fact Checking Network to support and grow the network of fact-checkers in the world with technology and training. Our goal is to double the number of fact-checking institutions in the network by 2019.Newsrooms: Discovering and debunking misinformation is a daunting task for any newsroom, but we’re encouraged by a new generation of organizations developing methods to meet this challenge.We helped start the First Draft coalition of digital media verification experts to combine efforts and share best practices with newsrooms everywhere. This year, they produced “A Field Guide to Fake News,” a playbook on how newsrooms can fight misinformation. Their recent report “Information Disorder” offers an excellent approach for understanding and grappling with misinformation.Along with hundreds of news organizations around the world, we created pop-up newsrooms to discover and debunk fake news stories and provide readers with accurate information during the U.K., French and German elections. Early research shows that this is working, and the effort in France received an ONA award for helping build a blueprint for verification around key moments. We plan to continue these experiments in 2018, and we’re developing tools and training on how our products can help in this area.Journalists from across France undergo training in verifying online content in run-up to French election.Consumers:In an age of information overload, we need to do more to help n[...]

All the data you need to cover 500 local electionsAll the data you need to cover 500 local electionsData Editor, Google News Lab

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:00:00 -0000

Next year, nearly 500 local elections for Senate and House seats are taking place across the United States. As part of our mission to help journalists report on the stories that matter, we  worked with ProPublicato build the Election Databot: a tool that provides data about all of those elections, from campaign spending to Google Search Trends for candidates.

We launched the Databot for the 2016 general election, but this new version shows complete information for all the House and Senate races through November 8, 2018. It also includes this year’s special election on December 12 betweenRepublican Roy Mooreand Democrat Doug Jones, who are vying for one of Alabama’s Senate seats.

The new version of the Databot includes key data for national and local reporters writing about the hundreds of local races taking place across America, including:

  • Google Search Trends for each candidate and incumbent with real-time search data
  • YouTube videos from candidates and incumbents
  • Candidate spending data from the FEC
  • Voting records and Congressional data
  • Articles from Google News, including local news sources about each candidate
  • Press statements from each incumbent candidate
  • Cook report race ratings for each election
  • Deleted Tweets from Politwoops

You can explore either national or local data, and can set up notifications for a particular race. 2018 will be a big year for politics, and the Databot can help journalists report on election stories in new and exciting ways.

(image) The Election Databot provides raw data for every election in the upcoming midterms and beyond.

Data Journalism Awards 2018: call for entriesData Journalism Awards 2018: call for entriesData Editor

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:00:00 -0000

Data Journalism—the skill of combining reporting with data—is becoming an increasingly important part of every journalist’s toolkit. That’s not just anecdotal: a recent study commissioned by the Google News Lab found that half of all news outlets have at least one dedicated data journalist.So, for the seventh consecutive year, we’re proud to support the 2018 Data Journalism Awards.These are the only global awards recognizing work that brings together data, visualization and storytelling. It’s a part of our commitment to supporting innovative journalism around the world.Data journalists, editors and publishers are encouraged to submit their work for consideration using this form by March 29, 2018. But don’t get too comfortable with that deadline, early applications are encouraged.Last year there were 573 entries from 51 countries across five continents. Past winners of the $1,801 prizes include include BuzzFeed, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, FiveThirtyEight, ProPublica, and La Nación, as well as smaller organizations such as Rutas Del Conflicto, Civio Foundation and Convoca. And if you’re wondering why the prize is $1,801, It’s because William Playfair invented the pie chart in 1801.Aimed at newsrooms and journalists in organizations of all sizes, the 2018 awards will recognize the best work in key categories, including:Data visualization of the yearInvestigation of the yearNews data app of the yearData journalism website of the yearBest use of data in a breaking news story, within first 36 hoursInnovation in data journalismOpen data awardSmall newsrooms (one or more winners)Student and young data journalist of the yearBest individual and team portfolioThe competition is organized by the Global Editors Network: a cross-platform community of editors-in-chief and media professionals committed to high-quality journalism, with the support of Google and the Knight Foundation.The Data Journalism Awards offer another way to foster innovation by partnering with the news industry, in addition to our efforts with the Digital News Initiative. A jury of peers from the publishing community will decide on the winners.Winners will be announced in May 2018 at a ceremony in Lisbon. Good luck! The Data Journalism Awards are open for entries. Do you have what it takes to win?[...]

More realtime data on Google TrendsMore realtime data on Google TrendsData Editor

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:30:00 -0000

Google Trends can be window into the world, giving us a peek into what people are searching for—whether it’s elections, music, sports or games. Now you can see the world in realtime through more lenses: News, Shopping, Images and YouTube. We’re opening up more data to show what people in the world are looking for, as they’re looking for it—whether it’s just out of curiosity, to write a story or something else.And it’s really easy to do: say you’re curious about search interest in Taylor Swift following the recent release of her latest album. You now have the option to explore that data in different ways, like finding the related videos that people are searching for on YouTube.How it worksFirst, type your search at the top of the Trends screen, in this box:As you can see, the topic of “American singer-songwriter” comes up—that’s the one you want to click on, otherwise it will only look for searches for the words “Taylor” and “Swift.”That takes you to a page like this, which shows search interest in Taylor, worldwide. You can then change the time range to within the last seven days and the geography to the United States. That’s now showing search interest in the U.S. for the past week, and looks like this.But that’s just web search. Click on the button on the right and more options appear:We search in different ways on different platforms. So, when you look at the search on YouTube, you can see the spike in searches for video of Taylor’s performance on “The Tonight Show.”But switch it to Google Images and you can see a 700 percent spike in searches for “Saturday Night Live,” after her performance on the show.You can also use the tool to see where interest is strongest (in this case, Utah and Nebraska are top states for YouTube searches):Explore the Google Trends site and see more of how the world searches for Taylor, her music or anything that you’re interested in. And you can read more about how Trends data works here. [...]New realtime data on Google Trends gives you more lenses to see the world through.

Experimenting with VR at the South China Morning PostExperimenting with VR at the South China Morning PostGoogle News Lab Lead, APAC

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:50:00 -0000

Having spent my pre-Google career as a reporter and editor at legacy media organizations, I can tell you that digital transformation in the news industry is challenging. Even when news organizations have the will, resources and technical expertise, the obstacles to transformation can be daunting.In Asia, few news organization have plunged headlong into digital transformation like South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s top English-language daily newspaper. With a daily weekday circulation of roughly 105K, SCMP is a midsize paper, but its language and geography give it outsized influence.For more than a century, SCMP has been documenting Greater China for the English-speaking diaspora across Asia-Pacific. Before the internet, expatriates and visitors would pick up the paper, sometimes days old, on airplanes and in hotels across the region. For those living in mainland China (like I did in the 1990s), the paper offered a window into the place where they lived, from a familiar yet discrete vantage point.Now, SCMP uses the web to reach the growing global community of readers interested in news about China, and experiment with new methods of storytelling along the way. After its purchase by Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma in 2016, the newspaper suddenly had a mandate to evolve, and was given the runway and resources to experiment.“Culture and identity are massively important when you are trying to turn around a 114-year-old company … until you have a company that is ready to experiment, willing to fail, and able to move with agility … you can talk all day long about transformation and where you’re heading but you’ll never get there,” said SCMP CEO Gary Liu in an interview with Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Policy.That entrepreneurial spirit led SCMP to take on an immersive virtual reality project that would trace the history of Hong Kong from British rule to the present day, mining a century’s worth of archival photos and illustrations and presenting them alongside modern-day 360-degree video and drone footage. The project was Google News Lab's first immersive storytelling partnership in the Asia-Pacific region, part of the team’s broader effort to accelerate immersive storytelling across the news industry.“It had to be big, bold, and beautiful—and leverage new formats, technologies and platforms to tell the story,” according to SCMP online editor Brett McKeehan, who helmed the project and talked about the process at a recent Google News Lab event.In order to make the project accessible to as many readers as possible, especially in the smartphone-dominant Asian market, the SCMP team built a responsive website that was optimized for mobile, tablet and desktop. Animations of 3D Google Earth imagery helped to tell the story and orient the reader across time and space throughout the piece.One of Hong Kong’s wettest Junes in history.They set a deadline to complete the project within two months—an eternity for a newspaper used to daily deadlines. “What can’t you do in two months? What could possibly go wrong? Two months—I thought, we could do anything in two months,” McKeehan said. Shooting and production schedules were set, everyone was ready to go…And then it rained. And rained and rained—for six straight weeks—one of Hong Kong’s wettest Junes in history.While it rained, the Hong Kong government changed its drone restrictions, rendering certain planned shots illegal. Meanwhile, SCMP’s developer team of three learned how to build, for the first time, a responsive HTML webframe that would work for both iOS and Android.A drone is being readied to capture footage ac[...]

Media Files:

Fact-checking the French election: lessons from CrossCheck, a collaborative effort to combat misinformationFact-checking the French election: lessons from CrossCheck, a collaborative effort to combat misinformationGoogle News Lab Lead, France

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:45:00 -0000

Nine months ago, 37 newsrooms worked together to combat misinformation in the run-up to the French Presidential election. Organized by First Draft, and supported by the Google News Lab, CrossCheck launched a virtual newsroom, where fact-checkers collaborated to verify disputed online content and share fact-checked information back to the public.The initiative was a part of the News Lab’s broader effort to help journalists curb the spread of misinformation during important cultural and political moments. With a recent study finding that nearly 25% of all news stories about the French Presidential election shared on social media were fake, it was important for French newsrooms to work closely together to combat misinformation in a timely fashion. Yesterday at our office in Paris, alongside many of the newsrooms who took part in the initiative, we releaseda report on the project produced by academics from the University of Toulouse and Grenoble Alpes University. The report explored the impact the project had on the newsrooms and journalists involved, and the general public.  A few themes emerged from the report:Accuracy in reporting rises above competition.While news organizations operate in a highly competitive landscape, there was broad agreement that “debunking work should not be competitive” and should be “considered a public service." That spirit was echoed by the willingness of 100 journalists to work together and share information for ten weeks leading up to Election Day. Many of the journalists talked about the sense of pride they felt doing this work together. As one journalist put it, “debunking fake news is not a scoop.”    The initiative helped spread best practices around verification for journalists.Journalists interviewed for the report discussed the value of the news skills the picked up around fact-checking, image verification, and video authentication—and the lasting impact that would have on their work. One journalist noted, “I strengthened my reflexes, I progressed in my profession, in fact-checking, and gained efficiency and speed working with user generated content.” Efforts to ensure accuracy in reporting are important for news consumers.The project resonated with many news consumers who saw the effort as independent, impartial and credible (reinforced by the number of news organizations that participated). By the end of the election, the CrossCheck blog hit nearly 600,000 page views, had roughly 5K followers on Twitter and 180K followers on Facebook (where its videos amassed 1.2 million views). As one news reader noted, "many people around me were convinced that a particular piece of misinformation was true before I demonstrated the opposite to them. This changed how they voted.”You can learn more about the News Lab’s efforts to work with the news industry to increase trust and fight misinformation here. [...]Over the course of the French election, Google supported CrossCheck, a virtual newsroom, where fact-checkers collaborated to verify disputed online content and share fact-checked information back to the public.

Identifying credible content online, with help from the Trust ProjectIdentifying credible content online, with help from the Trust ProjectGroup Product Manager, Search

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:00:00 -0000

Every day approximately 50,000 web pages filled with information come online—ranging from the weird, the wonderful and the wacky to the serious, the subjective, and the spectacular.With a plethora of choices out there, we rely on algorithms to sort and rank all this information to help us find content that is authoritative and comes from credible sources. A constantly changing web means we won’t ever achieve perfection, but we’re investing in helping people understand what they’re reading by providing visual signposts and labels.  We add clear labelling to stories in Google News (e.g., opinion, local, highly cited, in depth), and over year ago we launched the Fact Check tag globally in Google News and Search. And just recently we added information to our Knowledge Panels to help people get a quick insight into publishers.Today, we’re announcing a move toward a similar labeling effort by the Trust Project, which is hosted at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. The Project, which is funded by Google among others, has been working with more than 75 news organizations from around the world to come up with indicators to help people distinguish the difference between quality journalism and promotional content or misinformation.In a first step, the Project has released eight trust indicators that newsrooms can add to their content. This information will help readers understand more about what type of story they’re reading, who wrote it, and how the article was put together.These eight indicators include:Best Practices: Who funds the news outlet and their mission, plus an outlet’s commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, making corrections, and other standards.Author Expertise: Details about the journalist, including their expertise and other stories they have worked on.Type of Work: Labels to distinguish opinion, analysis, and advertiser (or sponsored) content from news reports.Citations and References: For investigative or in-depth stories, access to the sources behind the facts and assertions in a news story.Methods: For in-depth stories, information about why reporters chose to pursue a story and how they went about the process.Locally Sourced: Lets people know that the story has local roots, origin, or expertise.Diverse Voices:A newsroom’s efforts to bring in diverse perspectives.Actionable Feedback:A newsroom’s efforts to engage the public in setting coverage priorities, contributing to the reporting process, and ensuring accuracy.The publishers involved in this work include the BBC, dpa, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Hearst Television, Mic, La Repubblica, La Stampa, The Washington Post, the New York Times and more. (Photo courtesy of the Trust Project.)News publishers embed markup from into the HTML code of their articles and on their website. When tech platforms like Google crawl the content, we can easily parse out the information (such as Best Practices, Author Info, Citations & References, Type of Work). This works like the ClaimReviewschema tag we use for fact-checking articles. Once we’ve done that, we can analyze the information and present it directly to the user in our various products.Our next step is to figure out how to display these trust indicators next to articles that may appear on Google News, Google Search, and other Google products where news can be found. Some possible treatments could include using the “Type of Work” indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as “Best Practices” and “Author Info” in our Knowled[...]

Our efforts to help protect journalists onlineOur efforts to help protect journalists onlineNews Lab Training and Development Manager

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:30:00 -0000

Safety and security online is important for all of our users, but especially for journalists in the field conducting difficult—sometimes dangerous—reporting.Journalists are susceptible to a number of risks. Reporters covering oppressive regimes or working in regions where freedom of the press is limited have been targeted by government-backed attackers. Newsrooms have fallen victim to phishing attempts by malicious hackers trying to steal their account passwords. Entire news sites have been taken down by DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. And journalists’ data is increasingly at risk from cyber attacks.Despite this elevated risk, according to a recent study of more than 2,700 newsroom managers and journalists from 130 countries, at least half of those surveyed don’t use any tools or methods to protect their data and information online. Given the importance of journalism to open societies everywhere, we want to ensure that newsrooms and journalists are equipped with the tools and training they need to be successful—and safe—while doing their work. In the past, we’ve written about how anyone can protect their Google accounts and minimizesecurity risks while using our products. But to address online safety for journalists, we’ve worked with the Jigsaw team and engineers from across the company to offer a few resources:Project Shield helps protect news sites from DDoS attacks for free.Digital Attack Map, a data visualization of DDoS attacks around the globe, can help journalists better understand the threat these attacks pose.Password Alert helps protect and defend against password phishing attempts.We offer trainings on safety and security, specifically focused on journalists. You can check out a recent webinar to help journalists understand whether they’re at at risk, and what to do about it.We also offer the Advanced Protection program for journalists who are at heightened risk. You should look into this program if you answer “yes” to any of these questions:Do you work in a hostile climate?Do you feel that your sources need stronger protections against potential adversaries?Do you get messages about government-backed attacks on Gmail?Do you see suspicious activities around your account? (e.g., password recovery attempts not initiated by you)Would your work be viewed as controversial by some people?We encourage you to share these resources with your colleagues and friends, and talk to your IT department about what they’re doing to protect your newsroom’s data. It may be worth holding a security risk assessment training with your newsroom using the assets above, or request a training on safety and security for journalists (provided by the Google News Lab) at [...]To help journalists better confront evolving security challenges, the News Lab and the Jigsaw team have worked together to prepare security resources focused on keeping journalists safe in the field and online.

Google News Lab Fellows … Where are they now?Google News Lab Fellows … Where are they now?News Lab at Google

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:20:00 -0000

Five years ago, we created the News Lab Fellowship to connect up-and-coming reporters with nonprofit journalism organizations that use data and technology to report the news in different and interesting ways. Since then, we’ve expanded the program to 12 countries, and most recently, the fellowship in Germany, Switzerland and Austria offered placements for journalists and developers in 18 renowned media organizations. We put a special focus on diversity by granting fellowships to journalists with migrant backgrounds.Jieqian Zhang (@Jieqian_Zhang), 2016 Fellow at the Center for Investigative ReportingWhat she's doing now:I am now a multimedia editor at the Wall Street Journal.What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable:I got to work with some of the best data journalists in the industry, and learned how to use data, design and code to tell stories. The experience assured me that I wanted to pursue a career in interactive journalism. Ben Mullin (@benmullin), 2014 Fellow at The Poynter InstituteWhat he's doing now: I'm a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in New York, where I cover media and advertising.What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Breaking into journalism on a national level is really hard, and I couldn't have done it without the Google News Lab Fellowship. This opportunity jump-started my career and gave me a toehold at a remarkable institution that ultimately hired me on full-time. I couldn't be more grateful.Matt Baker (@phatmattbaker), 2016 Fellow at Fairfax Media in Sydney, AustraliaWhat he's doing now: I finally secured a tenure track university position! Officially I am now: Dr Matthew AB Baker, Scientia Research Fellow at UNSW SydneyWhat made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I learned how to better run a narrative thread through a data-driven story and use my scientific skills to improve reader experiences.Daniel Funke (@dpfunke), 2017 Fellow at The Poynter InstituteWhat he's doing now:I'm a reporter for the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, covering fake news, fact-checking and online misinformation around the world.What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: It was like compressing four years of journalism school into two and a half months—and made me an immeasurably better reporter. The Fellowship gave me the resources and training I needed to continue being a student of news, while also inspiring me to tackle some of its most pressing challenges.Madeline Welsh (@madelinebwelsh), 2015 Fellow at Nieman LabWhat she's doing now: I am working between editorial and production for a recently launched Google Earth feature called Voyager.What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I worked specifically on a project for Nieman Lab looking at how newsrooms were approaching the increasing importance of mobile readership. That was important for the work I later was involved in at the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab. The fellowship made possible my time at Nieman Lab, which in turn opened me up to a lot of the interesting projects happening in news now.Stan Oklobdzija (@StanfromSD), 2014 fellow at The Sunlight FoundationWhat he's doing now:Finishing my doctoral dissertation in Political Science at UC San DiegoWhat made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Working at Sunlight helped me connect the academic understanding of money in politics to the unfolding 2014 midterms to tell a fuller story about campaign finance. It also taught me to go beyond traditional data sources to track political money beyond FEC disclosures.Lindsay Abrams (@readingirl), 2017 Fellow at Matter.vcWhat she's do[...]