People attending the Society of Professional Journalists regional conference in Hawaii learned new skills at a Google Tools training session
Google News Lab Teaching Fellow Mary Nahorniak discussed a number of Google tools that can be useful in journalism.
She began the talk by sharing a common admonition among journalists, “If your momma says she loves you, check it out.” This phrase is a sarcastic way of reminding journalists and researchers to always cross-check sources and facts.
Nahorniak discussed Google services such as advanced search that can help narrow search results to specific formats, topics, and organizations, which can cut research time in half. She mentioned how to filter searches to exclude certain terms, include specific URL formats, and to search information on websites that either deleted, reformatted, or withheld information on a website called The Wayback Machine. Interesting hacks for Google Scholar were also discussed.
Nahorniak then dove into some of the different softwares that Google offers to continue to make research and reporting more efficient. Google Scholar, for example, is a separate Google search engine that sorts through scholarly articles, case laws, and scientific journals, all while sorting out results with paywalls to ensure most, if not all of the results that appear, are free to read to the public.
She mentioned Google tools like Data Commons, a software that collects and creates visualizations for data that you search for, or Fact Check explorer which searches results to confirm claims or facts you input in the search bar. Pinpoint, an organizational and collaborative database, was also a great platform to add hundreds of files like documents, audio, media, and images. It has the capacity to take these files, and automatically transcribe into multiple formats and languages.
Throughout the session, Nahorniak engaged students in practical training on their laptops to conceptualize, create and implement numerous storytelling tools to tell a compelling story. Certificates of completion were provided to participants at the end of the training.