Many of us can barely remember a time in which we researched anything without help from the internet. Today, the internet allows everyone to find what they are looking for, from history facts, to shopping, to medical advice, and breaking news. When it comes to searching on the internet, there is one website that stands out the most, and in fact has even become more than a brand, it’s now a verb. When you need to know something, Google it.
Let’s again think about a time before Google: How did you find out about new stories? How did the journalists behind those stories find resources, facts, and background information? Today Google allows the opportunity for reporters to not only find news topics, but images, history, witnesses, and more.
Google is more than just a search engine, they own Youtube also. Videos have become just as important as the article surrounding them for journalists, and YouTube both provides a platform for journalists to share and to search for content. The thing about videos, though, is that they can be altered by almost anyone, which is why verification of content has become so important for a journalist. Thankfully, there are websites out there that have step by step instructions on how to verify whether or not a YouTube video is original.
Google Image Search
Beyond videos, Google provides journalists with the ability to upload and search images throughout the worldwide web. Though this may not seem crucial, it really has changed the way a reporter shares a story. Images can make or break a story, so making sure that the image attached to a report is genuine is important. Before Google Image Search, a journalists would just have to be well versed in related content, therefore having to put full trust in a source.
Where a story takes place really makes a difference, and before reporting or sharing such content, a journalist really should familiarize themselves with the area. This is where Google Maps has made a difference. Not only can this help a journalist who is writing a story about a place they cannot physically be, but it helps verify details given by sources who share stories, as well as verify images of surrounding areas or events. A Journalist can now drop a yellow pinpoint person almost anywhere and get a view similar to if they were standing on that road.
Google News Lab
Google knows that journalists today use their search engine to get the facts straight for all stories that come across their desk, which is why they continue to provide tools for the news media world, such as Google News Lab. This platform teaches journalists how to get the most out of Maps, YouTube, Search, and other Google tools, as well as provide a platform for journalists to collect real-time data (source). Google is providing journalists with the tools they need to not only find news stories, but verify content and empower new voices to be heard throughout media.
Journalists, journalism students, those interested in the evolution of Google for media outlets.