Digital newsgathering and verification

14 April 2018

With newsrooms working faster and innovative technologies appearing constantly, some journalists can’t handle nowadays journalism rhythm. That’s why Google News Initiative created Google News Lab, which explores new formats and develops new tools to help journalists do their job.
Usually journalists discover new tools when they need them but is better receiving a toolbox to have it “just in case,” and that was Digital newsgathering and verification workshop by Matt Cooke about.
Mr. Cooke, head of partnership and training at Google News Lab, gave his audience at the International Journalism Festival, in Perugia, a list of useful tools that included basic googling tips, such as typing the exact phrase you are looking for between quotation marks or typing “file:” and the filetype of a document that you need.
But people took notes and pictures the most when Mr. Cook moved on to verification tools, nowadays more important than ever because of how fast news (and fake news) are reaching big amounts of audiences.
It has happened that in riots or wars, fake news sites and trolls take old photos from similar situations that happened years before to make believe something specific. Against that, Google Image Verification, Reverse Image Search and www.tineye.com are useful to know if a photo of a story is authentic or not.
Video is also getting viral easily and that is creating problems for journalists, who can use YouTube Data Viewer (by Amnesty International) and Frame by Frame for YouTube to analyze the authenticity of videos.
In Google of course, they know there is more than Google: Mr. Cooke also mentioned Picodash, a web for Instagram search and explore, www.who.is, to verify website owners, and Wayback Machine (www.archive.org), for checking webs by date, and others.
And for data journalism, the Google man (and not only Mr. Cooke, but other Google panelists of the IFJ) recommended Google Trends, to know what the people is googling the most and that can be adapted to the country the journalist want to search.

José Manuel Cuevas

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