Google has launched a new platform called ‘News Lab’, which aims to offer journalists with new-age tools and resources to aid in their job. The aim behind this initiative, Google says, is “to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media.”
This announcement comes after last week it launched YouTube Newswire in collaboration with news agency Storyful. The Newswire essentially a platform containing daily newsworthy events that have been published on YouTube. Additionally it also announced other initiatives like First Draft, and the WITNESS Media Lab. The former involves a team of experts that will verify the YouTube videos before they are pushed to Newswire, while the latter will produce in-depth stories on human rights issues.
These journalistic initiatives too will be a part of the News Lab. Google wants new-age journalists to leverage its apps and services like Maps, Search, YouTube, and Trends to better track stories in real time, tell stories using data, and distribute them on Google channels.
“We are tackling this [News] in three ways: through ensuring our tools are made available to journalists around the world (and that newsrooms know how to use them); by getting helpful Google data sets in the hands of journalists everywhere; and through programs designed to build on some of the biggest opportunities that exist in the media industry today,” Steve Grove, Director, News Lab writes.
Google’s News Lab comes at a time when social media is becoming a hub of breaking news, and companies want to leverage that to be the first on the scene. Other companies have also announced such initiatives to handle breaking news in a better way. Facebook announced “instant articles” last month, to improve the way breaking news are served on users’ News Feeds. Twitter, on the other hand,revealed Project Lightning, which essentially makes it easy for users to track current events and breaking news.