Today, Google is taking the wraps off the News Lab, its latest initiative targeted at journalists. Just last week, the tech giant debuted the YouTube Newswire, an effort to curate and verify newsworthy eyewitness accounts posted to the video-sharing site.
“Our mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media,” News Lab director Steve Grove wrote in a blog post. “And we’re tackling this 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.”
The News Lab will provide tutorials for tools like Maps, YouTube, and Fusion Tables, rounding up resources provided by Google that journalists across the world can use to enhance their reporting. The company has also updated Google Trends, creating “deeper, broader, and real-time data” that reporters can use to best harness and analyze data in their storytelling. Google also wants to encourage the industry to embrace media startups, and has accordingly partnered with media accelerator Matter and Hacks/Hackers, a network for developers and journalists.
It is to be expected that Google would want to get in on the media industry in some fashion. Facebook took a huge step toward becoming a publishing platform in its own right last month, when it launched Instant Articles. Earlier this year, Snapchat moved into news distribution with Discover, bringing users curated content from CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, and other outlets.