AAJA-Singapore learns the value of using Google’s tools for reporting

For a journalist in the digital age, sifting through copious amount of online data is an unavoidable part of the job. But it doesn’t always have to be the most tedious part of filing your story. Google can help! One of the world’s most popular search engines provides extra tools streamlined for the media.

The Singapore sub-chapter of AAJA-Asia recently held its first joint event with Google Singapore, “How to harness Google effectively for your reporting,” to highlight some of these search tips to journalists and other media professions. From tapping into resources like the ‘Advanced Search’ functions to filtering out for file types in your search results, to verifying data and images through the ‘Image Search’ function, Google can quickly become a journalist’s best friend. Learning the tools that are readily available at your fingertips goes hand-in-hand with staying sharp in the digital age

Those attending the workshop also learned that Google works beyond supporting existing stories; it’s a powerful tool for discovering original content, by exploring Google’s readily available public data. With simple query terms like “smartphone vs. android”, the presenter from Google quickly whipped up extensive visualizations of search data from around the world. In a couple clicks, we could compare how countries from around the world have searched for android and iPhone related pages, and compare global trends. However, it is also important as a journalist to recognize the selection effect at play: In some countries, Google isn’t necessarily the go-to search engine.

The next presenter from Youtube gave a workshop on optimizing the video-sharing platform for the media. Whether you’re contributing to a company channel or establishing your own brand, these are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • — Become a subject matter expert through generating and curating content. All digital storytellers aim to create engaging content, but if you’re on the go, you can easily share content that you’ve curated, or re-release your previous content under a slightly different packaging (changing headlines, thumbnails, etc.)

  • — Interact with your audience. Cross promote your various social media platforms (Twitter, Google Hangouts, etc.) to give your audience options for interacting with you.

  • — Make use of your analytics. By knowing that the average YouTube user drops off the first 15 seconds, you can be a more mindful storyteller and craft your story accordingly.

There’s plenty more Google tools for media available here: http://www.google.com/get/mediatools/

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