Calling all Data Journalists!

Data journalists from all over the world have until midnight BST tomorrow (10 April) to submit their work to the Data Journalism Awards: the largest international competition recognising excellence in the field. The competition is organised by the Global Editors Network: a cross-platform community of editors-in-chief and media innovators committed to high-quality journalism.

Supported by Google and Knight Foundation, the Data Journalism Awards are a fantastic opportunity for media innovators to showcase their work, and the prizes are worth €1,500 each. Previous winners include The New York Times, La Nacion, Kiln and Detective.io, as well as individuals such as Chad Skelton:

The #DJA2015 awards will recognise the best work in 10 categories:

  • Data visualisation of the year
  • Investigation of the year
  • News data app of the year
  • Data journalism website of the year
  • Best individual portfolio
  • Best use of data in a breaking news story
  • Open data award
  • Best entry from a small newsroom
  • General excellence (jurors’ choice and public choice).

It’s easy to enter on the GEN Community website, where can explore last year’s winners and short-listed projects, as well as this year’s entrants

The winners will be announced during a gala dinner at the Global Editors Network Summit in Barcelona on June 18. Good luck!

Posted by Simon Rogers, Data Editor, News Lab at Google and Director of the Data Journalism Awards Continua a leggere

TechRaking London: muckrakers tackle climate change

A free and robust press is a fundamental pillar of an open and democratic society. Ever since the earliest newspapers, journalists have worked hard to give the public the information they need to bring about better communities. In today’s world, new technologies offer new opportunities for great journalism focused on the public good.

In that spirit, the News Lab at Google is teaming up with The Center for Investigative Reporting in 2015 for a series of events that will connect journalists, technologists and designers and develop transformative solutions to some of the challenges faced by communities around the world.

The name of the series is TechRaking – a modern twist on an early twentieth century term for investigative journalism, “muckraking” – and our first event will be in London on March 25th.

Each TechRaking event will focus on a specific design challenge. The focus of TechRaking London will be climate change. Participants will be asked to design a product or service that engages audiences and inspires them to tackle climate change, while also revealing the scale of the issue in new and insightful ways. Additional TechRaking events, on other themes, will follow in Berlin and Paris, as well as in the US and Canada.

The best ideas from TechRaking, as judged by an independent panel, will come to life as services, products and practices in journalism, thanks to our partnership with TWG, who will be providing design and development time to turn top ideas into working prototypes. We hope these collaborations will result in new public tools to help us all ensure journalism, through technology, ensures access to critical information for everyone.

Posted by Ryan Bruno, Manager, News Lab Continua a leggere

News Impact Summit on tour in Europe

From the carved stone tablet to today’s touchscreen devices, the ways in which people consume journalism have evolved as technology has advanced. So too have the ways in which journalists practice their craft – a mobile device can be used to conduct interviews, record video, write and file copy. There are myriad exciting ways for reporters to get the story, and enrich it for readers with deep research and interactive tools.

To further empower journalists and grow their digital skills, the News Lab at Google has partnered with the non-profit European Journalism Centre (EJC) to produce a series of eight News Impact Summits across Europe in 2015. The daylong events are free and will feature local practitioners, debates, insights into how stories are produced and hands-on workshops to train on a variety of tools and techniques. Our hope is to equip journalists with new digital skills and to inspire by featuring excellence in journalism from within the community.

The first summit is on February 24 in Brussels and features speakers from the worlds of media and technology including Datawrapper, L’Echo, De Tijd, International Consortium for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), JournalismFund.eu, Euractiv, the Dutch-Flemish Association for Investigative Journalism (VVOJ), Storycode, the Association of European Journalists, The Financial Times, the PressClub Brussels-Europe and Gruppo L’Espresso.

The Brussels event will have a decidedly EU flavor but others will be centered around the host country. Future summits include March 31 in Hamburg and April 28 in Paris with additional ones to follow in Madrid, London, Amsterdam, Warsaw and Prague.

To register for any of the events, and for program details, please visit newsimpact.io.

Our mission at the News Lab at Google is to collaborate with journalists, entrepreneurs and publishers everywhere through product partnerships, digital tools training, and other initiatives that support the industry as a whole. We’re thrilled to work with the EJC, which fosters both quality journalism and a free press, to help create this opportunity.

Posted by Daniel Sieberg, Head of Media Outreach, the News Lab at Google Continua a leggere

Challenging journalism’s status quo

The countdown has begun. The Global Editors Network has announced its shortlist of 75 finalists for the Data Journalism Awards, supported by Google and the Knight Foundation. Winners will be named at GEN’s upcoming summit in Barcelona on June 12.

The young field of data journalism–analyzing large datasets to unearth news stories and information–is growing tremendously. The 2014 Data Journalism Awards received a record 520 submissions, 200 more than last year. A total of 65 countries were represented. While some newsrooms around have installed dedicated specialists to focus on reporting based on data, Mirko Lorenz, Director of the 2014 Data Journalism Awards, said solo journalists accounted for the vast majority of submissions. “Journalists are taking it on themselves to use data for projects, for experimentation,” Lorenz said.

GEN champions journalistic innovation, demonstrating how the online world offers great opportunities for the future of journalism. Its summit this year in Barcelona is entitled “Mobile. Video. Data. Challenge the Status Quo.” Sessions and keynotes will revolve around the idea that these three things must be top-of-mind in the modern newsroom. Speakers range from the Guardian’s lead digital strategist Wolfgang Blau to Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersch.

This is GEN’s fourth annual summit – take a look below at highlights from last year’s event in Paris.

This year’s summit promises to be three days of hard work and learning – and also a treat. One of the featured speakers will be Ferran Adria, the famed Catalan chef and founder of the restaurant El Bulli. See you in Barcelona.

Posted by Peter Barron, Director, Communications, Europe, Middle East and Africa
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Launching a MOOC for data journalism

Mass open online education courses – MOOCS – are transforming education. We’re working with the European Journalism Centre to bring journalism education online, offering a free web data journalism course ‘Doing Journalism with Data: First Steps, Skills and Tools.’

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More than 14,000 participants have signed up. The course will officially start on May 19, 2014. It is part of the European Journalism Centre’s Data Driven Journalism initiative, which aims to enable more journalists, editors, news developers and designers to make better use of data and incorporate it further into their work. Started in 2010, the initiative provides resources for journalists through DataDrivenJournalism.net, the School of Data Journalism, and the Data Journalism Handbook.

Participants in the new online course will learn the essential concepts and skills to work effectively with data and produce compelling stories under tight deadlines. The line-up of instructors and advisors hails from journalism schools and media outlets around the world. Listen to them introduce themselves below – and enroll in the course.

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Posted by Simon Morrison, Public Policy Manager
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Awarding innovative work in data journalism

For the past two years, we have supported the Global Editors Network(GEN) Data Journalism Awards. The third edition is now open to submissions on the GEN website until April 4. Work may be submitted for any media platform, but must be published or broadcast between April 10, 2013 and April 4, 2014. A total of eight prizes, worth a total of EUR16,000, will be awarded.

As journalism makes the exciting, if sometimes difficult, transition from off to online, technology is opening up new avenues for journalism. The emerging field of data journalism analyses numerical data and databases to make inferences and discoveries which enable journalists to produce news in ways that were difficult or impossible before the invention of the Internet and powerful data-processing. Bertrand Pecquerie, the GEN CEO, believes the use of data will, in particular, revolutionize investigative reporting.

Entries will be judged by an all-star jury of journalists, including Wolfgang Blau of The Guardian, Simon Rogers of Twitter, and Giannina Segnini from La Nación. Paul Steiger, the former editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal and founder of the Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica, will serve as president.

Winning teams will be invited to present their work at the Global Editors Network Summit in Barcelona on June 12, 2014. Steiger and Jaume Giro, CEO of the bank la Caixa, will preside at the ceremony, which will be held at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona.

Posted by Simon Morrison, Public Policy manager, London
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Injecting data into journalism

We’ve long believed that the vast amounts of information unearthed by the Internet can power innovations in journalism. That’s why we are supporting the European Journalism Centre’s new online data journalism course. Registration for Doing Journalism with Data: First Steps, Skills and Tools opened today at www.datadrivenjournalism.net/course/.

This five-module introductory course will give participants the essential concepts, techniques and skills to effectively work with data to produce compelling and visual stories. It is open to anyone with an Internet connection and is due to start in early 2014.

The course features a stellar line-up of instructors and advisors from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, New York Times, ProPublica, Wired, Twitter, La Nacion Argentina, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Zeit Online, and others. “Whether you want to get over your fear of Excel, learn the language of your data geeks, or discover how to tell stories with data visualisations, this course will help journalists and newsrooms learn how to take advantage of these invaluable skills,” said Josh Hatch, senior editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education and member of the course’s Advisory Board

There is already plenty of evidence of the opportunities and insights to be had in data driven journalism. We hope a graduate of this new course will soon be producing similar ground-breaking journalism.

Posted by Peter Barron, Direct, Communications, Europe, Middle East and Africa
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Moving journalism into the digital age

As the news business experiments with new ways of creating and delivering journalism in the digital age, we’re keen to offer support at the grassroots level. Over the past two years, the Google-funded IPI News Innovation Contest has awarded $2.7 million in grants to media projects throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

On September 13, we celebrated the fund’s 17 winners at the Guardian in London. The event included a Google+ Hangout on Air to allow contest winners who couldn’t make it to the event in person to participate – and to allow the public to watch.

Grants were given to both non-profit and for-profit organisations working on digital journalism initiatives, including open-source and mobile technology projects created by or for journalists and distributed in the public interest. Winners ranged from the Guardian’s own experiment with collaborative journalism to the World Wide Web Foundation’s Citizen Journalism project in Africa to Mediacenter Sarajevo’s data journalism program in Bosnia. You can find links to all the projects here.

In London, much of the discussion focused on making the winners’ innovations sustainable. IPI plans to host an ongoing online dialogue to keep track on progress. We’re delighted to be part of that conversation.

Posted by Peter Barron, Director, Communications, Europe, Middle East and Africa

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Hacking the newsroom at the Global Editors Network summit

What’s the least friendly US state to live in if you’re gay? Can you calculate your social class based on your taste in music? Who are the best connected families in China? We supported two initiatives at the Global Editors Network summit held last week in Paris’s magnificent Hotel de Ville aimed at helping journalists answer such questions by making more use of data.

GEN’s Data Journalism Awards, now in their second year, are the only international awards in this fast-growing field. The winning entries showed the power that data analysis and visualization can have in telling stories and engaging readers. You can see all the winning projects here, including the one the public voted best – the Art Market for Dummies.

In the next room – connected to the main event by Google+ Hangouts – journalists, developers and designers competed in the final of GEN’s Editors’ Lab Hackathon.

The Editors’ Lab has been running Google-supported hack events in newsrooms around the world over the last nine months, bringing journalists and coders closer together to explore new ways of creating and presenting the news. Eleven teams – the winners from each of the national events – came to Paris to fight it out for the top prize. Their challenge: to rebuild their news organisation’s home page in the context of user engagement.

The winner was the team from the Netherlands’ De Volkskrant. Judges commended for the way they were able to incorporate personalization, social and mobile trends into their homepage. Take a look at the finalists’ entries here – they offer a vision of how news websites may look in the future.

Posted by Peter Barron, Director, External Relations, Europe, Middle East and Africa
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The Internet and news: disruption or opportunity?

A great deal of debate has erupted about the Internet’s impact on news journalism – will it destroy quality journalism or will new business models emerge to save the industry? We long have argued that experimentation and innovation will help news thrive in the Internet era.

A report published this week by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism shows that a consumers are increasingly engaging with news across a range of formats; and that the growth of tablet and mobile devices are having a positive effect on both news consumption and revenues. Google part funded the research.

The report surveyed consumption of news across nine countries. Points of interest include:

  • The growth of devices. The number of people using tablets to access news has doubled in the last 10 months in the countries covered in both last year’s and this year’s report. As people acquire more devices, they are spending more total time consuming news and accessing news more often throughout the day.   

  • Consumer willingness to pay. In most countries, willingness to pay for news is increasing. In the U.S., smartphone and tablet users are more likely to pay than other online news users. Across countries, 25–34 year olds are the most willing to pay for online news.

  • The strength of trusted news brands. While behaviour is not uniform across countries, there is strong indication that in the online world, consumers are moving towards brands they trust.

  • The rise of social media. For younger people, the survey found that social media had become the most prominent method of discovering news content.

The results provide welcome insight into the way access to and consumption of news is changing in the digital era. Google supports the industry’s efforts to experiment and innovate. Through products like Google Currents, Editors’ Picks, and our range of advertising tools, we are working with publishers to increase traffic, engagement and monetization on their sites. We look forward to doing even more to enable the digital transition.

Posted by Simon Morrison, Public Policy and Government Relations Manager, London
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