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New Google Media Tools for Journalists: What Do You Think One Month Later?

Last month on October 16, Google launched what is called “Google Media Tools,” which certainly got the journalism industry buzzing. Amongst all of the SEO changes and new initiatives for Google users, this seemed to be one of the first major initiatives created specifically to help journalists.

Google Media Tools is all about creating a centralized resource where journalists can find all of the tools Google has to offer in one convenient place. Not only does this new hub keep things organized, but it also offers advice and makes it easier for journalists to understand how Google can enhance reporting and content. The question, then, is obvious: How exactly do the new Media Tools work, and are journalists pleased with the results thus far?

An Overview: How the Google Media Tools Work

If this last month got away from you and you still haven’t gotten a chance to check out the Google Media Tools, don’t sweat it. Whether you’re just getting into journalism, experienced, or hoping to learn more, you’re not too late. When the announcement was made, Google had this to say about the tool:

“To continue helping journalists report the news in new and compelling ways, we’ve launched Google Media Tools, a centralized hub aimed at empowering journalists of all skill levels with more ways to connect with their audiences and communities.”

You can visit the Google Media Tools website here to get started checking out your options, but it first helps to understand that the tool is broken up into six different categories:

  1. Gather and Organize. This page will give users access to Google Trends and Analytics, Consumer Surveys, and Google Drive. You also have what is called an “Advanced Search” option which gives you access to advanced search features for content an images, a “Scholar” section that gives access to court cases, academic papers, etc., and a News Archive (both a free and a paid version).
  2. Engage. This category page explains how to use Google+ Hangouts and how to get started as well as advice about using YouTube and finding popular videos, getting daily insights, how to use the Creator Hub, and more.
  3. Visualize. The visualize page offers many different resources involving Google Maps and Google Fusion Tables and Charts. This can help journalists compare local data and trends over time, before-and-after satellite images, etc.
  4. Publish.  This page is all about how to broaden your reach as a journalist through things like Google News, Images, Webmaster Central, Google Analytics, and Custom Search Engines.
  5. Develop. This page is designed to help developers in the journalism industry use some of Google’s tools in new ways, which can help alter how news is consumed. This includes the resources like the Google App Engine, Google Developers Academy, and Android developers to name a few.
  6. Additional Resources. This page offers resources to help a journalist when it comes to international stories about everything from politics to natural disasters. A few of the tools listed here include Transparency Report, Google Crisis Response, and Google Politics and Elections.

At first read it may seem like this is just a place to go and find links that take you to different Google resources, and while this is a part of the tool, it offers great explanations for journalists regarding what the tools mean, how they work and how to get started, and how they could specifically benefit a journalist. Below is a screenshot of all the categories listed above that you will find on the new site:

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For now the new site is only available in English, but Google has said that other languages are in the near future along with more resources including case studies and tutorials. Google also adds at the bottom of the site this message:

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So do journalists find the new Google media tools helpful? While this might be old news to some people, the real question is how journalists feel about the tool. There aren’t any numbers (yet) that say whether or not journalists are using the tool, so we want to hear from you. Have you used the Google Media Tools yet to improve a story you’ve written? What did you think of the new site? Was there anything you found particularly helpful? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below. 

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