What I Learned at a Workshop on Google Tools for Citizen Reporting

One of the highlights of the Cebu Summit was a presentation by Google Communications Manager Robin Moroney called Google Tools for Citizen Journalists.

View Robin's slideshow here.

google for media robin moroney

Link to Robin Moroney (Google)'s presentation >>

Robin started off with a refresher aimed specifically at how journalists can use Google Search Operators and Google Advanced Search.

Google Trends

Thanks to Google's ability to analyze massive amounts of search queries, it's possible, Robin explained, to get insights into global trends using free tools provided by Google, such as Google Trends.

At this point of the session, what was charming about Robin's presentation was his obvious affection for his Filipino audience of citizen journalists, who were clearly delighted during his presentation thanks to frequent in-jokes.

Who would have known that the Filipinos lead the world when searching online for the lyrics to song Let it Go from Frozen?

Thanks to Google Trends, Robin was able to find this out.

Visualizing Data Using Google Tools

Infographics and other methods of presenting and visualizing data are now standard tools for journalists. Robin provided a crash introduction into how journalists can use powerful tools provided, for free, by Google to combine and analyze data sets to create compelling visualizations that form the building blocks of other content tools such as infographics.

Of particular note are Fusion Tables, a very powerful free Google tool (signup and Drive access required) journalists can use to not only analyze but also to present information.

View Robin's slideshow here.

About Robin Moroney

Robin Moroney is Communications Manager at Google. He's based out of Singapore and has delivered Google for Media workshops to broadcasters and print journalists in Singapore and Hong Kong. Before joining Google, he worked with the Wall Street Journal in Brussels, London, Hong Kong and New York as a blogger, news editor, and acting managing editor.

For followup questions, please contact Robin on Twitter.

Nevin Thompson is the Japan editor at Global Voices. 

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