Google News Lab training educates attendees with new perspectives on journalism

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Connor Heaton

Staff reporter

cheaton@jccc.edu

The college welcomed Dan Petty, digital director of audience development, Digital First Media, today as a part of Google News Lab training sessions about the future of journalism and interactive storytelling.

The first seminar called Data Journalism taught students how to apply unprecedented computing ability and data collection to tell deep, insightful stories.

“We focus on helping data journalists leverage the best of Google data to bring new insights to their readers,” Petty said.

An example of this included “Electionland”, a reporting initiative that pulled data from Google Trends and compiled it into several maps containing live-feed statistics in order to track the voter experience during the 2016 presidential election.

The second seminar built on this and focused on the application of multimedia storytelling via empowering attendees with the tools necessary to go beyond words and simple stories and take readers to the heart of their news.

“[These] are ways of getting audiences acquainted with immersive storytelling, bringing people into a story in a way text and photos don’t quite capture,” Petty said.

He then shared with the audience several of these tools, namely Google Street View, Google Earth and 360-degree video.

The examples of 360-degree videos Petty showed allowed audience members to experience the cockpit of a high-flying fighter jet or tag along in the precarious climb of El Capitan in Yosemite. These videos are accomplished by using a 360-degree camera, which captures video and photo in a bubble around the user so they can scroll around to see what they want, and where they want it.

Here is an example of a 360-degree video, taken from The Denver Post, showing a run through Cascade Canyon.

While Petty said he believes immersive multimedia storytelling is going to be a part of journalism’s future, he doesn’t see it eclipsing the entire medium.

“It’s all about how you want to tell your story,” Petty said. “You could do a 360-video during a town hall meeting, but would that be the best way to present the information?”

Corbin Crable, coordinator, Journalism, helped sponsor the event with the hopes of educating not only students but also The Campus Ledger itself, as Crable recently purchased multiple 360-degree cameras with the goal of expanding the website’s the multi-media presence.

Crable said, “my hope is that [they will] have enough experience with [these cameras] so that we’ll be ready to use them by the time Cav-Craze comes around at the end of the year.”

For more information about Google News Lab, visit their site here.

*Corbin Crable is the advisor for The Campus Ledger

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