News gathering and digital storytelling

Google | Google Tips | Digital storytelling
It started life as a research project in 1996 and its name is now widely used as a verb rather than just the company’s name, Google is the world’s most popular search engine with 90.14 per cent of the market share in February 2018. Last week, a group from Stone Junction attended a Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) event, hosted by Google News Initiative teaching fellow, Vincent Ryan. Here’s a quick round up of what we learned.

By Jade Ziola-Sammons, senior account executive

The term Google is a play on the mathematical ‘googol’, which is the number one followed by 100 zeros, and Google’s headquarters in California is known as the Googleplex. While most of us know Google as the go-to search engine, there are many hidden gems that have been developed by the internet wizards to support news gathering and digital storytelling over the years.

Google News Lab
The Google News Initiative is a team that aims to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to drive innovation and thrive in the digital age. The News Initiative offers over 40 lessons on Google products and tools, which have been designed specifically for journalists.

Coving topics such as safety and security, investigative reporting and multimedia storytelling, the training programme offers journalists and story tellers the chance to find out more about how Google can support the industry with more than just fact-finding searches.

The Lab also offers funding from the Digital News Innovation Fund, which is a European funding programme that supports individuals, news start-ups or news organisations to develop new thinking in digital journalism. Over three years, over €150million has been assigned to projects, including, most recently, the rather fabulous looking Factmata.

Cool tools
Some of the cool tools that Vincent shared with us, which will be covered in future Stone Junction blog posts, include chrome plug ins that enable frame by frame video capture, a social insights tool that allows you to search multiple social media platforms for breaking stories all at once, and a website information database that provides you all the details of who owns or runs a site.

My personal favourite so far is Way Back Machine, which works as an internet archive. It is constantly building a digital library of internet sites that currently contains 279 billion web pages.

By searching the site with a web URL, it provides you with captures of the page from as far back as 1996, so that you can see historical versions of the site in question. For instance, why not use the search tool to take a look at the Stone Junction website from way back in 2007? A blast from the past, I’m sure you’ll agree!

So, while many would quite rightly think that Google is just around to let us search for the cutest dog breeds or see who is most likely to be the next US president, there are actually a whole host of really useful tools, apps and plugins available to us all. We’ll be adding some of them to our blog of handy PR tricks over the next few months, but if you’d like to find out more about them before then, drop us an email at or call +44(0)1785 225416.

Jade Ziola-Sammons

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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