Use data to tell News Stories, Google urges journalists

Through different members of staff from Google, the company has urged media personnel to take full advantage of the data available to them to tell news stories, especially with elections taking place in different parts of the World.

Use data to tell News Stories, Google urges journalists

Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, used the Data Tools Training for Elections Reporting organized by Google to appeal to journalists. He said,

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“As the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria approaches, Google is training and empowering the media on the use of modern data tools for effective reporting during the election.”

“Social media and online journalism have played an important role in helping to build stable democracies, resulting from informed voting, and as more people get online, the impact grows.”

“The months leading to the Feb. 16, 2019 elections presents great opportunities for media to innovate on their storytelling abilities through the use of online and social media tools.”

“The essence of the training is for participants to have the knowledge and tools necessary for innovative and insightful election reporting”

According to Kola-Ogunlade, part of what the participants of the training will learning will include, how to use online tools like fusion tables, polls, Google Advanced Search, Google trends, social media streams, and Google alerts to track and develop stories.

He also pointed out that Presentation was the biggest challenge when it comes to writing with data. For the information presented to impact the audience, the reporter needs to do a proper analysis. He encouraged the participant to take advantage of the web to carry out their various tasks, as the internet contains different resources to effectively carry out their duties.

On her part, Ms. Felicia Otolorin who is Google’s Business Development Manager stated that the training was to help publishers momentum in their sites especially during elections by using Google tools. She said,

“Elections are here and people are interested in what is happening and the key thing to ensure that people stay in your site to access top stories on the homepage.”

“Others are consolidated menus, display key categories, highlight your top stories related to the category and others.”

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She further mentioned that during elections, other countries will be eager to stay informed on the happenings of the election process, which makes it important to have the type of audience that would give different amount of value to one’s site.

The Google for Elections workshop is a one-day, hands-on certificate programme, the aim of which is to focus on using social media, visualization, and citizen reporting to tell election stories.