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Google tips: Essential tools for journalists reporting COVID-19

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

Becoming a journalist is not an easy job. As a journalist, you need to use all the resources and time constantly to make sure you’re delivering reliable and trustable content. Especially with the COVID-19 outbreak, there will be bound to have various fake or unreliable news. Fortunately, Google has some (free) essential tools to recommend to help in your reporting efforts:

To understand what people are searching for: you will find a dedicated page on COVID-19 Google searches, as well as local pages, including: Malaysia and Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong (English, Traditional Chinese), India, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam. All of the charts and visuals on the Google Trends site are embeddable and made to share and publish online. Signup for a daily newsletter on how the world is searching for Covid-19.

If you need to learn more about how Google trends works, go here.

To make sense of data and visualize it:

Here’s how to build your own data sets, clean them, and visualize them. You can also compare data through gifs with the data gif maker (you can learn more about the tool here).

To illustrate your stories:

Here’s how to use a range of mapping tools to illustrate stories, from MyMaps, Google Earth and features like timelapse.

To review existing fact checks, and add a markup for your own:

Explore existing fact checks on the outbreak using the Fact Check Explorer and API

If your team is working on debunking misinformation being circulated on this crisis, you can also add a Fact Check markup, which will label your article on Google properties as “Fact Check”. You can also use Source, an image fact checking tool by Storyful. Sign up for the early access here.

To quickly find hard facts and expert opinion:

Google Scholar is a search tool that allows you to find and explore a wide array of scholarly literature. Accessible material includes articles, thesis, books and abstracts from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and websites. You might find it a useful way to contact academics and learn more about their work, as you research the coronavirus.

To take care of yourself while reporting:

The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma is a resource centre and global network dedicated to improving media coverage of trauma, conflict and tragedy. They’ve made available English and Simplified Chinese-language resources for journalists covering the coronavirus pandemic, including tips on covering disease, interviewing victims and survivors, and working with colleagues exposed to traumatic events.  

This free tools will definitely be handy to journalist and non-journalist especially university student as well. With that said, hopefully the tips above will help you to provide a better and accurate report. Stay safe and utilize the tools above.

Source: Google

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