As “Digital Media” continues its maturation towards becoming just plain-old ubiquitous “Media,” Google’s “News Lab” provides an interesting glimpse into what we’ll see during the next round of transformations. In the not too distant future, it appears a reasonable possibility that the majority of today’s “old media” will be utilizing Google’s tools and publishing platforms as the primary means of content creation + distribution. News Lab (https://newslab.withgoogle.com/) provides concrete use cases of news rooms that utilize existing tools within the Google stable and then proceeds to propose a collaborative effort to develop new tools to enable everyone operating in the media space (old & new).
“The Age of Insight: Telling Stories with Data” provides an excellent example of the existing toolset in action:
Simply enabling the existing media with the existing toolset through education will also aid adoption, as this example illustrates:
Beyond the existing Google toolset, it isn’t too difficult to identify spaces where existing tools could be incorporated into the Google stable. Longform Journalism has seen a number of entrants and seems to be gaining traction (for examples, see: http://www.voxmagazine.com/2014/05/5-best-longform-journalism-sites/). As the contrapositive of micro-blogging (twitter, tumbler, sina weibo, etc.), the Longform space might be ground Google could quickly claim and hold. Other possibilities exist, such as citizen reporting and knowledge aggregation management (i.e. https://evernote.com/).
The “News Lab” is a cousin of Google’s “Digital News Initiative” (DNI) (http://www.digitalnewsinitiative.com), which is a partnership between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high quality journalism through technology and innovation. Like many past Google Labs, The News Lab will be the place to monitor for the rollout of the new educational materials and tool-sets.
This promises to be an interesting evolution to watch, particularly with an eye towards the extension of Google’s reach in the Digital Marketing arena.
Google’s Official Blog: “Introducing the News Lab”