Last night (26th June) we were lucky enough to host a wonderful CIPR Midlands ‘News gathering and digital storytelling’ event with Google News Lab at the Pitch Birmingham HQ. Vincent Ryan, a former journalist for The Sunday Times, was the master of ceremonies running through the vast array of Google tools (that you may not know existed) and how they can assist with news generation and verification in these times of ‘fake news’.
The brilliantly delivered, often humorous, talk showed how different tools have been used by journalists and the general public to bring to light recent news events. As in the case of a photographer who, has a penchant for tracking the movement of troops, was able to combine a Google sunlight tracking tool (www.suncalc.net) with Instagram selfies from Russian soldiers to prove troops were based in Ukraine (when it was claimed that they weren’t).
It was also interesting how tools were being used to stop fake news in its tracks, such as when a European news outlet received a riot image from a member of the general public, claiming it to be scenes from Scotland the day after the Independence Referendum. Using Google Reverse Image Search, the news team were able to determine that the image was actually taken from the 2011 London riots and that no such activity was even happening in Scotland.
While there are far too many tools and trends to mention here, the event was incredibly informative and offered real insight into how stories can now be created from data gathering and the interactive ways it can be displayed.
Attendees all took away a huge amount from the event:
Lots of tricks and tips at tonight’s Google Digital Labs @CIPR_Midlands event with @MrVincentRyan sharing insight on tools and trends to help with #news generation and verification. #pr #digitalpr #media #cipr pic.twitter.com/bpqrgsRCJ4— spottydog (@spottydogcomms) June 26, 2018
If you missed the sell-out event, you can download the notes from the talk here:
We would like to say a massive thank you to our friends at Spottydog communications for providing mouthwatering food, Stone Junction PR for organising everyone and to Vincent Ryan from the Google News Lab for a fantastic talk.