Professional Practices: Society of Professional Journalists & Google News Initiative

In attending this seminar for the professional practices point I learned more than I could have imagined.

Andy M. Boyle presents the Google News Initiative

To begin his presentation, he touched upon three main topics: politics, finance and investigative reporting.

He taught us how to cover these topics using existing Google products such as Google Sheets, Google My Maps, Google Trends, Data Gif Maker and the Election Databot. These products are available to all with Google accounts and should be used to better our stories as journalists.

The seven steps to telling stories with data are

  1. Define
  2. Find
  3. Get
  4. Verify
  5. Clean
  6. Analyze
  7. Present

Each of the tools aforementioned enables anyone to easily gather data and put it together in a visually digestible manner.

Dan Petty opened our eyes to the importance of protecting our data

The second speaker, Dan Petty, taught us a needed lesson on two-factor verification and why it is important.

Attending this talk fueled an internal conflict of, “No, please don’t tell me how much of my data is out there,” to “Please, please tell me how to protect myself against people who have access to our data.”

It was incredibly eye-opening to think about how much companies and government agencies know about us as a society due to location services and what our phones give away.


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