A Journalist’s Toolbox
Posted: 4/3/2014  |  By: Nu Yang
These days, journalists need more than pen and paper to tell a good story. With Google Media Tools, journalists now have a centralized hub to access Google’s suite of digital tools. The site (google.com/mediatools) launched in October at the annual Online News Association conference in Atlanta, Ga.            

Separated by newsgathering categories (Gather and Organize, Publish, Engage, Develop, Visualize and Additional Resources), the tools range from Google analytics to Google Hangouts.

Head of media outreach Daniel Sieberg said he gathered together the different team leaders of each product in order to find the right way to present this “toolbox” for journalists.

“The journalist practitioners today have many components in their toolbox,” he said. “We wanted to showcase the different Google products and the many examples of how they can use them.”

Sieberg said the mission of the media outreach team is to “motivate, empower and foster the free and independent press.” Although some journalists may feel uncomfortable with digital, Sieberg said the media tools serve as an “access point.”

“Many journalists have different interests,” he said. “One may be working on visuals, another on search.”

According to Sieberg, a vast majority of the tools are free, although some at the premium level may require a payment to use. “It was intentional to make it no cost to the average journalist,” he said. “We want the tools to improve productivity; the journalists are the drivers for us.”

Once the site went live, Sieberg said the feedback he heard from journalists was “overwhelming positive.”

“This is something journalists have been hoping for,” he said. “There was a sense of thirst and appetite for it.”

Sieberg also sees the appeal spreading to other storytellers especially to those working in the digital media field.

Currently, the team is working on translating the site into 12 languages so journalists around the world can use it. Sieberg said they also want to add more case studies and tutorials. 

“There are lots of different tools people can tap into, not just from Google, but they all complement each other,” he said. “Journalists should take the initiative to explore and make as many resources available to them and see what’s possible.”

Sieberg described the media tools site as a “source of inspiration” for journalists. “A big part of it is connecting and seeing what other news organizations are doing.”

In his travels and after meeting thousands of journalists, Sieberg said he has seen the diverse range of projects journalists are working on. “It’s very rich,” he said. “The one common interest among news organizations is the digital space, and if they use the media tools in some way, that motivates us.”