Author Archives: LaToya Drake

An innovation challenge to sustain diverse media

Most communities in North America are diverse. They are comprised of people of various ethnicities, income levels, and countries of origin. In a lot of cases these diverse audiences are not effectively represented in the pages of their local news publication or remain untapped as an opportunity to increase engagement and grow the business for a news organization. That’s why it's increasingly important for publishers to understand the diverse communities they serve. 


We hope this is where the Google Innovation Challenge can help. Last year, the GNI North American Innovation Challenge focused on generating revenue and increasing audience engagement for local journalism. 34 projects in 17 states and provinces received $5.8 million to help with projects ranging from a way for local news providers to access and monetize audio clips, to testing a new approach to local news discovery, engagement and membership.


This year the spotlight will shift toward helping publishers understand their audiences so that they can build a sustainable business. Through our work with the Borealis Racial Equity in Journalism Fund we know that communities with the least access to relevant news are also most likely to be left out of policy creation and civic processes. A diverse and ethnic media is a critical news source for underrepresented groups, filling gaps for stories that don’t rise to mainstream media, and providing a positive and authentic representation of their cultures. It's important that publishers who cover underrepresented audiences continue to thrive as the world becomes increasingly digital. 


How this challenge works:


The North American GNI Innovation Challenge will provide funding for projects that have a clear focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in journalism, promote the creation of sustainable models for local media that address diverse audiences, and recognize that as an opportunity for driving engagement and revenue.


We’re looking for a breadth of projects, and examples might include using technology to understand the business impact of overlooking certain audiences, designing strategies to improve discovery of local and diverse content, or diversifying revenue streams. Please join us on March 18th at 9a.m. PST for town hall where we will answer your questions. You can tune in using this link.


How to apply: 

Applications open today, and the deadline to submit is May 12th, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. PT.  Over the next 10 weeks we’ll hold workshops and bootcamps to get the word out and answer questions about the Innovation Challenge. You can also get in contact with us at [email protected]


We’re looking forward to seeing what creative ideas you come up with.

Google News Lab Fellows … Where are they now?

Five years ago, we created the News Lab Fellowship to connect up-and-coming reporters with nonprofit journalism organizations that use data and technology to report the news in different and interesting ways. Since then, we’ve expanded the program to 12 countries, and most recently, the fellowship in Germany, Switzerland and Austria offered placements for journalists and developers in 18 renowned media organizations. We put a special focus on diversity by granting fellowships to journalists with migrant backgrounds.

Jieqian Zhang (@Jieqian_Zhang), 2016 Fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting

Jieqian Zhang.jpg

What she's doing now: I am now a multimedia editor at the Wall Street Journal.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I got to work with some of the best data journalists in the industry, and learned how to use data, design and code to tell stories. The experience assured me that I wanted to pursue a career in interactive journalism.

Ben Mullin (@benmullin), 2014 Fellow at The Poynter Institute

BenMullin.jpg

What he's doing now: I'm a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in New York, where I cover media and advertising.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Breaking into journalism on a national level is really hard, and I couldn't have done it without the Google News Lab Fellowship. This opportunity jump-started my career and gave me a toehold at a remarkable institution that ultimately hired me on full-time. I couldn't be more grateful.

Matt Baker (@phatmattbaker), 2016 Fellow at Fairfax Media in Sydney, Australia

Matt Baker.jpg

What he's doing now: I finally secured a tenure track university position! Officially I am now: Dr Matthew AB Baker, Scientia Research Fellow at UNSW Sydney

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I learned how to better run a narrative thread through a data-driven story and use my scientific skills to improve reader experiences.

Daniel Funke (@dpfunke), 2017 Fellow at The Poynter Institute

Daniel Funke.jpg

What he's doing now: I'm a reporter for the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, covering fake news, fact-checking and online misinformation around the world.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: It was like compressing four years of journalism school into two and a half months—and made me an immeasurably better reporter. The Fellowship gave me the resources and training I needed to continue being a student of news, while also inspiring me to tackle some of its most pressing challenges.

Madeline Welsh (@madelinebwelsh), 2015 Fellow at Nieman Lab

Madeline Welsh.JPG

What she's doing now: I am working between editorial and production for a recently launched Google Earth feature called Voyager.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I worked specifically on a project for Nieman Lab looking at how newsrooms were approaching the increasing importance of mobile readership. That was important for the work I later was involved in at the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab. The fellowship made possible my time at Nieman Lab, which in turn opened me up to a lot of the interesting projects happening in news now.

Stan Oklobdzija (@StanfromSD), 2014 fellow at The Sunlight Foundation

Stan Oklobdzija.jpg

What he's doing now: Finishing my doctoral dissertation in Political Science at UC San Diego

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Working at Sunlight helped me connect the academic understanding of money in politics to the unfolding 2014 midterms to tell a fuller story about campaign finance. It also taught me to go beyond traditional data sources to track political money beyond FEC disclosures.

Lindsay Abrams (@readingirl), 2017 Fellow at Matter.vc

Lindsay Abrams.jpg

What she's doing now: Finishing my final semester of graduate school at New York University's Studio 20 program, and in January, I'll be joining Matter full-time as Associate Producer, Media and Program Operations.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: My background is in journalism, so my time spent at Matter exposed me to a whole new world of tech, entrepreneurship, venture capitalism and design thinking. It led me to an amazing job that I never would have thought to seek out had I not experienced it firsthand.

Christine Schmidt (@NewsBySchmidt), 2017 Fellow at Nieman Lab

Christine Schmidt.jpg

What she's doing now: I work as a full-time Staff Writer at Nieman Lab.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: It connected me to the journalism editors, strategists, innovators, and devotees that I interviewed in my work. I had the opportunity to pick the brains of cool people doing cool journalism, and now I'm incredibly lucky to be able to do that full time as a staff writer at Nieman Lab.

Taylyn Washington-Harmon (@taylynharmon), 2016 Fellow at Nieman Lab

Taylyn Washington-Harmon.jpg

What she's doing now: I’m an Associate Social Media Manager at SELF.com

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: This was the first chance i had to do a newsroom internship because previously all my spare time was spent running my own journalism start up. Working with Nieman Journalism Lab gave me the necessary newsroom experience to not only improve my skills as a social media editor but also learn valuable industry information to understand the future of journalism.

Google News Lab Fellows … Where are they now?

Five years ago, we created the News Lab Fellowship to connect up-and-coming reporters with nonprofit journalism organizations that use data and technology to report the news in different and interesting ways. Since then, we’ve expanded the program to 12 countries, and most recently, the fellowship in Germany, Switzerland and Austria offered placements for journalists and developers in 18 renowned media organizations. We put a special focus on diversity by granting fellowships to journalists with migrant backgrounds.

Jieqian Zhang (@Jieqian_Zhang), 2016 Fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting

Jieqian Zhang.jpg

What she's doing now: I am now a multimedia editor at the Wall Street Journal.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I got to work with some of the best data journalists in the industry, and learned how to use data, design and code to tell stories. The experience assured me that I wanted to pursue a career in interactive journalism.

Ben Mullin (@benmullin), 2014 Fellow at The Poynter Institute

BenMullin.jpg

What he's doing now: I'm a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in New York, where I cover media and advertising.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Breaking into journalism on a national level is really hard, and I couldn't have done it without the Google News Lab Fellowship. This opportunity jump-started my career and gave me a toehold at a remarkable institution that ultimately hired me on full-time. I couldn't be more grateful.

Matt Baker (@phatmattbaker), 2016 Fellow at Fairfax Media in Sydney, Australia

Matt Baker.jpg

What he's doing now: I finally secured a tenure track university position! Officially I am now: Dr Matthew AB Baker, Scientia Research Fellow at UNSW Sydney

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I learned how to better run a narrative thread through a data-driven story and use my scientific skills to improve reader experiences.

Daniel Funke (@dpfunke), 2017 Fellow at The Poynter Institute

Daniel Funke.jpg

What he's doing now: I'm a reporter for the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, covering fake news, fact-checking and online misinformation around the world.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: It was like compressing four years of journalism school into two and a half months—and made me an immeasurably better reporter. The Fellowship gave me the resources and training I needed to continue being a student of news, while also inspiring me to tackle some of its most pressing challenges.

Madeline Welsh (@madelinebwelsh), 2015 Fellow at Nieman Lab

Madeline Welsh.JPG

What she's doing now: I am working between editorial and production for a recently launched Google Earth feature called Voyager.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: I worked specifically on a project for Nieman Lab looking at how newsrooms were approaching the increasing importance of mobile readership. That was important for the work I later was involved in at the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab. The fellowship made possible my time at Nieman Lab, which in turn opened me up to a lot of the interesting projects happening in news now.

Stan Oklobdzija (@StanfromSD), 2014 fellow at The Sunlight Foundation

Stan Oklobdzija.jpg

What he's doing now: Finishing my doctoral dissertation in Political Science at UC San Diego

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: Working at Sunlight helped me connect the academic understanding of money in politics to the unfolding 2014 midterms to tell a fuller story about campaign finance. It also taught me to go beyond traditional data sources to track political money beyond FEC disclosures.

Lindsay Abrams (@readingirl), 2017 Fellow at Matter.vc

Lindsay Abrams.jpg

What she's doing now: Finishing my final semester of graduate school at New York University's Studio 20 program, and in January, I'll be joining Matter full-time as Associate Producer, Media and Program Operations.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: My background is in journalism, so my time spent at Matter exposed me to a whole new world of tech, entrepreneurship, venture capitalism and design thinking. It led me to an amazing job that I never would have thought to seek out had I not experienced it firsthand.

Christine Schmidt (@NewsBySchmidt), 2017 Fellow at Nieman Lab

Christine Schmidt.jpg

What she's doing now: I work as a full-time Staff Writer at Nieman Lab.

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: It connected me to the journalism editors, strategists, innovators, and devotees that I interviewed in my work. I had the opportunity to pick the brains of cool people doing cool journalism, and now I'm incredibly lucky to be able to do that full time as a staff writer at Nieman Lab.

Taylyn Washington-Harmon (@taylynharmon), 2016 Fellow at Nieman Lab

Taylyn Washington-Harmon.jpg

What she's doing now: I’m an Associate Social Media Manager at SELF.com

What made the News Lab Fellowship valuable: This was the first chance i had to do a newsroom internship because previously all my spare time was spent running my own journalism start up. Working with Nieman Journalism Lab gave me the necessary newsroom experience to not only improve my skills as a social media editor but also learn valuable industry information to understand the future of journalism.

Who works in America’s newsrooms?

Over the course of two decades, the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) has compiled a national view of gender and race breakdowns of U.S. journalists. The newly released 2017 data helps us understand who is working in America’s newsrooms, and provides a unique insight into how the industry reflects—or struggles to reflect—the population it serves.

The Google News Lab supports inclusive reporting, and for the first time, has partnered with ASNE on their annual Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey. Working with design studio Polygraph, we helped ASNE create a data visualization to show how hundreds of newsrooms across the U.S. have changed since 2001.

Here's a glimpse at how it works:

Check out our graphics, or download the data from our GitHub page to explore for yourself. We want to see what you can do with the data—by visualizing it yourself or adding further context to the numbers—so contact us at [email protected]

We hope this year’s reimagined data will advance the conversation on newsroom diversity and tell a story that’s broader than just the numbers.

Who works in America’s newsrooms?

Over the course of two decades, the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) has compiled a national view of gender and race breakdowns of U.S. journalists. The newly released 2017 data helps us understand who is working in America’s newsrooms, and provides a unique insight into how the industry reflects—or struggles to reflect—the population it serves.

The Google News Lab supports inclusive reporting, and for the first time, has partnered with ASNE on their annual Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey. Working with design studio Polygraph, we helped ASNE create a data visualization to show how hundreds of newsrooms across the U.S. have changed since 2001.

Here's a glimpse at how it works:

Check out our graphics, or download the data from our GitHub page to explore for yourself. We want to see what you can do with the data—by visualizing it yourself or adding further context to the numbers—so contact us at [email protected]

We hope this year’s reimagined data will advance the conversation on newsroom diversity and tell a story that’s broader than just the numbers.