What we are reading
A weekly column on the stories on media innovation that are intriguing, engaging or alarming us
Google has announced a suite of new tools that promise to make the life of journalists easier called Journalist Studio. The first tool, called PinPoint “is designed to help reporters work with large file sets — like those that contain hundreds of thousands of documents,” TechCrunch reports. To use this service journalists will need to sign up to be granted access. The other tool to take note of is Google’s Common Knowledge Project. The tool is designed to help journalists “explore, visualize and share data about important issues in their local communities by creating their own interactive charts using thousands of data points in a matter of minutes”. Google is asking journalists to add their suggestions for how the tool can be improved as it is still in beta testing.
The Conversation | How ‘hyperlocal’ journalism can restore trust in the media
The rapid spread of fake news, the rise of the disinformation age, and the waning public trust in mainstream media globally have placed the spotlight on the disappearance of community newspapers. Writing for The Conversation, University of Coventry journalism lecturer Una Murphy says that a government report in the UK warns of the “catastrophic” impact of the disappearance of community newspapers. Murphy writes: “The report warns that the decline of the local press reduces scrutiny of democratic functions and that this is ‘unlikely’ to improve without intervention. So it has never been more important to support the scores of independent community publishers up and down the country. They amplify the issues that are important to their readers.”
International Center for Journalists | Journalism and the Pandemic Survey
Journalism and the Pandemic Project, a unit of the International Center for Journalists has compiled research into the global impact of Covid-19 on journalism and the results are concerning but not surprising. The findings are based on responses from over 1,400 English-speaking journalists from 125 countries. Read the first 30 findings from the report.
South Africa Media Innovation Program | Combatting Africa’s infodemic with a WhatsApp-only publication
A new publication in partnership with Mail & Guardian featuring news from around the continent promises to make the effort of reading newspapers on our phones easier. The Continent, described as a weekly “Pan-African newspaper”, is a PDF publication that is concise and easy to read and will be distributed through WhatsApp every Saturday. Simon Allison, the editor of The Continent said: “We wanted to create the feeling of a newspaper without leaving your house to get it.”