Google to help snoopy journalists dig out dirt

Information Technology today allows you to know virtually anything about anything in a few minutes, but not everyone knows how to use it to get what they want.

The problem is particularly acute in professions like journalism, where many of the top investigative reporters of today cut their teeth before the age of the Internet.

Now, the master of search, Google itself, has decided to narrow the gap between what is possible with today’s technology and what people actually do.

It has organized a workshop of 200 journalists and technologists at its headquarters in Mountain View, California today to help reporters dig out more stuff and check facts online.

“..this gathering is meant to inspire muckraking by exploring tools that help reporters tell stories with greater interactivity, opportunities for long-form journalism to thrive in new mediums, best practices for verifying information and fact-checking online and much more throughout the course of the day,” Google spokesperson Sean Carlson wrote in an official blog.

Nic Robertson, senior international correspondent at CNN and Sarah Hill, news anchor at KOMU, are among those attending.

The conference, TechRaking, was born out of a lunchtime conversation at NewsFoo, another unconventional conference focused on moving forward the future of journalism and technology, Carlson explained.

Google’s will also be launching a channel in July, in association with the Center for Investigative Reporting — the oldest nonprofit investigative reporting organization in the United States — that will feature investigative videos from major broadcasters and independent producers globally.