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Google shares tools for journalists reporting on COVID-19

There has been widespread disinformation on social media these days. The uncontrolled flow of information — verified or unverified — has become a monumental task not only for journalists but for ordinary people who care.

Today is the fourth Fact-Checking Day is promoted by the International Fact-Checking Network in partnership with fact-checking organizations around the world. The people behind this believe “an accurate information ecosystem requires everyone to do their part.”

Google released a list of tools to assist journalists who are at the forefront of reporting the pandemic COVID-19. Disinformation can cause economic and social problems, which makes it extremely important for any content creator to get their facts correct and from reliable sources.

Have you read “Google is giving PH schools free access to G Suite for Education“?

To understand what people are searching for, journalists will find a dedicated page on COVID-19 Google searches, as well as local pages including the Philippines. All of the charts and visuals on the Google Trends site are embeddable and made to share and publish online. Just sign up for a daily newsletter on how the world is searching for COVID-19. To learn more about how Google trends work, visit this page.

Data and analytics seem daunting but Google provides a tool that will allow journalists to build their own data sets, clean them, and visualize them. They can also compare data through gifs with the data gif maker.

To illustrate your stories journalists can use a range of mapping tools such as MyMaps, Google Earth and features like timelapse.

To review existing fact checks and add markup for your own, explore existing fact checks on the outbreak using the Fact Check Explorer and API. If the team is working on debunking misinformation being circulated on this crisis, they can also add a Fact Check markup, which will label the article on Google properties as “Fact Check.”

To quickly find hard facts and expert opinion use Google Scholar, which is a search tool that allows people to find and explore a wide array of scholarly literature. Accessible material includes articles, thesis, books and abstracts from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and websites. Journalists might find it a useful way to contact academics and learn more about their work for more research on the coronavirus.

The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma is a resource center and global network dedicated to improving media coverage of trauma, conflict and tragedy while journalists look after their own emotional and mental health. This includes tips on covering disease, interviewing victims and survivors, and working with colleagues exposed to traumatic events.