Apr 14

Technologists and muckrakers pursuing a more perfect union

Washinton: At least 200 reporters, editors and technologists would be gathered at the Googleplex in Mountain View for the Google’s first TechRaking summit, media reported on Friday.

According to reports co-hosted with the Center for Investigative Reporting, the oldest nonprofit investigative reporting organization in the United States, 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.

Think of it as the intersection of science and art when it comes to converting information into knowledge.

Here are a few of the highlights to be discussed in the summit:

• The Center for Investigative Reporting would discuss its new Knight Foundation-funded investigative news channel on YouTube that will be a hub of investigative journalism. Expected to launch in July, the channel will feature videos from major broadcasters and independent producers globally—both nonprofit and for-profit—and is an example of the power of collaborations that can serve the public.

• The Google Fusion Tables team will discuss tips and tricks for data-driven journalists with Wendy Levy and Jeremy Rue during an afternoon breakout discussion. In another step toward making it easier for people in any industry to discover, manage and visualize data, this morning we announced a new interface for Fusion Tables, which helps you better explore and collaborate on data, includes more visualizations under the “experimental” tab and has a new Fusion Tables API for developers.

• Richard Gingras, head of news product at Google, is kickstarting the day with a series of questions for journalists, newsrooms and technologists to consider. Mary Himinkool, who leads global entrepreneurship, is delivering a rapid-fire seven-minute look at lessons learned from entrepreneurs around the world, and Brian Rakowski from Chrome is sharing the process involved in rethinking the modern browser.

We wish we could have welcomed an even larger crowd, but for those who weren’t able to join us in person, tune in to the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Google+ page for updates from the day and highlights afterward. At 1:30pm PT we’ll broadcast a Hangout with Krishna Bharat (distinguished research scientist at Google and founder of Google News), Amna Nawaz (Pakistan bureau chief/correspondent at NBC News), Nic Robertson (senior international correspondent at CNN), Sarah Hill (news anchor at KOMU) and Sree Sreenivasan (dean of student affairs and professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism). You can also follow #techraking and participate on Twitter.

TechRaking was born out of a lunchtime conversation at NewsFoo, another unconventional conference focused on moving forward the future of journalism and technology. We look forward to seeing the ideas and outcomes that emerge and develop from today.