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Aug. 2, 2018, 11:38 a.m.
Aggregation & Discovery
LINK: blog.google  ➚   |   Posted by: Marlee Baldridge   |   August 2, 2018

In a study last year, Google News Lab found that 51 percent of news organizations in the U.S. and Europe (and 60 percent of digital-only news orgs) have at least one dedicated data journalist on staff.

That means, of course, that plenty of newsrooms don’t have a data journalist around. But even for those that do, “Data journalism takes many forms, and it’s not always clear from the headline that there is potentially useful data within that document or story,” Simon Rogers, Google News Lab’s data editor, wrote this week. “The way that data is presented can vary as well, and though data tables are often the most useful format for data journalists, it isn’t always easy for Google Search to detect and understand tables of data to surface the most relevant results.”

Google, in partnership with ProPublica, announced that it will be including more data in search results. (Disclosure: I’m on a summer fellowship at Nieman Lab, paid for by the Google News Initiative.) “[T]here is no reason why searching for datasets shouldn’t be as easy as searching for recipes, or jobs, or movies,” Google said in an Google AI blog post last year.

From the post:

Based on feedback from 30 of the top data journalists in the world, we identified an opportunity to improve how tabular data appears in Google Search and in doing so make it easier for all people to find the data they’re looking for. It works like this: news organizations that publish data in the form of tables can add additional structured data to make the dataset parts of the page easier to identify for use in relevant Search features. One of the participants, ProPublica has been testing the structured data on its interactive databases (for example, on its Nonprofit Explorer).

The feature joins Google’s other data-accessibility projects, including Google’s Public Data Explorer, Google Trends, the Election DataBot. If you’re a newsroom interested in adding it to your site, you can check out more details here.

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