Nick Whitaker: Google News Lab tools of the trade

By Morgan Mitchell  mkm129@txstate.edu

Ideology of Nick Whitaker and Google News Lab Photo by Morgan Mitchell
Ideology of Nick Whitaker and Google News Lab
Photo by Morgan Mitchell

San Marcos, TX – Nick Whitaker presented at Mass Comm Week 2016 Wednesday on Google News Lab and other evolving technologies.

Whitaker, a product marketing manager at Google, spoke to students during Mass Comm Week on three separate occasions. Each time he spoke about the tools that Google offers as well as a program offered to assist journalists in data analyzation.

“The mission of Google News Lab is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to build the future of media with Google,” Whitaker said during his presentation.

With the ever-growing technology industry, Whitaker said one of the biggest fears he hears from journalists is that they will not be able to keep up.

“I want to change the mindset from anxiety to excitement,” Whitaker said.

Dalia Moreno, an electronic media senior and member of the audience was one member whose attendance to the event was not required.

“I wanted to attend this event to learn more about what Google had to offer,” Moreno said. “I wanted to learn how to use the tools for better stories.”


Video demonstration of how the 360˚ camera works

Video by Morgan Mitchell


During the presentation, Whitaker shared some new photography technologies, including the 360˚ camera. This technology, paired with a viewfinder-like device made from cardboard, allows users to move around and immerse themselves with the content.

Moderator and lecturer Jon Zmikly had his own questions about the 360˚ camera.

“Is it possible that the 360˚ camera is just a fad?” Zmikly said.

In response to the question posed, Whitaker proposed that the same question could have been asked about high definition.

Nick Whitaker discusses new technology in photography. Photo by Morgan Mitchell
Nick Whitaker discusses new technology in photography.
Photo by Morgan Mitchell

Jessi Spain, a journalism junior and member of the audience was excited to hear about the new cameras and photographic technologies.

“I think they are really cool,” Spain said. “But I don’t think I will be buying anything like them anytime soon.”

The devices are very expensive, but Whitaker hopes that students will not get discouraged by lack of funds for the device.

“The best camera in the world is the one you have,” Whitaker said.

For more information on Google News Lab, including webinar training sessions, visit g.co/newslab.

About

Morgan Mitchell is a graduating senior at Texas State University. As a journalism major, she intends to pursue a career in broadcast media as a reporter.

Other works, as well as her demo reel can be found at morgan-mitchell.com

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