On January 7, 2014, Google for Media in partnership with The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Online News Association, The Society of Professional Journalists, and The National Associations of Hispanic Journalists presented Google for Media: Miami at The Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Google for Media: Miami – Miami being the third city to host the event – was a daylong summit that brought together a number of local industry leaders and showcased the benefits of Google Media Tools for journalists. After a brief check-in and breakfast the summit began with an introduction from Daniel Sieberg – Google Head of Media Outreach – then continued with a number of presentations. The first half of the summit featured keynote addresses from Professor Alberto Cairo (University of Miami) who spoke on the importance of being a visual journalist and Fernando Villa (V.P. of Programming, Fusion) who discussed the importance of creating shareable content. While I missed the opportunity to sit through both addresses, I was still able to keep up with them through Twitter with the hashtag #G4MMiami. Some great tweets focused around Professor Cairo’s advice on choosing the proper graphics to reveal what data may be hiding and Villa’s tips on striving to create content that emotionally connects with an audience.
Image courtesy of Vanessa Schneider
Along with the keynote addresses attendees were presented with a case study of John Maines’s (Journalist and Database Editor, Sun-Sentinel) use of technology, including Google’s Media Tools, which assisted in halting the dangerous driving habits of off-duty police officers in South Florida, and two panel discussions; the first focusing on the use of digital media throughout local news outlets to create and deliver better content while the second one focused on collaboration in the newsroom in the digital age. The first panel discussion included commentary from Claudia Solis (Contributor, EFE News and MSN Latino), Teresa Frontado (Senior Editor, El Nuevo Herald), Jose Zamora (V.P. of Strategic Communication, Univision News), and Anjanette Delgado (Television Journalist, NBC Universal) who discussed how the digital age has affected the dynamics of the newsroom and offered some incredible advice. Two key takeaways from this discussion include the advice that “local” is not what is near you, but what those in the area care about. The second takeaway was instead of looking to create an audience look to create a community through interactions digitally and face-to-face.
During the second discussion panel Hirania Luzardo (Senior Editor, HuffPost Voices at the Huffington Post), Lazaro Gamio (Multimedia Producer, Miami Herald), Emilio C. Sanchez (President & Editor-in-Chief, VOXXI), and Daniel Lastra (Managing Editor, VOXXI) discussed how social media could affect stories and the best ways to utilize its potency. The advice that stuck with me the most from this discussion was to ask yourself whether you’re writing the story to be impactful or for Facebook engagement – something that I found to be very useful for many of us in digital media.
The second half of the summit featured four 50-minute sessions where participants had a choice of three separate workshops per session. The most insightful workshops I found useful would have to be storytelling with Google Earth and the one on Google Maps. Learning how to create tours through Google Earth and working fusion table to create heat maps may have been the most useful techniques I picked up. I also attended the Google Search and Trends workshop and the YouTube Strategies for News workshop where a mountain of useful information was discussed such as search filters and trends filters along with some helpful advice in creating YouTube videos that would generate and audience and subscribers. Following the final workshop session the summit ended with a reception where presenters and attendees gathered to mingle and discuss in further detail topics brought up throughout the summit.
Overall, Google for Media: Miami was a great summit and more like it should be hosted here in South Florida. There were inspiring speeches from some of South Florida’s leaders and innovators, informative discussion sessions, and the perfect atmosphere to absorb all the advice and tips that the Google Media Tools team had to offer. If you did not have the opportunity to attend the summit or if you’d like to see what Google Media Tools might offer you I highly suggest that you click here and check out the available tutorials.