3 ways to use Google search to verify a story

March 20, 2019

One way for journalists to brush up on their digital skills is to master google search. In a fast-paced newsroom, verifying stories matters. From images to facts and investigating past articles, google can provide a number of tools to make your job easier and ensure you report the news with accuracy. Google News Initiative has a number of free tools and training materials to help you along the way. Here are three top tips from their training site:

1. Searching by images: Searching for images on google is pretty standard practice for digital journalists. But what you might not have known is that you can also search by an image. If you want to see where else your image appeared online or what images are related to a particular photo, searching by image is a fast and easy way to make that happen.

2. Searching past articles: When you search for news in Google, you’ll get the most recent articles relevant to your query. But sometimes, you may need to see a topic’s coverage over time or find the most significant article rather than the most recent. Let’s say you’re doing a retrospective on NASA's ambitions for putting a man on Mars. You can trace how the story is unfolding using the news archives.

3. Target your search using quotation marks: As reports emerge of a breaking news event, the likelihood of finding eyewitness experiences on social media is high. Leveraging multiple sources to verify a story is always a good practice. To improve your search skills, try grouping words together using quotation marks to find particular phrases. When searching on social media, it’s a good idea to use phrases that eyewitnesses would use. So, instead of “airport evacuation,” try “we just evacuated” or “right outside my building”.