Google Tools training for journalists coming to Knoxville

SPJ Training Program in association with Google News Initiative
SPJ Training Program in association with Google News Initiative

Don’t miss an upcoming free training opportunity in Knoxville for journalists.

The East Tennessee chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is bringing SPJ’s Google Tools training to town on Saturday, June 2.

The four-hour session begins at 10 a.m. at the Scripps Lab, 1345 Circle Park Drive, on the University of Tennessee campus.

While free, registration is required. Sign up here: https://bit.ly/2IJ1cCR

Participants need to bring a laptop and phone to the session.

SPJ Trainer Mike Reilley
SPJ Trainer Mike Reilley, founder of SPJ’s Journalists Toolbox.

The instructor will be Mike Reilley, founder of SPJ’s Journalists Toolbox, a treasure-trove of journalism resources.

Reilley (@journtoolbox) is a visiting professor in data journalism and digital journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago and is a consultant to national media organizations on digital innovation.

This innovative training is made possible by the Google News Initiative and the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Google News Initiative partnered with SPJ in 2015 to teach Google digital tools for news and storytelling at conferences, workshops and newsrooms across the country. Google and SPJ are committed to training as many journalists as possible.

This intensive course will help make you be a better digital journalist, teaching you how to take advantage of Internet sources for researching court cases, public data and news archives, among other sources. It is designed to improve the efficiency and efficacy of your in-depth research.

Here is an outline for the course.

10 a.m. to 10:55 a.m.: Google basics, Google Trends, Google Reverse Image Search and verification tools, Google Scholar. Fun with Google AutoDraw.com and what else is coming in AI with Google Lens.

11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.: Deep Dive Google MyMaps. Data scraping with Google Sheets, scraping .PDFs with Tabula. Google Public Data Explorer

12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.: Lunch and learn: Mobile reporting tools, including Google Cardboard Camera and Google Streetview app.

1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Google Earth Pro, Earth Engine Timelapse tool, Street View.

Have questions? Email me at jack@jacklail.com

SPJ Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie to speak in Knoxville

Alison Bethel McKenzie, the new executive director of the Society of Professional Journalists, will speak to the East Tennessee SPJ chapter on May 10.

Alison Bethel McKenzie
Alison Bethel McKenzie, SPJ executive director.

McKenzie, the first African-American to serve as SPJ executive director, will speak at 7 p.m. at the Knoxville Entreprenuer Center, 17 Market Square Suite 10 (in the building where the Knoxville Chamber is).

She was named the 20th executive director of the national journalism organization in February.

A native of Miami, she was executive director of the International Press Institute for five years. The Institute is the world’s oldest global press freedom organization and is based in Vienna.

She was the first American, first woman and first African-American to to be its executive director since it was founded in 1950, according to an SPJ news release.

She has worked as a visiting professor of print and investigative journalism at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media in Bangalore, India.

Bethel McKenzie was a Knight International Journalism Fellow in Ghana in 2008-09, managing director of the Nassau Guardian in the Bahamas in 2007 and executive editor of the Legal Times in Washington, D.C., in 2006-07.

She has also worked at The Los Angeles Times and The Miami Herald.

Early in her career, she worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Louisiana, New York and Michigan. She was deputy business editor and senior assistant city editor at The Boston Globe and Washington Bureau Chief for The Detroit News.

Bethel McKenzie is a journalism graduate of Howard University She studied non-profit leadership at Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education and is nearing completion of an MBA in media leadership at the University of Cumbria (U.K.) in collaboration with the Robert F. Kennedy College (Switzerland).

Please join us on May 10.

Google PhotoScan

This one has been around awhile — and it really does a good job. “Scan” old photo prints with your phone with Google PhotoScan. It actually stitches together five copies of a photo to create a digital copy.

This video explains some of the science behind this seemingly simple app.

Knoxville growth timelapse

From the Google Earth Engine.

Everything you need to know about Tennessee open records

Deborah Fisher, executive director of TCOG.
Deborah Fisher, executive director of TCOG.

Deborah Fisher, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government (TCOG), will review legislative changes to the public records act in the past three years, as well as some key court decisions regarding access at an East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists meeting on tonight (Oct. 25).

Join us!

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Knox Room of the Knoxville News Sentinel, 2332 News Sentinel Drive. It is open to the public and anyone interested in open records issues is encouraged to attend.

The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government seeks to preserve, protect and improve citizen access to public information and open government in Tennessee through an alliance of citizens, journalists and civic groups.

Since its inception in 2003, TCOG has provided training and presentations to more than 2,400 people and offered on-the-spot free guidance to more than 1,200 citizens and journalists. It has conducted research into open government issues, providing education to citizens, journalists and lawmakers.

Is it part of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

Fisher has been TCOG executive director since November 2013.

She spent 25 years as a journalist, holding positions of reporter, city editor, business editor, managing editor and executive editor at newspapers in Texas and Tennessee. Most recently she worked for a decade for The Tennessean, where she was senior editor for news. She is a past president of the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Plex just keeps getting better

I’ve been using Plex for several months now and it just got news.

Coupled with the iOS app, I use it as a personal Spotify. I find it less compelling for streaming video, but I don’t own a lot of video to stream. It does photos, but there may be better alternatives. it is a great way to organize all media.

I don’t think it’s a Netflix or Amazon Video competitor, but the addition of news services does make it even more useful.

I use it on a QNAP NAS, but there are number of ways to host your own Plex server, including a cloud option. Check it out.