Work-shopping with Google News

ONA Sacramento is the Sacramento Online News Association made up of editors, reporters, programmers and analysts from print, radio and TV media throughout the region. The group holds MeetUps, provides ongoing education and serves as a cooperative group focused on new media and managing the ever-evolving news and information industry and those responsible for staying current.

Their website notes “The Online News Association is a leader in the rapidly changing world of journalism; a catalyst for innovation in story-telling across all platforms; a resource for journalists seeking guidance and growth, and a champion of best practices through training, awards, community outreach.”

On my first Thursday night of the externship I joined the group at a MeetUp at the Sacramento Bee offices – webcamming in Stacie Chan from Google News and listening to her insights on the tool and how journalists can capitalize on its capabilities, benefits and resources. I was able to glean several valuable takeaways from the session including:

  • 51% of consumers look for news via search engines
  • Facebook and search are the best resources for consumers to find news
  • The Google News Lab are gatekeepers for media and journalists with the goal of steering them in the right direction (

Google News wants media outlets to use them to distribute content through their Google News Publishing Center including the media’s YouTube channel and editor’s picks (

Several myths exist about Google News’ services and Stacie wanted to clear those up. A few worth mentioning:

  1. Charges publishers. Not true – it is free to apply.
  2. Favors sites with Adwords or AdSense built in. False.
  3. Google News hand picks top stories. False – there are no human editors. All search results are aggregated-based.
  4. Reporters should use SEO tactics to improve rankings. False. — what matters most is originality, timeliness, relevance and authority.
  5. Google News does not accept subscription-based sites. Not true – they will work with these sites, not hinder them.
  6. Google News does not accept press releases or blogs. Not true – they do accept both as long as they are within a registered site.

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