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Home > Journalism Training > SPJ Training Program in partnership with the Google News Lab

SPJ Training Program
in partnership with the Google News Lab
Tools Training for Journalists

About the Program  |  Meet the Trainers
 Become a Trainer  |  Request Training

About the program

Why is Google News Lab providing this training to journalists?
What does the training include?
What does the host organization need to provide?
What are the Google tools that can be taught to your organization/staff/members?
How do I request a training?

Why is Google News Lab providing this training to journalists?

SPJ and the Google News Lab teamed up in 2015 to provide training and outreach to journalists around the U.S. looking to apply Google tools in their news gathering, reporting and storytelling.

Select SPJ members have been trained by the Google News Lab to bring this training to your doorstep. The training can take place in your newsroom or for organizations.

In the first year of the program, more than 4,000 journalists have been trained in the U.S.

What does the training include?

The training includes a workshop lasting from one to three hours providing an overview of the Google tools or providing in-depth training on one Google tool. Longer trainings can be discussed.

A trainer is provided at no cost to you. Thanks to a grant from the Google News Lab, SPJ pays the travel expense for the trainer to come to you.

What does the host organization need to provide?

— A minimum of 25 participants. The organization is responsible for marketing the training.
— A room that will hold all the participants and possibly allow for the participants to have table space for his/her laptop.
— An LCD projector/screen, laptop audio, WiFi, and power.
— The host organization will encourage audience completion of a post-training online survey.
— Please note: This training is available only for organizations based in North America.

What are the Google tools that can be taught to your organization/staff/members?

Become a trainer

In 2016, the Society of Professional Journalists partnered with the Google News Lab to bring digital tool training to over 4,000 journalists across 36 states. With the increasing demand of these trainings, the partnership is seeking more trainers. Want to join us? Get more details and apply inside.

Meet the trainers

Expand all bios

Amara Aguilar (@amara_media) is a digital journalism professor at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She teaches journalism for mobile/emerging platforms, social media, and interactive design, among other courses. Amara has written for the LA Times, CNN and other outlets. She has worked as a designer, reporter, social media engagement producer and consultant.

Frank Bi (@frankiebi) is a data journalist and editorial engineer at The Verge, a technology news website operated by Vox Media that covers the intersection of technology, science, art and culture. At The Verge, Bi builds news apps, interactives and data visualizations. He lives in New York City.

Andy Boyle (@andymboyle) is a writer, web developer and comedian. Before becoming the Director of Platform Architecture at Axios, Andy worked at Breaking News, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, the St. Petersburg Times, and The New York Times Regional Media Group, where his work was cited in the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News.

Abigail Edge (@abigailedge) is a British freelance journalist based in Denver, covering news, social justice, and digital culture. Previously technology editor at, Abigail also spent five years in regional news as a reporter and online editor. She leads the Colorado chapter of Hacks/Hackers.

Sandra Gonzalez (@SandraGonzalez2) is a veteran news reporter based in Las Vegas. Gonzalez has been reporting news for more than 20 years in both TV and radio, many of those years in Dallas/Fort Worth, and New Orleans. Gonzalez is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and serves on their diversity committee and is president of the SPJ Las Vegas chapter. She is also an active member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Michelle Johnson (@mijohn) is an associate professor of the practice, multimedia journalism, at Boston University. Johnson is a former editor for the Boston Globe and She was part of the team that launched in 1995. At the Globe, she started as a copy editor on the night desk and was eventually promoted to a variety of editing positions including senior assistant night editor, assistant political editor and senior assistant business editor before helping to launch After leaving, Johnson freelanced the paper's Personal Tech column for six years and worked as a web consultant. Prior to joining the faculty at Boston University, she taught for two years at Emerson College. Johnson has volunteered for many years as a professional mentor on student projects for NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA, NLGJA and UNITY.

Scott Leadingham (@scottleadingham) is director of education for the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and editor of its magazine, Quill. In his spare time he can be found reporting and writing for various outlets, particularly with a focus on the Northwest. He calls himself a public media evangelist and takes pride in wearing an NPR t-shirt every time he flies, just to strike up conversations. It works well. When not nerding out on journalism, he's running, biking, hiking, or backpacking in the Pacific Northwest. He lives in Spokane, Washington, which he will argue is way better a city to live in than you think it is.

Dan Petty (@danielpetty) is The Denver Post's digital director of sports, working to oversee and execute social, mobile and web strategy within the department with a team of four other producers. He previously served as The Post's social media director and has a background in multimedia journalism. He regularly writes stories and shoots and edits his own photos and videos to accompany those stories and sets digital strategy within the newsroom. His passions are running and cycling, and he covers both subjects regularly for The Post.

Mike Reilley (@journtoolbox) works in business development for A former reporter at the LA Times and web editor at the Chicago Tribune, Mike has been a faculty member at Northwestern University, Arizona State University and DePaul University, training thousands of young journalists on web development. His students’ projects have won first-place awards from ONA, Editor & Publisher (EPPY), SPJ’s National Mark of Excellence and four Peter Lisagor awards from the Chicago Headline Club. He is actively involved in SPJ and ONA. He holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Mike founded and updates the research site The Journalist’s Toolbox for SPJ.

Victoria "Vix" Reitano (@vixinthecity) is a Social Media Strategist, Editorial Marketing Expert, and a Content Strategist and Creator. She appears on-air to share the ins and outs of social media for brands, individuals and job seekers. She has managed digital media brands at ABC's LIVE with Kelly and Michael (where she produced their first Google+ Hangout after growing the audience by 600K+ in 9 months), Telepictures' "bethenny" and at NBC, where she launched the digital presence for The Meredith Vieira Show. She is the Founder and CEO of CreatiVix Media, a boutique digital agency based in Manhattan. CreatiVix Media is a digital agency created to disrupt the agency model. The team can edit content, manage social media strategy and create video Web series for brands, journalists, authors, celebrities, CEOs and entrepreneurs. As an expert, she regularly contributes to blogs, online publications and more about the fundamentals of digital marketing, how to properly brand yourself and ways to advance your career on a digital job track. She is currently a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Elite Daily and Levo League.

Lara Salahi (@BostonLara) is an assistant professor of Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Endicott College in Massachusetts. She is also a New England regional field producer for ABC News.

Samaruddin (Sam) Stewart (@samsends) is a journalist and media technologist based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the co-founder and project lead for the grant-funded Verified Pixel Project. Sam is currently the US Department of State's 189th Franklin Fellow, serving as a media expert providing strategic advising on media outreach and audience engagement. Previously, he was selected by Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow where he researched the application of technical verification on user-generated digital images. He frequently trains, speaks, and researches how technology can assist storytelling; including how best to harness and verify user-generated content and utilize aerial drones for newsgathering. His prior work includes managing and editing roles at AOL, Agence France-Presse, and The Arizona Republic. He holds an MBA from Central European University and both a master's and bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. He was selected by the Fulbright Program in 2014 into the Specialist Grant roster and also serves as a board of supervisors appointed arts commissioner for San Mateo County, CA (pop. 750,000).

Samantha Sunne (@samanthasunne) is a freelance reporter based in New Orleans, where she runs a journalism/tech group called Hacks/Hackers. She also teaches journalists to utilize data and technology, and publishes a weekly newsletter called Tools for Reporters.

Deb Halpern Wenger (@dhwenger), a 17-year broadcast news veteran, is associate professor of journalism and head of the journalism department at the University of Mississippi. Prior to her academic appointments, Deb was assistant news director at WFLA-TV in Tampa, Fla. Wenger conducts multimedia training in newsrooms around the country and is co-author of the broadcast, online and multimedia journalism curricula for the SPJ’s Newsroom Training Program. Wenger is co-author of a journalism textbook, “Advancing the Story: Broadcast Journalism in a Multimedia World” and produces a multimedia blog:

Benét Wilson (@benetwilson) is a veteran freelance aviation journalist based in Baltimore, where she writes for trade and consumer publications. She serves on the boards of the Online News Association, the National Association of Black Journalists and Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism.

Jordan Wirfs-Brock (@jordanwb) is a data journalist in Colorado based at Inside Energy and Rocky Mountain PBS. She enjoys using animation, graphics and podcasting to tell complex stories in approachable ways.

Amy Wu (@amyhwu) reports for The Salinas Californian/USA Today network. She has worked and reported for Time magazine, The Deal and The New York Times. She’s taught journalism at the University of Maryland at Shue Yan University in Hong Kong.

Google Alerts [Link]
Stay in the know on breaking stories that are important to journalists.

Google Surveys [Link]
Gather data from real people by creating your web surveys.

Google Earth Pro [Link]
Tell stories with satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D building and more.

Google Maps [Link]
Show where stories happen by building interactive maps.

Google News/Newsstand [Link]
Reach a wider audience by joining a global news network.

Google Permissions [Link]
Learn proper usage and citations for Google products.

Google Public Data Explorer [Link]
Access a world of data and create high-quality visuals.

Google Scholar [Link]
Bolster stories with academic papers, opinions, and citations.

Google Advanced Search [Link]
Research with precision. Simple tools and tips to help you get better results, faster.

Google Translate [Link]
On assignment across the world, or in an diaspora community across town, you may find yourself in a situation where you need help bridging a language gap.

Google Trends [Link]
Use real-time search data to bring people the stories they’re looking for.

YouTube [Link]
Cultivate and keep a YouTube audience.

How do I request a training?

It's easy! Just fill out this form.

Please note: This training is available only for organizations based in North America.

About the Google News Lab: Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. The News Lab was created to support the distribution and creation of the information that keeps us all informed about what's happening in our world today—quality journalism. Today's news organizations and media entrepreneurs are inventing new ways to discover, create and distribute news content—and we're here to provide tools, data, and programs designed to help. For more information, visit

About Society of Professional Journalists: The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. The organization promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know.

About the SPJ-Google News Lab Trainer Network: The Google News Lab partnered with SPJ to identify and train SPJ members 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 in the effective use of digital tools and reporting stories.

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