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Google Creative Lab taps a Robertson School journalism professor’s research to share good news stories

Aug 22, 2018

Posted in: News

By Brian McNeill, University Public Affairs

With the Google Assistant, users can search the internet, schedule meetings, set alarms, send texts, play music, dim lights and a long list of other tasks.

And now — thanks in part to the research of a Virginia Commonwealth University journalism professor — the Google Assistant is able to tell users about good news stories happening in the world.

After a recent update, users can say, “Hey Google, tell me something good,” and the Google Assistant will read a two- or three-sentence news summary from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization that aims to expose people to news stories that help them understand problems and challenges, and show them potential ways to respond.

Google set out to develop the feature as a way to lessen the effects of negative news fatigue and reorient users toward emerging solutions, rather than just existing problems.

As part of that process, Ryan Burke, creative producer with Google Creative Lab, reached out to Karen McIntyre, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture in the College of Humanities and Sciences and a leading scholar in the field of solutions journalism, which involves rigorous reporting on how people are responding to social problems.


Please continue reading the article on the VCU News website.