Google News Lab aims to empower the digital newsroom

Google is looking to stoke the fires of online journalism with Google News Lab, a suite of tools, services, and training for the modern digital newsroom. News Lab builds on last week's update to Google Trends, which added real-time data on the most topical stories, with guidance and case-studies around how existing services like YouTube and Fusion Tables could be turned to reporting. It's not all online, though, with Google partnering up with various journalism incubators.

For instance, the search giant is throwing cash at "media accelerator" Matter and community group Hacks/Hackers to expand their services to more startups, along with providing engineer support.

There'll also be a series of TechRaking summits organized with the Center for Investigative Reporting. Effectively a hackathon but with a news-gathering twist, they'll look at how technology like drones and big data can be turned to investigation.

Then there's citizen reporting. It's not the first time Google has tried to encourage everyman content through platforms like YouTube, and sure enough YouTube Newswire is among the services being promoted for those who stumble across something newsworthy.

However, there's also First Draft and the WITNESS Media Lab, which Google will work alongside.

News Lab kicks off with local teams in the US, UK, France, and Germany, and is expected to spread beyond that over time.