Google picks Kiwi writer

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

A young Kiwi jour­nal­ist is get­ting a ca­reer boost most of her peers can only dream of.

Anna Li has been awarded a Google Jour­nal­ism Fel­low­ship.

The schol­ar­ship will see her spend 10 weeks work­ing with some of the top in­sti­tu­tions in the field across the United States.

The 23-year-old was raised in Auck­land and at­tended Mt Roskill Gram­mar School.

She moved to the US af­ter fin­ish­ing high school and is due to grad­u­ate from Cal­i­for­nia’s Stan­ford Univer­sity in June with a masters de­gree in jour­nal­ism. This is the first time the fel­low­ships have been of­fered and more than 2000 ap­pli­ca­tions were re­ceived by Google from me­dia stu­dents across the world.

Miss Li will spend most of the pro­gramme with the pres­ti­gious Poyn­ter In­sti­tute where she has been awarded a sec­ond schol­ar­ship that will al­low her to stay on un­til 2014.

‘‘I don’t feel like I’m do­ing any­thing par­tic­u­larly spe­cial. I live in Sil­i­con Val­ley – I’m sur­rounded by peo­ple my own age who have formed multi-mil­lion dol­lar com­pa­nies,’’ she says.

The fel­low­ships have a fo­cus on data jour­nal­ism, the prac­tice of mak­ing sto­ries out of large sets of data in­clud­ing statis­tics.

Data jour­nal­ism is be­com­ing more im­por­tant as the me­dia moves into the dig­i­tal age and has been a fo­cus of her work, Miss Li says.

Her goal though travel writer.

‘‘If I could travel and get paid for it I would love it,’’ she says.

Google was cre­ated by two

is to be a com­puter science PhD stu­dents who met at the same univer­sity Miss Li now at­tends.

Be­cause of its ori­gins the in­ter­net gi­ant strongly sup­ports ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tives, says the com­pany’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion man­ager An­nie Bax­ter.

‘‘We think the role of jour­nal­ists is be­com­ing more and more im­por­tant as the amount of in­for­ma­tion we con­sume ev­ery day in­creases.

‘‘There are 72 hours of footage uploaded ev­ery minute to YouTube. The role of jour­nal­ists to an­a­lyse, in­ter­pret, and val­i­date the in­for­ma­tion is be­com­ing more im­por­tant,’’ Ms Bax­ter says.

‘‘We wanted to help the next gen­er­a­tion of young re­porters find a way to use mod­ern tools and tech­nolo­gies to tell sto­ries in new and ex­cit­ing ways,’’ she says.

High flyer: Anna Li has been awarded one of the first Google Jour­nal­ism Fel­low­ships.

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