Our next steps in the Google News Initiative

Steve Grove
Mar 20, 2018 · 3 min read

At an event in New York today, we announced the Google News Initiative — a new, company-wide effort designed to help journalism thrive in a digital age. The GNI is our way of bringing together everything Google is doing to help the news industry — across every aspect of our business — into one coordinated program.

It’s also a recognition that Google needs to do more than we’re already doing to help journalism grow. The pressures facing the news industry today are unprecedented, and tech companies and news organizations need to accelerate collaboration to make sure the future of quality journalism is a bright one. You can find out more about how we’re advancing our work today in our launch post from our Chief Business Officer, Philipp Schindler.

I’m excited about what all of this means for the team I lead, the Google News Lab. Founded three years ago, the News Lab works specifically with journalists and newsrooms to drive innovation in journalism. We organize our work around four focus areas: Trust and Disinformation, Local News, Emerging Technologies, and Inclusive Journalism. Across all four of those pillars, we build partnerships to test new solutions and ideas, and we run a scaled training effort on Google technology globally that has grown to train over 50,000 journalists in person last year, along with over half a million more online.

Under the GNI, the News Lab is poised for further growth. We’re expanding our full-time presence to Australia and Argentina this year, bringing the number of countries we’re in up to 15. We’re hiring several new Teaching Fellows, including our first Fellows ever in Japan and the Nordics. And our News Lab Fellowship — which puts tech-savvy journalism students in newsrooms around the world — is growing to 12 countries and over 50 fellowships.

Most importantly, the development of the GNI gives us more opportunity to build on our model of collaboration with newsrooms. We’ll be investing in more partnerships like Report for America, the First Draft Disinfo Lab, EJC News Impact Series, Neue Deutsche Medienmacher, Impacto.jor and Journalism360 to test new solutions and new models for the most important areas of growth for journalists in a digital age.

A small note about what these changes mean for our digital presence: because we want the GNI to represent the totality of what Google’s doing with the news industry, we’re folding the News Lab website into the new GNI site. Our News Lab trainings will now live in a revamped GNI Training Center, and our Twitter handle is shifting to @GoogleNewsInit. We hope these shifts are helpful to people so they can see and engage with everything Google is doing for news on a single destination online.

The launch of the GNI isn’t the beginning or the end of what Google seeks to do in collaboration with the news industry. But we hope it’s a significant step forward. We’d love your feedback as we continue to build this effort. Please sign up for our newsletter, and find us on social media.

Steve Grove

Written by

Director of the News Lab at Google. Previously built our news & politics team @YouTube. Co-founder of @siliconnstars. Lives in Minneapolis.

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