Tag Archives: Google News Initiative

Hey Google, what’s the news?

Back at Google I/O, we launched the new Google News to help you keep up with the news that matters to you. Since then, millions of you have turned to Google News to follow the big stories of the day, subscribe to your favorite local and national publishers, and dig into topics and people you care about.


But there are moments in the day when you want to catch up on the news while your eyes or hands are busy. Maybe you’re listening to a podcast as you walk to work or catching up on what’s happening while driving to pick up the kids. We are beginning to bring the best of Google News to devices with the Google Assistant so that you can stay up to date wherever you are.


Last week, in the U.S., Lenovo launched the first of many Smart Displays with the Google Assistant. Smart Displays help you get more done with a glanceable touch screen and offer video or audio news briefings to catch you up on headlines, sports, politics, and more. You can choose your preferred news sources from hundreds of national and local broadcasters including CNBC, CNN, Cheddar and more. Just ask, “Hey Google, what’s the news?”

smart display

When you want to go deeper or learn more about a specific topic, ask the Assistant: “What’s the news on the women’s national soccer team?” or “What’s the latest on NASA?” The Google Assistant will find relevant videos from YouTube to play on your Smart Display, and on Assistant speakers like Google Home, it will read out excerpts from news articles from a growing list of publishers.

And whether you’re at home or on the go, the Assistant is there to help you stay informed. All these features are available today on Android phones and will soon be coming to Android Auto and Assistant-enabled headphones (including Google Pixel Buds).

Right now, these updates are coming to devices with the Google Assistant in the U.S. We plan to learn from the U.S. launches and then expand further, so stay tuned for more as we grow the news on the Google Assistant community globally.


How we’re helping journalists prepare for upcoming elections

Around the world, voters are preparing for major elections. By the end of 2019, we'll see midterms in the U.S., parliamentary elections in the E.U., and national elections in Brazil, Nigeria and India, to name a few.

And ahead of any election, journalists and fact checkers face a challenge: confronting mis- and disinformation on the web, in real time. In the lead-up to these elections, cadres of journalists will work around the clock to ensure voters receive accurate information about the races, the candidates and the issues.

To support journalists in giving voters the information they need, the Google News Initiative has invested in a number of efforts across the news industry. One key part of this effort is Google's long-standing partnership with First Draft, a project of Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, which recently convened more than 100 journalists from across the country to verify stories, rumors and tips so they don’t give oxygen to inaccurate stories.

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First Draft’s Cameron Hickey provides examples of memes that were created with the intention to deceive.

First Draft, an organization that began in 2015 to educate journalists on how to verify user-generated content, has long championed the work of reporters who strive to separate fact from fiction. As a founding partner of First Draft, Google has supported the organization with funding, technology and project support. Together, we’ve provided trainings to help thousands of journalists verify online content quickly, and with confidence. The training is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and over the next few months, it will be translated into Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Russian.

In 2018, First Draft set an ambitious goal to train more than 10,000 journalists, and so far this year, they’ve run “train the trainer” events in Indonesia, Singapore and India. At these events, newsroom leaders are trained on verification skills, and then take their learnings back to their newsrooms. And just last month, with more support from the Google News Initiative, First Draft trained a global network of journalists and fact-checkers, with participants traveling from countries including Australia, Peru, Estonia and Pakistan.

But training alone isn’t enough to combat the problem of mis- and disinformation. We’ve also worked with First Draft to convene newsrooms who otherwise might not collaborate on election coverage in the U.S., France, Germany, the U.K. and Brazil. In each project, we provided tools, data and support to ensure that people are reading news stories that have been verified or fact-checked. Between the efforts—Electionland in the U.S., CrossCheck in France, Full Fact in the U.K. and Comprova in Brazil—we’ve brought together hundreds of newsrooms in multiple regions, to collectively debunk false, or misleading storiestargeted to deceive voters.

As disinformation operatives become more sophisticated, global demand to combat them has increased. We are proud to see First Draft evolve to answer the needs of the moment. While we’re doing work on Google’s own platforms to detect, combat and address misleading information, we know that working with groups like First Draft, and the news industry, is key to our collective success.

Hey Google, what’s the latest news?

Since launching the Google Assistant in 2016, we have seen users ask questions about everything from weather to recipes and news. In order to fulfill news queries with results people can count on, we collaborated on a new schema.org structured data specification called speakable for eligible publishers to mark up sections of a news article that are most relevant to be read aloud by the Google Assistant.

When people ask the Google Assistant -- "Hey Google, what's the latest news on NASA?", the Google Assistant responds with an excerpt from a news article and the name of the news organization. Then the Google Assistant asks if the user would like to hear another news article and also sends the relevant links to the user's mobile device.

As a news publisher, you can surface your content on the Google Assistant by implementing Speakable markup according to the developer documentation. This feature is now available for English language users in the US and we hope to launch in other languages and countries as soon as a sufficient number of publishers have implemented speakable. As this is a new feature, we are experimenting over time to refine the publisher and user experience.

If you have any questions, ask us in the Webmaster Help Forum. We look forward to hearing from you!

DNI Fund Report showcases projects making a difference in the news industry

There are few things more important to society than a free and thriving press. As the digital world evolves, journalists and publishers are facing new opportunities, but also new challenges. Being given the flexibility and and budget to experiment with news innovation projects can help solve some of these challenges.


For almost three years the Digital News Innovation Fund—a part of the Google News Initiative—has supported publishers in this work, with a €150 million commitment to kick-start and nurture innovative projects within the European news ecosystem. €94 million of this has been committed to date, with the next round of funding to come.


Today, we are proud to announce the launch of the 2018 DNI Fund Report, which outlines the impact of projects funded so far. To date we have received more than 4,800 applications, with 461 successful projects from 29 countries, for a total amount of €94m in funding.


We appreciate execution takes time, and we now see projects which were submitted as initial ideas developed and deployed as elegant solutions in newsrooms across Europe. The report features projects that have made progress tackling four key industry challenges:


  • Battling misinformation: Projects that work to defend and protect quality journalism by using fact checking and other technologies to combat misinformation
  • Telling local stories: Projects that ensure that local and smaller publishers have a louder voice in the digital space
  • Boosting digital revenues: Projects that aim to help publishers access new or better opportunities to turn their content into revenue
  • Exploring new technologies: Projects that use digital technology to automate work streams or content in order to support original journalism or improve the reader experience

Digital News Initiative Fund - To Date

These are issues facing everyone in the news ecosystem across Europe, and are some of the most compelling topics for applicants. Amongst the projects included are: Full Fact, an independent charity that uses automated fact checking to verify 25,000+ media items per week; La Voz de Galicia, whose Hyperlocal Listener and Community Manager software solutions help journalists target the needs of local users; Steady, which enables digital publishers to monetize individual content pieces through subscription revenue; and Frames, who harness the power of data journalism, simplifying and popularising its usage.


This year many projects took an increasingly collaborative approach, with publishers working across organizational and national lines—pooling resources and sharing knowledge to create bespoke projects; or using open source coding.


From startups to large newsrooms, at local and national news outlets, DNI-funded projects are embracing the opportunities where technology can empower digital journalism, evolving and reinventing everything from subscriptions and fact checking to personalised content and reader engagement.


See what the world is searching for with the updated Google Trends

Google Trends has become a key part of journalistic storytelling, giving reporters everywhere an insight into search trends across the world. Today, we’re updating Google Trends with new features, simpler navigation and more ways to explore data and stories around one of the world’s biggest journalistic datasets. Many of the changes are based on feedback from Trends users.

The new design puts more editorial data-based stories up front, and gives you the ability to create your own stories using Year in Search data, or by exploring the revamped Trending searches and Explore pages. Go to trends.google.com to get started with new features, including:

  • A revamped Trending searches section, showing what is trending in search right now, both daily and minute-by-minute.

  • A newly-designed section where you can see Google Trends data stories curated by the News Lab team on everything from the Trump Administration through Mother’s Day. It’s also a great place to find amazing examples of Google data visualizations by newsroom designers from all over the world.

  • Easy access to Year in Search data going back to 2001, so you can see how search interest has changed over time.

  • New infographic types such as an intensity map to compare different topics in more meaningful ways.

Taylor Swift Kim Kardashian Trends

Map showing Taylor Swift vs Kim Kardashian across the U.S., with the split in search alongside.

All your favorite features are still there, including real time (minute-by-minute) feeds and daily Trends pages, and the Explore page, where you can search for anything you want.

We’re already working with journalists closely across emerging technologies as part of the Google News Initiative, partnering on innovative projects and building new tools for data journalism. We think these changes to Google Trends will be really valuable, but journalist feedback is important in ensuring that we continue to create features that work for the industry. We'd love to hear what you think—please send us your reactions through the feedback button on the site.

See what the world is searching for with the updated Google Trends

Google Trends has become a key part of journalistic storytelling, giving reporters everywhere an insight into search trends across the world. Today, we’re updating Google Trends with new features, simpler navigation and more ways to explore data and stories around one of the world’s biggest journalistic datasets. Many of the changes are based on feedback from Trends users.

The new design puts more editorial data-based stories up front, and gives you the ability to create your own stories using Year in Search data, or by exploring the revamped Trending searches and Explore pages. Go to trends.google.com to get started with new features, including:

  • A revamped Trending searches section, showing what is trending in search right now, both daily and minute-by-minute.

  • A newly-designed section where you can see Google Trends data stories curated by the News Lab team on everything from the Trump Administration through Mother’s Day. It’s also a great place to find amazing examples of Google data visualizations by newsroom designers from all over the world.

  • Easy access to Year in Search data going back to 2001, so you can see how search interest has changed over time.

  • New infographic types such as an intensity map to compare different topics in more meaningful ways.

Taylor Swift Kim Kardashian Trends

Map showing Taylor Swift vs Kim Kardashian across the U.S., with the split in search alongside.

All your favorite features are still there, including real time (minute-by-minute) feeds and daily Trends pages, and the Explore page, where you can search for anything you want.

We’re already working with journalists closely across emerging technologies as part of the Google News Initiative, partnering on innovative projects and building new tools for data journalism. We think these changes to Google Trends will be really valuable, but journalist feedback is important in ensuring that we continue to create features that work for the industry. We'd love to hear what you think—please send us your reactions through the feedback button on the site.

Source: Search


Working with the European Journalism Centre

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the Google News Initiative are announcing three large-scale events and fivedesign sprints that will train newsrooms on new technology, tools and methodologies.

This is the fifth consecutive year we’ve partnered with the EJC, and the next News Impact Summit in France will be our 24th major event together. Paris, Cardiff and Berlin will also play host to our 2018 News Impact Summits—free media innovation events for hundreds of journalists who can hear from international media experts and skilled local practitioners. We’ll also be inviting publishers to take part in News Impact Academy deep-dive workshops in Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Paris and Warsaw.

Over 300 speakers have taken part in News Impact events since 2014, and the feedback was clear—many organizations are experimenting but the lessons learnt aren't always shared across the industry. That's why we’re launching another new program, the News Impact Network. The mentorship program will provide a support mechanism for future media leaders and act as a catalyst for innovative ideas. The first meeting of the Network will take place at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, and the results of their experiments and study tours will be shared throughout the year.

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News Impact Summit, Helsinki

Mattia Peretti who leads the summit program for the EJC says “the creation of the Network is instrumental in the journey that News Impact is undertaking this year to become a structured and dedicated ​ecosystem, a conveyor belt for innovative ideas that change journalism methods, formats and practices across Europe.”


We’ve previously hosted large scale events with the EJC in 18 cities in Europe and the Middle East: Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, Doha, Hamburg, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna and Warsaw.

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News Impact Summit, Manchester

You can learn more about each of the 2018 events and register to attend for free at newsimpact.io

Google News Initiative powers digital journalism training for MENA

Journalists around the world have access to a wide range of digital tools that can help inform their research and shape their reporting—whether it’s digital fact-checking techniques, mapping tools or data journalism.

In the Middle East and North Africa, digital integration in news and storytelling differs across the region—some major newsrooms are experimenting while others still lack the capability to use new digital technology in their reporting.

According to a recent survey from the International Center For Journalists, 77% of newsrooms across the region are concerned about their ability to create quality content. There’s a pressing need to support journalists, whatever their experience so far, and help them experiment with digital tools.

As part of our efforts on the Google News Initiative we’re announcing a new partnership with the ICFJ’s local team, IJNET Arabic, to provide training on digital tools to 4,000 journalists across six countries in the Middle East.

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Journalists training with IJNET Arabic

In her own words, the ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan said “the MENA region lags in providing digital journalism and inspiring trust at a time when young audiences are clamoring for it. We hope that this far-reaching program can close the tech gap in the MENA region, and enhance the quality of digital news.”

A team of nine industry experts will help spread digital know-how, with IJNET Arabic hosting in-person newsroom workshops across the region. In the coming weeks, hundreds of journalists will take part in the first virtual session live from Dubai, from then training workshops will be held in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and UAE.

We’ve launched similar Training Networks in Germany, Indonesia and the United States. You can learn more about our training options, and learn how to use the tools yourself, on our website g.co/newstraining

The Google News Initiative: Building a stronger future for news

People come to Google looking for information they can trust, and that information often comes from the reporting of journalists and news organizations around the world. And while the demand for quality journalism is as high as it’s ever been, the business of journalism is under pressure, as publications around the world face challenges from an industry-wide transition to digital.

That matters deeply to Google. After all, our mission to build a more informed world is inherently tied to the reporting of journalists and news organizations. Our shared mission also reflects shared business interests. Platforms like Search and YouTube depend on a healthy ecosystem of publishers producing great digital content. That’s why it’s so important to us that we help you drive sustainable revenue and businesses. Last year, we paid $12.6 billion to partners and we drove 10 billion clicks a month to publishers’ websites for free. 

It’s also why over the years, we’ve worked closely with the news industry to address key challenges. We worked with the industry to launch the open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to improve the mobile web, YouTube Player for Publishers to simplify video distribution and reduce costs, Flexible Sampling to help with discovery of news content on Google, Google News Lab to provide newsrooms with trainings and editorial partnerships, and the Digital News Initiative to drive innovation in the European news industry.

We invested a lot time and energy in these collaborations. But the hard truth is—all of this might not be enough. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish what’s true (and not true) online. Business models for journalism continue to change drastically. The rapid evolution of technology is challenging all institutions, including the news industry—to keep pace. 

We need to do more. That’s why we’re launching the Google News Initiative (GNI), our effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. The GNI signifies a major milestone in Google’s 15-year commitment to the news industry, and will bring together everything we do in collaboration with the industry—across products, partnerships, and programs—to help build a stronger future for news.

The GNI will build on these efforts and deepen our commitment to a news industry facing dramatic shifts in how journalism is created, consumed, and paid for. It’s focused on three objectives: 

  • Elevate and strengthen quality journalism  
  • Evolve business models to drive sustainable growth
  • Empower news organizations through technological innovation

Elevate and strengthen quality journalism

Over the past few years, we’ve worked with publishers to elevate accurate, quality content and stem the flow of misinformation and disinformation.

On our own platforms, we’re focused on combating misinformation during breaking news situations.  Bad actors often target breaking news on Google platforms, increasing the likelihood that people are exposed to inaccurate content. So we’ve trained our systems to recognize these events and adjust our signals toward more authoritative content. There are comparable challenges on YouTube, and we’re taking a similar approach, highlighting relevant content from verified news sources in a “Top News” shelf.

But we’re also working directly with news organizations to combat misinformation. We’re launching the Disinfo Lab alongside the First Draft to combat mis- and disinformation during elections and breaking news moments. Finally, to help consumers distinguish fact from fiction online,  we’re teaming up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, and the Local Media Association to launch MediaWise, a U.S. project designed to improve digital information literacy for young consumers.

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Disinfo Lab continues our work with First Draft, which includes last year’s CrossCheck FR. This is a photo from a verification training in the runup to the French elections last year.

Evolve business models to drive sustainable growth

Over the last decade, we’ve worked closely with news organizations to grow their digital advertising revenue. In just the past few years, we’ve applied our advanced machine learning expertise to automatically surface key insights about revenue opportunities (generating recommendations worth over $300 million in additional revenue) and supported the creation of faster, better ad experiences for the mobile web through AMP and native ads.

But consumers are willing to pay for digital news content, creating an opportunity to expand beyond ad revenue. Today we’re delivering on avision outlined last year to enable publishers to diversify their revenue streams. We’re excited to launch Subscribe with Google, a way for people to easily subscribe to various news outlets, helping publishers engage readers across Google and the web. Our goal with Subscribe with Google is to ease the subscription process to get more readers consuming publishers’ journalism, as quickly as possible.   

In October, at our Partner Leadership Summit, we told publishers about how we’re experimenting with ways to grow their subscriptions using Google data, machine learning, and DoubleClick infrastructure. We’re now in the early stages of testing a “Propensity to Subscribe” signal based on machine learning models in DoubleClick to make it easier for publishers to recognize potential subscribers, and to present them the right offer at the right time.

Of course, not every publication has the resources to dedicate a team to collect, analyze and understand their user data. News Consumer Insights, our new dashboard built on top of Google Analytics, will help news organizations of all sizes understand and segment their audiences with a subscriptions strategy in mind. At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this project led to a 150 percent increase in pageviews to their Subscribe pages and a month-over-month tripling of new digital subscription purchases.

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We work with news organizations around the world to develop and deploy technology that improves newsroom efficiency, creates enriching storytelling experiences, and protects journalists from cyber attacks around the world.  

For example, we’re using our natural language processing API to help Hearst Newspapers sort, label and categorize more than 3,000 articles every day. We’ve also workedwith the South China Morning Post to use Google Earth Studio to create immersive VR experiences that show the evolution of Hong Kong throughout history. With AMP Stories, which is now in beta, publishers can combine the speed of AMP with the rich, immersive storytelling of the open web. This is just the beginning. We want to continue working closely with publishers to experiment on new ways they can reach audiences and produce impactful storytelling.

Finally, we’re also launching today Outline, an open-source tool from Jigsaw that lets news organizations provide journalists more secure access to the internet. Outline makes it easy for news organizations to set up their own VPN on a private server—no tech savvy required.

Our commitment

Over the next three years, we’re committing $300 million toward meeting these goals. We’re also deepening our commitment to building products that address the news industry’s most urgent needs. In the past, we’ve done this by working closely alongside the industry in product working groups, resulting in projects like AMP and the DNI. We’ll be expanding that model globally.

The commitments we’re making through the Google News Initiative demonstrate that news and quality journalism is a top priority for Google. We know that success can only be achieved by working together, and we look forward to collaborating with the news industry to build a stronger future for journalism.

Source: Search


Elevating quality journalism on the open web

Over the past 20 years, we’ve grappled with the tension between the freedom of information the web enables and the need to ensure trust in information. Elevating accurate, quality content, and stemming the flow of misinformation is a challenge that requires collaboration across the news industry, the research community, and digital platforms.

Here are some of the steps we're taking on the issue.

Increasing the integrity of information we display during breaking news

During breaking news or crisis situations, stemming the tide of misinformation can be challenging. Speculation can outrun facts as legitimate news outlets on the ground are still investigating. At the same time, bad actors are publishing content on forums and social media with the intent to mislead and capture people’s attention as they rush to find trusted information online.

To reduce the visibility of this type of content during crisis or breaking news events, we’ve improved our systems to put more emphasis on authoritative results over factors like freshness or relevancy. This builds on the search quality improvements we announced last year. At the moment, this is in only in the U.S. but we’ll roll it out globally in the coming months .

There are comparable challenges on YouTube, which is learning from and adapting some of the work done by Google Search. YouTube now highlights relevant content from verified news sources in a “Breaking News” section on its homepage and in a “Top News” shelf in search results.   

Collaborating with the industry to surface accurate information

Giving publishers the ability to better structure their data or embed quality signals can help platforms like Google more easily recognize quality content.  That’s why we’re involved in the Trust Project, which  developed eight indicators of trust publishers can use to better convey why their content should be seen as credible.

There’s proof that applying these indicators helps builds trust and counters the negative impact of misinformation. For example, after the Trinity Mirror in the U.K. implemented the Trust Project, consumer trust in the newspaper increased by 8 percent.

Building on that work, we’re partnering with the Credibility Coalition to drive the development of technical markers that can enable third party assessments of online content. This summer, in partnership with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s newly created community group, the Credibility Coalition will explore new approaches to analyze and assess the credibility of information online.

In 2016 we introduced Fact Check tags in Google Newsto help people understand what they are clicking on and reading.  We’ve since expanded to other products like Google Search.  Today we’re  partnering with theNational Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,The New York Times Health team and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to focus on the integrity and accuracy of health information found on the web.  

And starting on April 2—International Fact-Checking Day—the Google News Initiative alongside theInternational Fact Check Network will offer advanced trainings on tools to distinguish misinformation online to more than 20,000 students globally.

Many countries will hold elections in 2018, including Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and the U.S. As part of our broader election work at Google to combat mis- and disinformation during election cycles and beyond, we’re providing support to our partner First Draftin the launch of a “Disinfo Lab.” Based at Harvard, the lab will employ journalists to leverage computational tools to monitor misinformation in the run-up to and during elections.

We also want to support the global research community in their efforts to train new models to detect synthetic, computer-generated voice and video files. Soon we’ll release datasets that can be used to train such models to detect synthesized audio content, and make them available to  journalism and research communities.

Helping young people distinguish quality content online

Media literacy has emerged as one of the most important issues of our digital age.  In a study from the Stanford History Education Group, 93 percent of college students couldn’t flag a lobbyist’s website as biased, and 82 percent of middle schoolers couldn’t distinguish sponsored content from real news.

We’ve already supported media literacy programs in theU.K., Brazil and Canada, but there’s more we can do. So today, we’re launching a $10 million global initiative from Google.org to find ways to tackle the challenge.

The first project in this global effort is MediaWise, a U.S.-based partnership bringing together thePoynter Institute, Stanford University Education Group, and the Local Media Association.  Supported by a $3 million Google.org investment, MediaWise is a media literacy project designed to help millions of young people in the U.S. discern fact from fiction online, through classroom education and video—with a little help from several teen-favorite YouTube creators.

People need journalism they can count on. But it will take collaboration and working with partners across a broad spectrum to provide good solutions to the problem of misinformation, and help build a more informed world.