Tag Archives: News

A look at how news at Google works

During the tragic events of September 11, 2001, people struggled to find timely, trustworthy news and information in Google Search. When they looked for information about what was going on in New York, our algorithms showed results about the city’s history or recommendations for travelers.

Soon after, in 2002, we launched Google News to solve this problem. We built Google News’ homepage to help users discover diverse perspectives from multiple news outlets about the news of the day, prompting them to dive deeper into individual articles and making it easier to compare different views.

Over the past 17 years, we have integrated that thinking into the news products and features we have built for Google Search, YouTube, the Assistant, Discover and more. During this same time, the online news ecosystem has become richer, more diverse and more complex. The modern news industry creates opportunities for everyone to explore more of the world than we ever could before, and to be exposed to perspectives we may not have encountered otherwise. That said, it can also make it difficult to stay informed and to understand which sources to trust.

In response to these changes, we continue to evolve our news experiences in Google products. While we’ve already done a lot to explain How Google Search Works, people often ask us how we go about building news experiences in Google Search, Google News, Discover, YouTube or the Assistant. So today, we are launching a How News Works website to do just that. It outlines the objectives of our work, the principles we follow and the approaches we take in the design of news experiences in Google products.

Supporting the news ecosystem, and its readers

Google aims to help everyone better understand the world by connecting them with high quality news from a variety of perspectives. We do this in real-time for Google News editions around the world. The algorithms used for our news experiences analyze hundreds of different factors to identify and organize the stories journalists are covering, in order to elevate diverse, trustworthy information.

Google does not make editorial decisions about which stories to show, except for the infrequent case of designated topical experiences. In these cases, we may want to make sure that there is a dedicated topic in Google News for a significant event, such as the Oscars or World Cup. We make it clear to users when these topical experiences take place.

News experiences rely on the sustainability of high-quality journalism, so we strive to help journalism flourish by bringing new audiences to publishers. Google’s news products and features send web traffic to news sources all around the world, helping them expand their reach. In addition, we develop tools to help publishers turn their readers into subscribers, and the Google News Initiative offers programs to help address industry-wide challenges and fuel innovation in journalism.

How we build news experiences

Everyone has different expectations and preferences when it comes to exploring news. Over the course of one day, we might want to know the stories that are on top of the day’s agenda, get the latest on topics that we personally care about or get more context about a story we want to explore further. That’s why Google provides three distinct but interconnected ways to discover news across our products and devices:

  • Top News, for everyone, with features like Headlines in Google News or Breaking News on YouTube. They showcase the important stories being covered at a given point in time, and are not personalized.

  • News personalized for you, with products like Discover or features like For You in Google News, or the Latest tab of the YouTube app on TVs, that help you stay informed about subjects that matter to you.

  • Deep context and diverse perspectives, featuring unpersonalized news from a broad range of sources within Top Stories in Search, Top News search results on YouTube or Full Coverage in Google News.

New features need to pass a rigorous evaluation process that involves both live tests and thousands of trained external Search quality raters around the world. We also seek user feedback before and after product launches to understand how to further improve the services we provide.

You will find more information about these topics on our How News Works website, including some of the signals our ranking systems look at and more details about the news experiences currently available on Google.

Announcing the GNI Newsroom Leadership Program with Columbia Journalism School

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As part of our efforts to support the news industry, the Google News Initiative is funding a newsroom leadership program at Columbia Journalism School for journalists in Asia Pacific




Not so long ago, journalists had the luxury of focusing on filling the next day’s paper, radio segment or television broadcast, without needing to think about business models, subscriptions, publishing tools and technology. Today’s newsroom leaders need to understand the business of news in order to be stewards of great journalism. Everyone must also think like a publisher.
To help journalists in the Asia Pacific better manage the transition to the digital age, the Google News Initiative has teamed up with the Columbia School of Journalism to offer a curated program to meet their needs.


The program, which includes four weeks of onsite courses at Columbia University in New York City and Google offices in Silicon Valley and Asia, is for mid-career journalists who have the potential to take on larger roles and run their organizations. Each Fellow will also work on a specific project during the year that is relevant to their newsroom within the main fellowship topics: technology, monetization, and data.


Ten fellows from the Asia-Pacific region will learn how to lead through change in this fast-moving environment and identify opportunities for entrepreneurship within their newsrooms. The program will emphasize:
  • How news companies operate as businesses, and how technology has revolutionized what it means to be a publisher.
  • Ways to evaluate the costs and benefits of introducing technology-driven changes into  newsroom workflows, and how to ensure managers and direct reports support new ways of working.
  • The use of data to create compelling content that will resonate with audiences
  • How to facilitate design-thinking in newsrooms using Google's design sprint methodology, which is used to solve problems and develop products


The deadline to apply is June 26, 2019, but journalists are encouraged to submit applications early, as they are considered on a rolling basis. The Google News Initiative is partnering with news industry and journalist organizations around the Asia-Pacific region to shortlist applicants, including the Walkley Foundation, J-Forum, Journalists Association of Korea, Aliansi Jurnalis Independen, and Splice. Shortlisted applicants are interviewed by the Google News Initiative, and a Columbia University faculty member will select the Fellows from among those who meet all the criteria and are presented by GNI and its vetting partner institutions.   


For more information about the program, curriculum and application instructions, visit the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism website. Submit your application here.

Posted by Irene Jay Liu,  News Lab Lead, APAC

McClatchy and Google partner on an experimental lab for local news

Editor’s note: The Google News Initiative is marking its first anniversary with a look at the collaborations and work that has taken place over the last year, as well as what’s planned for the coming year. One of the key programs we’re launching today is the GNI Local Experiments Project. The goal of the program will be testing new approaches in local business models to help the industry as a whole learn what works and what doesn’t. The first effort to emerge is with McClatchy and their Compass Experiment. The following post is by their President and CEO Craig Forman.

At this important time for local news, McClatchy is expanding its partnership with Google to explore and experiment with new sustainable business models for authoritative news and essential information to communities.

Today, we’re introducing The Compass Experiment, which will provide local news coverage to three small to mid-sized U.S. communities that don’t have access to significant local sources of news and information. The effort will be a part of the Local Experiments Project of the Google News Initiative.

Over the next three years, the McClatchy team will launch these new digital-only local news operations on multiple platforms, in collaboration with a team of experts at Google, which is helping support the effort financially. The sites will be 100 percent McClatchy owned and operated and McClatchy will maintain sole editorial control and ownership of the content. Google will have no input or involvement in any editorial efforts or decision making.

The Compass Experiment isn’t about making incremental improvement for local news. It’s about coming up with new approaches, and harnessing the expertise of both McClatchy and Google to create new models. While we don’t know what this will look like at the end of three years, we share a vision for the value and potential impact this collaborative work will have on the local media industry. Our two companies know each other well, having worked closely together over more than a decade—most notably when McClatchy played a key role as one of the launch partners for Subscribe with Google last year.

Our objective at McClatchy is to explore new models for independent local news and information. Google’s objective is to test the business models and operational aspects necessary to succeed in local news. Ultimately, those findings may lead to Google expanding its tools and services to enable other companies to do similar work.

Further details about the Compass Experiment (including locations) will be announced in the coming months. Over time, we’ll share what we’re learning through case studies that cover what’s worked and what’s scalable.

The importance of local journalism and its essential impact on local communities has never been more vital. McClatchy’s 162-year expertise in local news combined with Google’s expertise in technology will help create new paths. Today marks a meaningful step forward.

Collaborating on the future of audio news for the Assistant

For the past century, radio has been a one-size-fits-all medium. Turn on the radio and you’re dropped into a show at a moment in time—regardless of what you already know, where you are, or what you’re interested in. Imagine instead if you could have your own radio, one that’s available on-demand, accessible throughout your day, and brings you news about the world and your interests.

Over the past year, we worked with publishers from around the world—including The Associated Press, Hollywood Reporter, Universo Online and the South China Morning Post—to think through the future of audio news. Together, we built a prototype that brings the artificial intelligence of Google News to the voice context of the Assistant.

assistantnews

This new experience will bring you an audio news playlist assembled in that moment, for you. It starts with a briefing of top stories and updates on topics you care about, and extends into longer-form content that dives deeper into more stories. At any point in your day when you want to listen to the latest news—as a morning wake-up, during your commute, or while jogging—the Google Assistant will be ready with new stories and updates to the ones you’ve already heard. Plus, using your voice, you can easily ask the Google Assistant to skip a story, go back or stop.

To improve and build out this audio news experience, we’ve built an open specification, available for news organizations that would like to participate. The prototype relies on single-topic stories—segmented out from newscasts or shows—to contribute to the audio news feed.

Audio journalism requires new capabilities and workflows for both print publishers and broadcasters, whether it's adding a sound booth or segmenting larger broadcasts into shorter stories. To help with this, the Google News Initiative provided funding to a number of news organizations, such as KQED and McClatchy, to support building out more audio capabilities for the industry as a whole.

Audio news on the Google Assistant will roll out first to a limited number of people via the Google Assistant in the United States in English. Publishers from around the world who produce English-language content are welcome to submit feeds for inclusion today and sign up to try the experience.

Election day: Live on YouTube

It’s election day in the United States. From candidates launching their campaigns to debating issues that matter to voters, you’ve come to YouTube to hear directly from the candidates and follow the midterm election.

Now it’s time to make your voice heard. If you haven’t already cast your ballot, head to Google and search “where to vote” to find your voting location and make your voice heard.

As polls close, tune into YouTube, where these news organizations will bring you live election results coverage throughout the evening:




 Brandon Feldman, YouTube News and Politics

Source: YouTube Blog


We’re opening the final round of applications to the DNI Fund

Three years ago, we launched the Digital News Innovation Fund (DNI Fund) to stimulate innovation within the European news industry by providing no-strings-attached funding to companies or individuals looking for some room—and budget—to experiment. Since then, the DNI Fund has supported over 559 ambitious projects in digital journalism—whether it is to help investigative journalists with tools to collaborate at scale across borders, create open-source software that enables independent journalism business models to thrive or use VR to help others combat their own empathy-walls. In total, we have granted more than €115.2 million to news organizations across 30 countries. Today, we’re opening the sixth and final round of applications—the deadline to apply is December 3, 2018.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4CK99EI3Ww

How can you effect change when no one is listening? This war correspondent created a VR platform, supported by the DNI Fund, so that people could experience the depth of the issues first-hand.

How the Fund works

The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news startups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries. We’re on the lookout for great ideas and welcome any brilliant plan for which applicants (especially new ones) need some time, space and budget to bring it to life. There are three categories of funding available: Prototype (up to €50k of funding), Medium (up to €300k of funding) and Large (between €300k and €1 million in funding). For more information on eligible projects, criteria and funding, see our website.


For this round, we’re looking for creative approaches that seek to build sustainable business models for news—whether that’s diversification of revenue streams, creative applications of technology to save costs, boosting all aspects of reader revenue (e.g. subscriptions, memberships, contributions, etc.) or designing new ways of thinking around monetisation through products and user engagement.


Applicants whose project falls under the medium and large categories will need to ensure their proposal comes with clearly identified monetisation opportunities. The prototype track does not have this requirement and can remain focused on innovation only.

Apply now

See the DNI Fund website for full details and application forms. Applications must be made in English by Dec 3, 2018 at 23.59 CEST. We’ll announce recipients in March 2019.


New approaches have never been more needed so it’s time to experiment and try something novel. We’re ready and waiting to help you bring your ideas to reality—submit your applications now.

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.


Building a better news experience on YouTube, together

The work of trusted journalistic organizations is as critical as ever, especially when it comes to seeking information about current events online.

In March, the Google News Initiative (GNI) kicked off with the goal of helping journalism thrive in the digital age. Today, we’re announcing steps we’re taking with the GNI to support the future of news in online video, and product features we’ve been working on to improve the news experience on YouTube.

Supporting journalism with technology that allows news to thrive
We believe quality journalism requires sustainable revenue streams and that we have a responsibility to support innovation in products and funding for news.

For example, in 2015 European publishers came to us to ask about how they could scale their video efforts, especially because maintaining video delivery infrastructure is costly. Working alongside them we launched Player for Publishers, a solution that enables news organizations to use YouTube’s video player to give viewers a world-class video experience across their own websites and mobile apps. Player for Publishers reduces costs and offers improved monetization for news organizations.

Since then, we've expanded these efforts beyond Europe. Today, over 100 publishers in more than 25 countries use Player for Publishers.

As part of the launch of GNI in March, we announced funding to support the future of news. Today we are committing $25M to a YouTube-specific investment:

  • Expertise. We’re establishing a working group with news organizations and experts from around the world to help us develop new product features, improve the news experience on YouTube, and tackle emerging challenges. News organizations including Vox Media, Jovem Pan, and India Today are early members of the working group. We’re looking forward to having more join as we convene the group in the coming weeks.
  • Innovation Funding. We will provide funding across approximately 20 global markets to support news organizations in building sustainable video operations. Provided on an application basis to news organizations of all types, these grants will enable our partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video.
  • Support. We’re significantly expanding our team focused on supporting news publishers. These specialists will be based around the world and support partners with training and best practices in formats, audience development, day-to-day platform operations, and sophisticated technical integrations.

News organizations interested in more information about these efforts can sign up here.

Making authoritative sources readily accessible
Authoritativeness is essential to viewers, especially during fast-moving, breaking news events, so we’ve been investing in new product features to prominently surface authoritative sources:

Providing more sources and context on breaking news
After a breaking news event, it takes time to verify, produce and publish high-quality videos. Journalists often write articles first to break the news rather than produce videos. That’s why in the coming weeks in the U.S. we will start providing a short preview of news articles in search results on YouTube that link to the full article during the initial hours of a major news event, along with a reminder that breaking and developing news can rapidly change.



Expanding Top News and Breaking News
To make it easier to find quality news, our Top News shelf prominently highlights videos from news sources in search results (see the picture below on the left). And when a breaking news event happens, we want users to know about it. That’s why our Breaking News shelf highlights videos from news organizations about that event directly on the YouTube homepage (see the picture below on the right). Today, our Top News and Breaking News features are launched in 17 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and more. We will double that number in the coming months.



Showcasing more local news, starting with the U.S.
Many people want, value, and trust local news. And when a major event happens, local reporters are often the first on site to capture events as they unfold. We’ve begun testing features that surface local news in the YouTube app for TV screens across 25 media markets around the United States, making it easy to access local news in the living room--our fastest growing screen. So far, local news has seen strong engagement, and we will be expanding it to dozens more markets like Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Kansas City.



Providing context to help people make their own decisions
We also believe users should be able to choose and make their own judgments about the information they consume along with context to inform their judgments. That’s why we’re rolling out a few new features that we will continue to build upon:

Giving users more sources of information on topical searches and videos
Starting today, users will begin seeing information from third parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica, alongside videos on a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing.



Investing in digital literacy education
Along with the Google News Initiative and Google.org, we have teamed up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to support MediaWise, a U.S.-based initiative designed to equip 1 million teens with digital literacy skills. Six incredible YouTube Creators, including John Green, Ingrid Nilsen, and Mark Watson, will be working with MediaWise to bring awareness to digital literacy and help educate teens.

We remain committed to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organizations. We know there is a lot of work to do, but we’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources.

- Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer

Source: YouTube Blog


The new Google News: AI meets human intelligence

In the nearly 30 years since the world wide web launched, more than 2 billion websites have been created. It can feel impossible to keep up with the hundreds of thousands of tweets, tens of thousands of pages, and hundreds of hours of video that come online every single minute.

Amid this deluge of information, important new voices are constantly emerging. There’s more diverse content to discover and more great journalism being produced than ever before. In order to make it easier to keep up and make sense of it all, we set out to bring our news products into one unified experience.  

Today we’re rolling out an all new Google News, which uses the best of artificial intelligence to find the best of human intelligence—the great reporting done by journalists around the globe.

Using real-time AI/ML to organize the news

When we created the original Google News 15 years ago, we simply organized news articles to make it easier to see a range of sources on the same topic.  

The reimagined Google News uses a new set of AI techniques to take a constant flow of information as it hits the web, analyze it in real time and organize it into storylines. This approach means Google News understands the people, places and things involved in a story as it evolves, and connects how they relate to one another. At its core, this technology lets us synthesize information and put it together in a way that helps you make sense of what’s happening, and what the impact or reaction has been.

A news experience that keeps you fully informed

For many of us, news comes from dozens of different places—sports from a favorite website, politics from TV, and news about your community from your local paper.

When you’re in the app, “For You” makes it easy to stay up to date on everything you care about all in one place. We start with a briefing of five stories that Google News has organized for you—a mix of the most important headlines, local news and the latest developments on the topics you’re interested in.  

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And the more you use the app, the better the app gets. We’ve also built easy-to-use and easy-to-access controls so you can decide if you want to see more or less of a topic or publisher.

As we built the app, we focused on letting the stories speak for themselves with great images and videos from YouTube and across the web. To help you quickly get you up to speed, we’re experimenting with a unique visual format called newscasts. Here, the latest developments in natural language understanding bring together a collection of articles, videos and quotes on a single topic. Newscasts make it easy to dive right into perspectives to learn more about a story—plus, it’s easy to read on your phone.

Full Coverage: Understanding the full story

If you want to get a deeper insight into a story, the “Full Coverage” feature provides a complete picture of how that story is reported from a variety of sources. With just a tap you’ll see top headlines from different sources, videos, local news reports, FAQs, social commentary, and a timeline for stories that have played out over time.

Having a productive conversation or debate requires everyone to have access to the same information. That’s why content in Full Coverage is the same for everyone—it’s an unpersonalized view of events from a range of trusted news sources.

To find out what the world is reading, head over to Headlines for an unfiltered view of news from around the world. Additional sections let you dig into more on technology, business, sports, entertainment and others.

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The best journalism from around the web

Of course Google News wouldn’t exist without the great journalism being created every day. The Newsstand tab makes it easy to find and follow the sources you trust, as well as browse and discover new ones. You can also access more than 1,000 magazine titles in a mobile-optimized reading format.  

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And if you want to support your favorite news sources, we’ve made it simple to subscribe with your Google account. This means no more forms, credit card numbers, or new passwords. And soon, thanks to the new Subscribe with Google platform (launched as a part of the Google News Initiative), you’ll get access to your paid content everywhere—on all platforms and devices, on Google News, Google Search, and on publishers’ own websites.

What’s next

The all-new Google News replaces Google Play Newsstand on mobile and desktop and the Google News & Weather app on mobile. It's rolling out starting today and will be available to everyone on Android, iOS and the web in 127 countries by next week.  

Greater transparency for users around news broadcasters

A big goal for us in 2018 is to provide greater transparency across the board to our community of creators, advertisers, and viewers. In one small step towards that commitment, today we will start rolling out notices below videos uploaded by news broadcasters that receive some level of government or public funding. Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube.

We’re rolling out this feature to viewers in the U.S. for now, and we don’t expect it to be perfect. Users and publishers can give us feedback through the “send feedback” form. We plan to improve and expand the feature over time.

The notice will appear below the video, but above the video’s title, and include a link to Wikipedia so viewers can learn more about the news broadcaster.



News is an important and growing vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right, helping to grow news and support news publishers on YouTube in a responsible way. This work follows a series of changes we made throughout 2017 to better surface authoritative news content. In 2017, we launched a “Breaking News” shelf on the home page to prominently surface news after a major event and a “Top News” shelf in YouTube search results to highlight news from authoritative sources for news-related queries.

This notice on publishers receiving public or government funding, though still in its early stages, not only carries forward our work in this area through 2017, but represents one of many more steps we will take throughout 2018 to improve how we deliver news content on YouTube.

Geoff Samek, Senior Product Manager YouTube News, recently watched "The Oxford comma's unlikely origin."

Source: YouTube Blog