Author Archives: Matt Cooke

Helping local journalism in the UK thrive online

Local news is at the heart of all communities – even in big cities. It’s often said London is a ‘city of villages’ and as someone who has grown up, studied and worked in different parts of the capital, I’ve always learnt a lot about my various neighbourhoods through the lens of the local newspaper. From the ‘Surrey Comet’ in Kingston, to the ‘Ham & High’ in Haringey, local journalism shines a light on issues as diverse as local government, culture and important new developments.

Today, thanks to the internet, readers can choose from an incredible array of news sources online. Anyone with a passion can set up a specialist blog and find a following. This is great news for creators and readers like me with a niche interest in anything from arts to architecture. But the online environment and changing audience habits have disrupted traditional business models. Today, local papers and news sites have to work harder than ever to capture – and monetise – audiences' attention with news they’ll enjoy.

One way we support local publishers to meet this challenge is by driving online audiences to their journalism via Google News and Search. In 2021, we sent more than 2.4 billion organic clicks to local news publications in the UK from global users on Google Search and News. A 2019 study by Deloitte in Europe valued each visit between €0.04-0.06 —which equates to more than £84 million in value going to British local news publications from Google traffic alone.

We’ve been working to give local news greater prominence on Google Search and News in recent years, and our latest changes to Google News will help readers discover local content even more easily.

Local publishers often tell us they want to strengthen their digital skills and build on their expertise to further cut through to online audiences. That’s why with the Google News Initiative we are focused on helping local journalism to thrive. We partner with local publishers on new products like Google News Showcase, or the digital portal we developed with the NMA to protect revenue from public notices. On partnerships that support experimentation and innovation in new sustainable business models, and on training to upskill journalists with digital tools and techniques. Our training includes digital verification to tackle misinformation, data journalism and tools that strengthen investigative journalism.

Many local publishers across the UK are already innovating with new digital strategies to pull in new readers and revenues. Today we’re announcing three new programmes that build on this long standing work, and there is more to come.

Supporting local publishers with subscriptions

To be successful in the long term, publishers must have a sustainable digital revenue model. As part of our Digital Growth Programme, we partnered with the NMA and FT Strategies to help 12 local publishers develop the expertise they need to build a blueprint for the future. Local partners like Barnsley Chronicle, Rotherham Advertiser, and Iliffe Media took part, and it’s been great to hear the response:

Jeremy Spooner at the Maidenhead Advertiser said: “The extremely high level of expertise delivered by the FT Strategies team, coupled with their access to insights on how to grow digital subscription revenue would not have been accessible by Baylis Media Ltd, had it not been funded by Google News Initiative. The programme has given the team the confidence to accelerate its Digital Subscription Strategy with a clear methodology now in place and a challenge goal set. Without doubt the programme has provided a significant boost to the Digital Revenue Strategy.”

Today, we’re announcing that we’re expanding the programme for another 12 months in response to feedback from the publishers involved.

A new nationwide training partnership with the National Union of Journalists

As a former journalist, I can begin to understand the pressure to stay across a range of new tools. The team I lead has trained 16,500 UK journalists and journalism students since 2015, with a focus on providing workshops outside of London.

Our new partnership with the National Union of Journalists will build on these efforts, and focus on helping local journalists across the UK and Ireland develop both their journalism and leadership capabilities. They’ll deliver 13 in-person workshops nationwide, and 30 virtual digital skills workshops to ensure the training is fully accessible to all.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “This partnership is an opportunity to improve the digital skills of our members, in particular by using technology to verify the authenticity and accuracy of images, videos and reports on social media and elsewhere online – an essential skill for a modern and ethical journalist. The training will also help mid-career members to progress towards leadership roles, with a particular emphasis on groups under-represented within the industry’s management – women, black and minority ethic, disabled and working class journalists.”

Partnering with PA Media on digital skills

Ensuring training programmes reach groups that are underrepresented in journalism is important if UK newsrooms are to better reflect the communities they serve. That's why we’re proud to sponsor the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund and to have helped support 200 aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds through their training and into local newsrooms such as WalesOnline, Barnsley Chronicle and Newcastle World.

Today we’re launching a new partnership with PA Media to offer more targeted support for underrepresented groups across two key areas: digital skills and misinformation. First, we’re sponsoring 25 places on PA Media's four-week summer school for students from underrepresented backgrounds, with a particular focus on reaching students in Westminster and Camden – as well as a series of training festivals for 500 journalists. Secondly, we’re supporting PA Media to develop a new training curriculum to help journalists tackle misinformation as part of their daily news gathering processes.

Alongside these partnerships, we provide direct funding to support innovation in local news via the GNI innovation Challenge for Europe, our YouTube Creator Programme for Independent Journalists and our newly announced Global News Equity Fund.

We’re excited to see the impact these news projects have and to keep working with our local partners to help ensure a vibrant future for local British journalism.

Helping local journalism in the UK thrive online

Local news is at the heart of all communities – even in big cities. It’s often said London is a ‘city of villages’ and as someone who has grown up, studied and worked in different parts of the capital, I’ve always learnt a lot about my various neighbourhoods through the lens of the local newspaper. From the ‘Surrey Comet’ in Kingston, to the ‘Ham & High’ in Haringey, local journalism shines a light on issues as diverse as local government, culture and important new developments.

Today, thanks to the internet, readers can choose from an incredible array of news sources online. Anyone with a passion can set up a specialist blog and find a following. This is great news for creators and readers like me with a niche interest in anything from arts to architecture. But the online environment and changing audience habits have disrupted traditional business models. Today, local papers and news sites have to work harder than ever to capture – and monetise – audiences' attention with news they’ll enjoy.

One way we support local publishers to meet this challenge is by driving online audiences to their journalism via Google News and Search. In 2021, we sent more than 2.4 billion organic clicks to local news publications in the UK from global users on Google Search and News. A 2019 study by Deloitte in Europe valued each visit between €0.04-0.06 —which equates to more than £84 million in value going to British local news publications from Google traffic alone.

We’ve been working to give local news greater prominence on Google Search and News in recent years, and our latest changes to Google News will help readers discover local content even more easily.

Local publishers often tell us they want to strengthen their digital skills and build on their expertise to further cut through to online audiences. That’s why with the Google News Initiative we are focused on helping local journalism to thrive. We partner with local publishers on new products like Google News Showcase, or the digital portal we developed with the NMA to protect revenue from public notices. On partnerships that support experimentation and innovation in new sustainable business models, and on training to upskill journalists with digital tools and techniques. Our training includes digital verification to tackle misinformation, data journalism and tools that strengthen investigative journalism.

Many local publishers across the UK are already innovating with new digital strategies to pull in new readers and revenues. Today we’re announcing three new programmes that build on this long standing work, and there is more to come.

Supporting local publishers with subscriptions

To be successful in the long term, publishers must have a sustainable digital revenue model. As part of our Digital Growth Programme, we partnered with the NMA and FT Strategies to help 12 local publishers develop the expertise they need to build a blueprint for the future. Local partners like Barnsley Chronicle, Rotherham Advertiser, and Iliffe Media took part, and it’s been great to hear the response:

Jeremy Spooner at the Maidenhead Advertiser said: “The extremely high level of expertise delivered by the FT Strategies team, coupled with their access to insights on how to grow digital subscription revenue would not have been accessible by Baylis Media Ltd, had it not been funded by Google News Initiative. The programme has given the team the confidence to accelerate its Digital Subscription Strategy with a clear methodology now in place and a challenge goal set. Without doubt the programme has provided a significant boost to the Digital Revenue Strategy.”

Today, we’re announcing that we’re expanding the programme for another 12 months in response to feedback from the publishers involved.

A new nationwide training partnership with the National Union of Journalists

As a former journalist, I can begin to understand the pressure to stay across a range of new tools. The team I lead has trained 16,500 UK journalists and journalism students since 2015, with a focus on providing workshops outside of London.

Our new partnership with the National Union of Journalists will build on these efforts, and focus on helping local journalists across the UK and Ireland develop both their journalism and leadership capabilities. They’ll deliver 13 in-person workshops nationwide, and 30 virtual digital skills workshops to ensure the training is fully accessible to all.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “This partnership is an opportunity to improve the digital skills of our members, in particular by using technology to verify the authenticity and accuracy of images, videos and reports on social media and elsewhere online – an essential skill for a modern and ethical journalist. The training will also help mid-career members to progress towards leadership roles, with a particular emphasis on groups under-represented within the industry’s management – women, black and minority ethic, disabled and working class journalists.”

Partnering with PA Media on digital skills

Ensuring training programmes reach groups that are underrepresented in journalism is important if UK newsrooms are to better reflect the communities they serve. That's why we’re proud to sponsor the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund and to have helped support 200 aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds through their training and into local newsrooms such as WalesOnline, Barnsley Chronicle and Newcastle World.

Today we’re launching a new partnership with PA Media to offer more targeted support for underrepresented groups across two key areas: digital skills and misinformation. First, we’re sponsoring 25 places on PA Media's four-week summer school for students from underrepresented backgrounds, with a particular focus on reaching students in Westminster and Camden – as well as a series of training festivals for 500 journalists. Secondly, we’re supporting PA Media to develop a new training curriculum to help journalists tackle misinformation as part of their daily news gathering processes.

Alongside these partnerships, we provide direct funding to support innovation in local news via the GNI innovation Challenge for Europe, our YouTube Creator Programme for Independent Journalists and our newly announced Global News Equity Fund.

We’re excited to see the impact these news projects have and to keep working with our local partners to help ensure a vibrant future for local British journalism.

Lessons from the International Journalism Festival

The International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, is back after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic. As we arrived in the beautiful city, the energy was palpable as new connections were made, and familiar faces from around the world, and across the journalism community reunited. We had the privilege of hearing from reporters, news entrepreneurs and publishers of all sizes during the festival. We listened and participated in panels that discussed everything from innovation and DEI in the newsroom, to advocating for quality journalism and experimenting with new digital revenue streams. We also announced some key developments for the Google News Initiative in Europe, including:

I’ve been going to this festival since 2017 and I learn something new every time. Here are a couple of my personal takeaways this year:

Innovation is sprouting in more regions, and in new and different ways

Whether it's exploring new business models, boosting reader engagement or working with technology to transform newsrooms, news organizations across Europe are innovating. One comment that resonated is that innovation is often placed in the ‘important, but not urgent pile’ when in fact if we are to successfully adapt to uncertainty and thrive then it’s a priority.

Digital skills will enable a new wave of journalism

Learning and career development can often take a back seat when you’re a journalist writing to a deadline. However, from my own newsroom experience, I know journalists are lifelong learners. At Perugia, we met freelance and newsroom journalists who are developing the necessary digital skills to combat misinformation, engage specialist topics and experiment with different digital publishing platforms, including podcasts, newsletters, virtual events and video.

We need to better support the mental health of journalists

The psychological toll of covering the daily news agenda, along with a sense of ‘burnout’ is a pervasive issue amongst journalists. In addition to the unique pressures of being a professional journalist, the past two years have pushed many to the breaking point. New initiatives to help restore the mental health of journalists are underway, including a new expert program from HeadlinesNet and MINDCharity to create a suite of mental health resources to specifically address the needs of journalists. In short, if the role of a journalist is truly sustainable we require a renewed focus on mental health practices.

Diversity in the newsroom

Many discussions centered around the impact diversity in the newsroom has in helping to better reflect the views of underrepresented audiences. By focusing on solving problems for a specific community, news organisations are differentiating themselves and creating value for their readers.

I’m leaving Perugia inspired to experiment, to share the learnings with my team and beyond, and to try new approaches to big challenges. Thank you to the organizers of this year's event, to the countless volunteers who enabled the festival to take place, and to all the journalists and journalism students we met this year. Here’s to 2023!

Note from the Editor: If you enjoyed this post, watch this short videofeaturing Matt’s highlights from the festival

Listen to Matt’s highlights from the festival
10:25

Working together to transform journalism training

Ignoring vowels, removing connecting letters and recording up to 150 words a minute. It’s not the latest algorithmic advance, but instead something many U.K. journalists will recognise as Teeline: a shorthand transcribing skill which forms part of a formal journalism qualification.


Two decades ago, as a journalism student in London, I was taught the importance of law, ethics and editorial values, as well as the technical skills required to be a journalist. While the fundamentals of journalism may not have altered since, it’s clear technology has radically changed how journalists work, not to mention the changing habits of their audiences.


Alongside the shifting landscape, we’re announcing our support for the  Journalism Skills Academy (JSA): an e-learning platform from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). This will help digitally transform the way they provide assessments, qualifications and workshops, while also helping how they overhaul their approach to learning and education. 

NCTJ’s CEO, Joanne Butcher, says the new platform means distance learners no longer need to receive materials in the post, but instead can access them with a few mouse clicks. “It’s the latest move to ensure our work remains compelling, relevant and innovative,” she says. The organisation plans to develop a range of new courses and resources over the next 18 months. 


The Journalism Skills Academy website

The Journalism Skills Academy website


In addition, for the fifth consecutive year, we’re also supporting the Journalism Diversity Fund to help the next generation of journalists. As lead sponsor of the fund, we join 20 associations, broadcasters and publishers to provide bursaries to people from underrepresented backgrounds who need help funding their NCTJ journalism training. 


Joanne says the NCTJ is “absolutely delighted that we will be able to strengthen further the relationship between our organisations in the years ahead, as we grow these key areas of the NCTJ’s work.”

A group of people in professional attire stand in front of a wall with several Reuters logos.

Recipients of the Journalism Diversity Fund attending an event in London.


Training never stops when you become a qualified journalist. For a second year, the Google News Initiative is supporting the University of Central Lancashire to deliver the Journalism Innovation & Leadership Programme to provide postgraduate training opportunities for mid-career journalists from the U.K. and abroad.


Academics will select experienced journalists who apply to take part in an intensive 30-week course seeking to develop leadership, operational and product thinking skills, helping to connect people and build lasting relationships across the industry. The curriculum is grounded in industry insights tracking emerging trends and relevant themes. 


“It's perhaps never been more critical for those committed to the sustainability of journalism to take time out of the newsroom to think and learn from others as they assess new opportunities and ways of working,” says Dr François Gilson from UCLan. 


At the Google News Lab, we provide online resources on a range of digital tools, and in recent years we’ve trained 14,000 U.K. journalists and journalism students. We’re continuing to work with partners around the world, to find new ways to support personal development, both for staff journalists and freelancers.

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

Newsroom placements for students across Europe

Calling journalism students across Europe. If you have a passion for news, want to make and break stories and love technology, we have a program that brings all those skills together—the 2018 Google News Lab Fellowship.

This year we’re offering placements across 10 countries. For the first time, news publishers in Belgium and the Netherlands will be taking part—the Fellowship will open here soon—and each of will offer new opportunities for students to gain valuable experience. 

Applications are open in the following european countries: Austria, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Country-specific applications can be found on the News Lab website

In the coming weeks, the participating newsrooms will select their preferred candidates and identify a Fellow by the end of May. The Fellow will then join the newsroom for a two-month summer placement, and Google provides a €5,500 stipend for each publisher to allocate. Fellows who have completed their placement in previous years say it was a “golden opportunity to get full-time work experience” and an invaluable start to their career in journalism.

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Attending a workshop in London, here are the 2017 News Lab Fellows, and one Googler—me on the far right!

During their placement, the Fellows are invited to contribute their ideas to stories and new projects. From fact-checking to data journalism, video to audio, each newsroom offers a unique opportunity. In previous years, we’ve seen Fellows secure a frontpage story, bring new thinking to analytics and introduce emerging 360 technology to their newsroom.

In 2017, selected Fellows from parts of northern Europe traveled to Google in London to take part in a training and innovation workshop. While here, they heard product experts from the YouTube Space and the News Lab and received practical tips to help strengthen their digital newsgathering and visualization skills.

While the program isn’t available on an annual basis everywhere, there are currently Fellowships taking place in Australia, South Korea and the U.S., and we’re always thinking of how to expand and test the program in other countries.

Thank you to all of the news organizations that are taking part this year—for example, Agence France-Presse, Wirtschaftswoche, The Telegraph and LCI—and those who’ve taken part in previous years. Good luck to everyone who wishes to apply!

News Lab in 2017: Our work around the world

This week we’re looking at how the Google News Lab is working with news organizations to build the future of journalism. So far, we shared how the News Lab works with newsrooms to address industry challenges and use emerging technologies. Today, we’ll take a look at the News Lab’s global footprint and its efforts to fuel innovation in newsrooms across the world.


Technology continues to change how journalists across the world report and tell stories. But how technology shapes journalism varies from region to region. This past year our team, the Google News Lab, conducted in-person trainings for journalists across 52 countries. Today, we take a look at the unique challenges of newsrooms in the regions we serve and how we’ve adapted our mission for each region to help build the future of journalism.

Europe

In Europe, it’s been another big year for politics with major general elections taking place in the Netherlands, France, UK, Germany and Norway. We wanted to ensure we were helping newsrooms cover these critical moments with the accuracy and depth they required. So, our efforts across these countries focused on helping newsrooms verify digital content in a timely fashion and providing training in digital skills for journalists.

  • We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UKFrench, and German elections. In France, we supported First Draft's launch of CrossCheck; a collaboration among 37 newsrooms to verify or debunk online stories during the election. In the build up to the elections in the UK and Germany, we also supported fact-checking organizations Full Fact and Correctiv to help newsrooms identify new sources of information. These initiatives helped more than 500 European journalists verify content online and debunk 267 inaccurate stories shared on social during the French and German elections. 
  • Journalists across Europe used Google Trends to help visualize big political stories—here’s a peek at what they did. 
_DSC0327 (1).jpg
Journalists attending the European Journalism Centre News Impact Summit in Manchester, UK.

  • We continued to ramp up our efforts to train European journalists digital skills. We worked with The European Journalism Centre on the latest series of the News Impact Summit, providing large-scale training events on news gathering and storytelling, combined with design-thinking workshops for journalists in Rome, Hamburg, Budapest, Manchester and Brussels. And our partnership with Netzwerk Medien-Trainer has provided over a thousand journalists across northern Europe with expert training on data journalism, verification and mapping.

Asia Pacific

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 5.13.30 PM.png
Journalists from across Asia attend a session at our first News Lab Summit in APAC.

This year, we expanded our training and programs to the  Asia Pacific, where we’ve tailored our approach to meet the specific needs of journalists across this diverse landscape. In a part of the world that is largely mobile-first (or mobile-only) and chat apps are the norm, there are a unique set of opportunities and challenges for newsrooms.

  • In July, our first News Lab APAC Summit welcomed 180 guests from 150 news organizations across 15 countries to our offices in Singapore. Product specialists and experts from newsrooms across the region came together to share best practices, learn about emerging technologies, and engage in open dialogue on challenges critical to the news industry.
  • In India, our Teaching Fellow has provided training and support to around 4K journalists and journalism students across the country. Our partnership with the Digital Identities team helped journalists in New Delhi experiment and engage new audiences with their stories.
  • Working in partnership with News Lab, the South China Morning Post released an immersive virtual reality project to depict the changing landscape of Hong Kong over 170 years of history.
  • We’re working to support research projects that tackle industry challenges - working with Media Diversity Australia to quantify issues of diversity and representation in the Australian news organizations, while in South Korea we’re supporting a study about the use of chat apps and their role in the news ecosystem.

Latin America

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Journalists from across Brazil gathered for an open conversation on the future of news at our first News Lab Summit in Brazil.

Working with journalists across Latin America, we elevated new voices beyond traditional newsrooms, and helped established journalists experiment with new technology and research. In Brazil alone there are an estimated 139 million Internet users, providing a huge opportunity for news organizations to experiment and test new formats.

  • We hosted the first Google News Lab Summit in LatAm Google’s HQ in São Paulo, which convened 115 journalists from across Brazil. Attendees from 71 organizations heard from product managers and industry experts about data journalism, immersive storytelling and verification.
  • Impacto.jo, an experimental project in Brazil supported by the News Lab, helps journalists track the social impact of their reporting. As a part of the project, six organizations including Nexo JornalFolha de S. PauloVejaGazeta do PovoNova Escola and Projor will each track the public response and social reaction to their stories. 
  • In Brazil, we brought 300 journalists to a first-of-its-kind independent journalism festival in Rio de Janeiro to share ideas on how to engage audiences online with original journalism.
  • Our Teaching Fellows based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City have travelled beyond Argentina and Mexico to provide 75 workshops in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay

Middle East & Africa

We are focused on the growing number of mobile phone users, providing trainings for journalists on digital integration, as it remains a challenge in this part of the world.

  • We’re working with Code for Africa and the World Bank to provide training to six thousand journalists across 12 major African cities. Their online learning course will provide self-paced lessons for journalists across Africa. They’re also working to support local Hacks/Hackers meetings to bring journalists and developers together to share new ideas.
  • In South Africa, we held a GEN Editors Lab hackathon, in association with Code for Africa, that brought together 35 developers and journalists to tackle a range of topics including misinformation. This builds on our support for previous events in Nigeria. We’ll be taking the hackathons to Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Taiwan.
Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 5.28.02 PM.png
Journalists in Africa going through digital skills training.

A bulk of our in-person training work has been made possible by the Google News Lab Teaching Fellowship, which launched this year and enlists industry professionals, academic experts and experienced journalists to help us provide practical, in-person workshops and presentations across the world. In total, we hosted workshops, hackathons, and in-person trainings for 48K journalists across 52 countries.


Since we can’t be everywhere in-person, our online training center offers a round-the-clock service in 13 languages including Arabic, Polish, Hebrew and Hindi. We’re continuing to collaborate with training organizations around the world, and our growing Training Network now includes expert trainers in Europe, the U.S. and parts of Asia Pacific. There’s plenty more to do in 2018 and we’re looking forward to working with journalists and newsrooms across the world.


News Lab in 2017: Our work around the world

This week we’re looking at how the Google News Lab is working with news organizations to build the future of journalism. So far, we shared how the News Lab works with newsrooms to address industry challenges and use emerging technologies. Today, we’ll take a look at the News Lab’s global footprint and its efforts to fuel innovation in newsrooms across the world.


Technology continues to change how journalists across the world report and tell stories. But how technology shapes journalism varies from region to region. This past year our team, the Google News Lab, conducted in-person trainings for journalists across 52 countries. Today, we take a look at the unique challenges of newsrooms in the regions we serve and how we’ve adapted our mission for each region to help build the future of journalism.

Europe

In Europe, it’s been another big year for politics with major general elections taking place in the Netherlands, France, UK, Germany and Norway. We wanted to ensure we were helping newsrooms cover these critical moments with the accuracy and depth they required. So, our efforts across these countries focused on helping newsrooms verify digital content in a timely fashion and providing training in digital skills for journalists.

  • We helped the First Draft Coalition pioneer new collaborative reporting models to combat misinformation and verify news stories during the UKFrench, and German elections. In France, we supported First Draft's launch of CrossCheck; a collaboration among 37 newsrooms to verify or debunk online stories during the election. In the build up to the elections in the UK and Germany, we also supported fact-checking organizations Full Fact and Correctiv to help newsrooms identify new sources of information. These initiatives helped more than 500 European journalists verify content online and debunk 267 inaccurate stories shared on social during the French and German elections. 
  • Journalists across Europe used Google Trends to help visualize big political stories—here’s a peek at what they did. 
_DSC0327 (1).jpg
Journalists attending the European Journalism Centre News Impact Summit in Manchester, UK.

  • We continued to ramp up our efforts to train European journalists digital skills. We worked with The European Journalism Centre on the latest series of the News Impact Summit, providing large-scale training events on news gathering and storytelling, combined with design-thinking workshops for journalists in Rome, Hamburg, Budapest, Manchester and Brussels. And our partnership with Netzwerk Medien-Trainer has provided over a thousand journalists across northern Europe with expert training on data journalism, verification and mapping.

Asia Pacific

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 5.13.30 PM.png
Journalists from across Asia attend a session at our first News Lab Summit in APAC.

This year, we expanded our training and programs to the  Asia Pacific, where we’ve tailored our approach to meet the specific needs of journalists across this diverse landscape. In a part of the world that is largely mobile-first (or mobile-only) and chat apps are the norm, there are a unique set of opportunities and challenges for newsrooms.

  • In July, our first News Lab APAC Summit welcomed 180 guests from 150 news organizations across 15 countries to our offices in Singapore. Product specialists and experts from newsrooms across the region came together to share best practices, learn about emerging technologies, and engage in open dialogue on challenges critical to the news industry.
  • In India, our Teaching Fellow has provided training and support to around 4K journalists and journalism students across the country. Our partnership with the Digital Identities team helped journalists in New Delhi experiment and engage new audiences with their stories.
  • Working in partnership with News Lab, the South China Morning Post released an immersive virtual reality project to depict the changing landscape of Hong Kong over 170 years of history.
  • We’re working to support research projects that tackle industry challenges - working with Media Diversity Australia to quantify issues of diversity and representation in the Australian news organizations, while in South Korea we’re supporting a study about the use of chat apps and their role in the news ecosystem.

Latin America

xx
Journalists from across Brazil gathered for an open conversation on the future of news at our first News Lab Summit in Brazil.

Working with journalists across Latin America, we elevated new voices beyond traditional newsrooms, and helped established journalists experiment with new technology and research. In Brazil alone there are an estimated 139 million Internet users, providing a huge opportunity for news organizations to experiment and test new formats.

  • We hosted the first Google News Lab Summit in LatAm Google’s HQ in São Paulo, which convened 115 journalists from across Brazil. Attendees from 71 organizations heard from product managers and industry experts about data journalism, immersive storytelling and verification.
  • Impacto.jo, an experimental project in Brazil supported by the News Lab, helps journalists track the social impact of their reporting. As a part of the project, six organizations including Nexo JornalFolha de S. PauloVejaGazeta do PovoNova Escola and Projor will each track the public response and social reaction to their stories. 
  • In Brazil, we brought 300 journalists to a first-of-its-kind independent journalism festival in Rio de Janeiro to share ideas on how to engage audiences online with original journalism.
  • Our Teaching Fellows based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City have travelled beyond Argentina and Mexico to provide 75 workshops in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay

Middle East & Africa

We are focused on the growing number of mobile phone users, providing trainings for journalists on digital integration, as it remains a challenge in this part of the world.

  • We’re working with Code for Africa and the World Bank to provide training to six thousand journalists across 12 major African cities. Their online learning course will provide self-paced lessons for journalists across Africa. They’re also working to support local Hacks/Hackers meetings to bring journalists and developers together to share new ideas.
  • In South Africa, we held a GEN Editors Lab hackathon, in association with Code for Africa, that brought together 35 developers and journalists to tackle a range of topics including misinformation. This builds on our support for previous events in Nigeria. We’ll be taking the hackathons to Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Taiwan.
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Journalists in Africa going through digital skills training.

A bulk of our in-person training work has been made possible by the Google News Lab Teaching Fellowship, which launched this year and enlists industry professionals, academic experts and experienced journalists to help us provide practical, in-person workshops and presentations across the world. In total, we hosted workshops, hackathons, and in-person trainings for 48K journalists across 52 countries.


Since we can’t be everywhere in-person, our online training center offers a round-the-clock service in 13 languages including Arabic, Polish, Hebrew and Hindi. We’re continuing to collaborate with training organizations around the world, and our growing Training Network now includes expert trainers in Europe, the U.S. and parts of Asia Pacific. There’s plenty more to do in 2018 and we’re looking forward to working with journalists and newsrooms across the world.