At a time when the need for access to trustworthy information is critical, we are announcing a slew of investments to support India’s large and diverse news industry. These investments will help people find quality journalism, contribute to the sustainability of news organizations, and expand our programs under the Google News Initiative — enabling newsrooms to engage their readers in new and compelling ways through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Launching Google News Showcase in India
Today’s announcement comes at a particularly challenging moment in India, with Indians seeking out authoritative news and information as the COVID-19 crisis deepens. To support news organizations and readers, we’re introducing Google News Showcase, our new online experience and licensing program. This program incentivizes and supports news publishers to curate high quality content on Google’s News and Discover platforms, connecting readers with the news they need.
Starting today, Google News Showcase is rolling out in India with 30 news publishers including national, regional and local news organizations like The Hindu Group, HT Digital Streams Ltd, Indian Express Group, ABP LIVE, India TV, NDTV, Zee News, Amar Ujala, Deccan Herald, Punjab Kesari, The Telegraph India, IANS (Indo Asian News Service) and ANI. This builds on News Showcase deals signed by 700 news publications in more than a dozen countries, including Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the U.K. Australia, Czechia, Italy and Argentina,more than 90% of them representing local or community news — with discussions underway in several other countries.
Content from our Indian publisher partners in English and Hindi will begin to appear in dedicated News Showcase panels in Google News and on Discover. We’re committed to launching in additional Indic languages this year and we’ll continue to incorporate more languages in the future. As part of our licensing agreements with publishers, we're also paying participating news organizations to give readers access to a limited amount of paywalled content. This feature means readers will have the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s articles than they would otherwise be able to, while deepening readers’ relationships with publishers and encouraging them to subscribe.
What our partners have to say about News Showcase
“Google News Showcase is an excellent initiative by Google that lets publishers curate and surface factual and credible news content. It will enable serious publishers and news-seeking audiences to connect and engage in a meaningful way, taking a step closer towards sustainable growth models,” says Bharat Gupta, CEO of Jagran New Media, one of India’s largest media conglomerates.
“We are looking forward to working with Google on News Showcase. This, we believe, is one of many significant steps by Google towards creating a sustainable, mutually beneficial environment for both Google and independent journalism to thrive,” says Sanjay Sindhwani, CEO of Indian Express Online, one of largest print publishers in India.
“We are delighted to be a launch partner for Google News Showcase in India. The product comes at an opportune time for The India Today Group as we work to reach new readers and further engage our current readers with the stories that matter most to them,” says Kalli Purie, Vice Chairperson, India Today Group, one of the largest national broadcaster and magazine publishers in India. “Over 45 years, The India Today Group has created a deep legacy of credibility, excellence, trust, and bi-partisanship. We want to be constantly innovating in the ways that we approach how our content is featured across the web. We look forward to working closely with Google and reaching a much wider audience for our brand of journalism."
“As an established media house, engaging with our audiences through quality content in convenient and innovative ways is a huge area of focus for us. We are pleased to partner with Showcase to build on the same and help us access new users”, says Paras Sharma, Head of News Partnerships, HT Digital Streams Ltd, one of the largest print publishers in India.
"This is a wonderful product from Google that signals a positive shift in the thought process benefitting both publishers and readers. This interesting new partnership with Google will give an opportunity to the publishers to showcase the best of their content in a specially designed window apart from getting it discovered through traditional search engine approach. Publishers get an opportunity to find new audiences for their premium content and users get an enhanced news experience", says Vikas Handu, Vice President Digital Strategy, India TV, a leading news broadcaster in India.
Expanded support through Google News Initiative
First, we’re stepping up our work to strengthen digital skills in newsrooms and journalism schools across India. Over the next three years, with increased support from the News Lab, we’ll train 50,000 journalists and journalism students. We’ll focus on digital tools to aid verification and combat misinformation online, and we’ll expand our programs to connect Indian journalists and fact-checkers.
Second, we are introducing several new programs to help small and mid-sized publications achieve financial sustainability – all part of the GNI Digital Growth Program, which has already trained executives at 100 Indian news organizations since launching last year. The new programs include:
New business training workshops, delivered virtually, to help news organizations address the needs of their audiences, grow their readership and deepen reader engagement. These workshops will be available for free to Indian publishers, alongside our existing workshops to support business success for news organizations.
The GNI Advertising Lab, which includes training sessions and implementation support to help more than 800 smasized Indian news organizations grow their digital ad revenue.
The GNI Transformation Lab, a more comprehensive program for 20 local small and mid-sized Indian news organizations to help them succeed online.
"The insights and business direction provided through the interactive sessions as part of the Google News Initiative [Digital Growth Program] were eye opening for the team. We are excited and thankful that a similar scaled program is being launched to further help us keep pace with the changes in the publishing landscape,” said Harisha Bhat, CTO of Udayavani, a regional news organization in Karnataka in South West India.
These new and expanded programs build on years of investment in India. In 2018, we launched the GNI India Training Network in partnership with BoomLive, DataLeads and Internews. To date, it has trained over25,000 Indian journalists in 10 languages, touching more than 1,000 news organizations and more than 700 universities. In response to COVID-19, we provided financial support to 228 news organizations in India through the GNI Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. And Indian publishers including The Hindu, Bloomberg Quint and Chambal Media have benefited from GNI programs like the GNI Innovation Challenges, YouTube Innovation funding and the GNI Subscriptions Labs.
The Indian news industry and its journalists have embraced technology to engage with readers and make data-driven decisions to improve their business and reporting efforts. We believe it’s important that digital platforms contribute to a sustainable, independent and diverse news ecosystem, working with journalists, news outlets and news associations. We’re proud to be strengthening our commitment at this critical time.