During the pandemic, demand for local news has grown as people try to stay up to date. COVID-19 has also increased the financial challenges many of these news publishers face. It’s now more important than ever to support local news, and that’s why we are introducing the Digital Growth Program from the Google News Initiative (GNI), a free training program for small-to-medium sized news publishers. This will be available first in Europe, and will roll out to more regions in the coming months.
The GNI Digital Growth Program has been created to help establish and grow the online business of news publishers who have more recently started developing their digital platforms. We meet regularly with publishers of all sizes to hear how we can help them develop their products, expand their business and improve their readers’ online experience. Based on feedback from these conversations, we’ve designed workshops which cover the fundamentals of digital business strategy, audience engagement and revenue strategy.
In Europe, we have partnered with FT Strategies and Table Stakes Europe from WAN-IFRA to deliver in-depth labs, which include intensive training sessions and mentoring delivered over a number of weeks and months. As part of these labs, our partners will offer training from industry experts on a range of subjects, including change management, subscriptions and audience growth. While the training is free, spaces are limited and available upon application.
The GNI Digital Growth Program is available from today in six countries: Spain, the UK, Germany, Italy, Poland and France. It’s all in local languages, and many more countries to follow in the coming months. Publishers can sign up to a workshop or apply for a lab at the GNI Digital Growth Program page.
Together with the participating publishers, we will measure how this program helps to improve their business over time. This builds on many years of support we’ve provided to the news industry as part of the Google News Initiative. Most recently that support entailed emergency funding to more than 5,300 local news organizationsand five months of fee relief on Ad Manager for news publishers globally. Through these and other programs, products and partnerships, we remain committed to supporting news publishers of all sizes around the world as they transition to a more digital world.