Tag Archives: #GNI #News

Google News Initiative Vaccine Open Fund Winners

All over the world, a massive immunization effort is underway. 



The rapid nature of the COVID-19 vaccine development process and the great anxiety caused by the pandemic have made the topic of vaccination particularly susceptible to misinformation. Journalists can play a fundamental role supporting an evidence-based discourse by listening to their audiences’ concerns and providing corrective information about misconceptions that circulate online and offline.



To support this work, the Google News Initiative launched a $3 million Open Fund in January. Over a three-week window, we received more than 309 applications from 74 countries.



Today, we are announcing the 11 projects that were selected through an extensive review process that included a 17-person project team and an expert jury reviewing the highest-scoring applicants.



These projects stood out for their attempt to reach underrepresented audiences, explore new formats for fact checks and rigorous strategies to measure their impact. Each recipient will be sharing more details on their own channels in the upcoming weeks. Here’s a brief overview of the projects:


 

Africa Check, in partnership with Theatre for a Change, will produce a series of interactive radio drama shows in Wolof in Senegal and Pidgin in Nigeria to present fact checks in a more participatory format.


Agência Lupa will provide COVID-19 vaccine fact checks to a network of community radios covering Brazilian “news deserts” and work with digital influencers to promote media literacy on the topic.


Aleteia, I.Media and Verificat.cat will work with a scientific committee and two research centers to source misinformation and create a database of related fact checks available in seven languages for Catholic media outlets around the world.


Chequeado will continue spearheading the collaborative project Latam Chequea that includes more than 20 fact-checking organizations across Latin America. It will aim to reach senior citizens, indigenous populations and 18-to-26-year-olds through dedicated formats.


The hyperlocal digital site Escenario Tlaxcala, assisted by local doctors, will produce fact-checking content and distribute it across the Mexican state in Nahuatl and Otomí through various formats including by using “perifoneo” loudspeakers to reach offline audiences.


Katadata will provide a platform debunking COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and work with the Indonesia Traditional Wet Market Merchants Association (Asparindo) to disseminate this content to wet markets across the country.


In Uruguay, la diaria will publish fact checks and co-created content around COVID-19 misinformation, broadening its reach by partnering with trap music performer Pekeño 77 and screenwriter Pedro Saborido.


Servimedia and Maldita.es will join force to create fact-checking content relevant for Spaniards with disabilities, in formats that are accessible to them. 


Stuff will work in partnership with Māori Television and the Pacific Media Network to fact-check misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand.


A broad collaborative project led by The Quint in India will seek to source hyper-local misinformation and distribute fact checks through a grassroots network of rural women.


Univision Noticias and FactCheck.org will work together to produce fact checks about COVID-19 immunization as short bilingual video explainers, with a plan to measure their impact systemically and reach a majority of U.S. Hispanic households.



Our goal is for the lessons learned from these initiatives to support our collective understanding of how best to combat misinformation about health topics, whether it’s through new audience strategies or new approaches to measuring the impact of fact checks. Stay tuned for more updates from us as these projects get underway.



Posted by Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead


Google News Initiative Vaccine Open Fund Winners

All over the world, a massive immunization effort is underway. 



The rapid nature of the COVID-19 vaccine development process and the great anxiety caused by the pandemic have made the topic of vaccination particularly susceptible to misinformation. Journalists can play a fundamental role supporting an evidence-based discourse by listening to their audiences’ concerns and providing corrective information about misconceptions that circulate online and offline.



To support this work, the Google News Initiative launched a $3 million Open Fund in January. Over a three-week window, we received more than 309 applications from 74 countries.



Today, we are announcing the 11 projects that were selected through an extensive review process that included a 17-person project team and an expert jury reviewing the highest-scoring applicants.



These projects stood out for their attempt to reach underrepresented audiences, explore new formats for fact checks and rigorous strategies to measure their impact. Each recipient will be sharing more details on their own channels in the upcoming weeks. Here’s a brief overview of the projects:


 

Africa Check, in partnership with Theatre for a Change, will produce a series of interactive radio drama shows in Wolof in Senegal and Pidgin in Nigeria to present fact checks in a more participatory format.


Agência Lupa will provide COVID-19 vaccine fact checks to a network of community radios covering Brazilian “news deserts” and work with digital influencers to promote media literacy on the topic.


Aleteia, I.Media and Verificat.cat will work with a scientific committee and two research centers to source misinformation and create a database of related fact checks available in seven languages for Catholic media outlets around the world.


Chequeado will continue spearheading the collaborative project Latam Chequea that includes more than 20 fact-checking organizations across Latin America. It will aim to reach senior citizens, indigenous populations and 18-to-26-year-olds through dedicated formats.


The hyperlocal digital site Escenario Tlaxcala, assisted by local doctors, will produce fact-checking content and distribute it across the Mexican state in Nahuatl and Otomí through various formats including by using “perifoneo” loudspeakers to reach offline audiences.


Katadata will provide a platform debunking COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and work with the Indonesia Traditional Wet Market Merchants Association (Asparindo) to disseminate this content to wet markets across the country.


In Uruguay, la diaria will publish fact checks and co-created content around COVID-19 misinformation, broadening its reach by partnering with trap music performer Pekeño 77 and screenwriter Pedro Saborido.


Servimedia and Maldita.es will join force to create fact-checking content relevant for Spaniards with disabilities, in formats that are accessible to them. 


Stuff will work in partnership with Māori Television and the Pacific Media Network to fact-check misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand.


A broad collaborative project led by The Quint in India will seek to source hyper-local misinformation and distribute fact checks through a grassroots network of rural women.


Univision Noticias and FactCheck.org will work together to produce fact checks about COVID-19 immunization as short bilingual video explainers, with a plan to measure their impact systemically and reach a majority of U.S. Hispanic households.



Our goal is for the lessons learned from these initiatives to support our collective understanding of how best to combat misinformation about health topics, whether it’s through new audience strategies or new approaches to measuring the impact of fact checks. Stay tuned for more updates from us as these projects get underway.



Posted by Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead


Reflecting on our Google News Initiative work in India

Today, we reflect on the past two years of the Google News Initiative as we publish our first GNI Impact report. Our efforts have reached every corner of the world, including India, and we’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished in those two and a half years with our partners. 


We’ve learned that the Indian media industry is truly a unique ecosystem, and we must work with all tiers and types of players to be representative and have real impact. To solve for Indian media’s business issues, there is a need to develop bespoke local solutions that are data-driven and also that the industry must work together - from news outlets, to news associations and technology platforms like ourselves. We cannot succeed without each of us working together towards the common goal of creating a sustainable media ecosystem. 


But we also learned that crises can be unexpected and require unprecedented support. That’s why when the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world, we pivoted our efforts. Through the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund, we were able to provide financial support to 228 news organizations across the country, with recipients able to use the fund in whatever way would help them navigate the crisis. For example, Minnambalam was able to keep their newsroom going, the funding giving them the confidence and financial support needed to carry on with their work.


As we look back to all we have accomplished beyond this unprecedented year, here is the highlight of our India work, which spanned three key areas:


Elevating quality journalism

Supporting newsrooms in delivering quality reporting sits at the heart of the GNI’s mission, and our work in India is deeply rooted in supporting editorial talent, especially in the fight against misinformation. In June 2018, we launched the GNI India Training Network, in partnership with BoomLive, DataLeads and Internews. The program has trained over 20,000 Indian journalists trained in-person or via virtual live workshops in 10 languages, touching 1,000+ news organizations and 700+ universities.


These skills were especially critical in providing quality information to Indian voters during the 2019 election. And it is why we also supported the launch of PollCheck, a pan-India training series on online verification and fact-checking, journalist digital safety and security, YouTube for elections coverage and data visualization for elections.


But it’s not enough to arm the journalists with the right skills - citizens need to be trained, too. Having the skills to assess and validate information is key to preventing the spread of misinformation online. That’s why we provided a US$1 million grant to support FactShala, a first-of-its-kind news literacy program focused on first-time internet users in non-metro cities in India. 250 journalists, fact checkers, academics and NGO workers are rolling out a media literacy curriculum in 7 Indian languages to help internet users assess online information.


Empowering sustainable business growth

Readers’ consumption habits have changed, and media have had to adapt to this ever-evolving environment. To reach new audiences, media have to play with new content formats, and we’re here to help. Just recently, we brought visual and immersive Web Stories to Discover, which helps users find some of the best visual content from around the web. Last year, we contributed to helping Indian media better understand readers by launching Question Hub, a tool where we provide users’ unanswered questions to publishers, so they can use these insights to create richer, better content for their audience. 


We provide free tools that the media are able to use to boost reader engagement -- and Dainik Jagran did just that using Realtime Consumer Insights. They used the tool to monitor Google Trends and Twitter conversations during the 2019 general elections. The tool helped their newsroom understand voter questions about the political race, prioritize covering and promoting the news stories that mattered most to their audience and build loyalty with readers over time. Those strategies resulted in a 450 percent boost in traffic, 180 percent increase in the time readers spent on their site and 300 percent growth in ad revenue on election day.


We also partner with media on tailored solutions, such as with the Economic Times Prime to implement Subscribe with Google. This solution makes it easier for readers to subscribe to premium content online, and retain access through platforms, to ensure a seamless experience. We are in discussions to roll this feature out to more publications in India.


We also work with Indian media through participation in regional GNI programs, whose lessons are then shared to help more publishers. Recently, The Hindu and Bloomberg Quint were selected as part of GNI APAC Subscription Lab, a program to help news publishers strengthen digital subscriptions capabilities and grow reader revenue. 


Empowering newsrooms through innovation

Finally, while the media may face many challenges today, continuous innovation should be front and center -- and we have seen the innovative spirit through our interactions with Malaysian publications and reporters. Last year, two journalists from News18.com and The News Minute were chosen as part of the 12 Fellows for the Google News Initiative (GNI) Newsroom Leadership Program, a collaboration between GNI and the Columbia School of Journalism, to develop the business and product expertise of emerging newsroom leaders from the Asia Pacific region. The journalists were chosen among hundreds of applicants from across the region, evaluated on the quality and potential of their proposed projects.


Between our GNI APAC Innovation Challenges and GNI YouTube Innovation Funding, programs to fund projects that inject new ideas into the news industry, we awarded a total of 16 Indian media outlets. With the funding, Khabar Lahariya has created a new subscription model around a video series about young people in rural India. Meanwhile, Factly used digital video to make complex government policies and processes accessible to a broad audience, which resulted in a 50% increase in watchtime, and NDTV aligned TV and digital video to drive platform interactivity and audience engagement - driving a 150%+ increase in engagement metrics.


What’s next

We also recently launched the GNI Digital Growth Program in the region, which has been designed with industry experts and news publishers across the world to help small and medium sized news organizations grow their digital businesses. We invite Indian media to course through a range of free playbooks, interactive exercises, digital workshops and labs.


As the world grapples with the implications of the pandemic on society and businesses, the significance of quality journalism has never been greater and we are committed to leveraging the power of technology to support it and help it reach wider audiences. 


Posted by  Rohan Tiwary, Head of Media, News & Entertainment


Helping global publishers accelerate business growth


Since launching the Google News Initiative in 2018, we’ve worked with news organizations of all sizes as they’ve adapted to the challenges of an increasingly digital world, which has impacted their business models and consumer behavior. Programs like our GNI Labs have helped publishers tackle specific business challenges, like digital subscriptions, advertising and data, while tools like News Consumer Insights have helped thousands of newsrooms grow their audiences online. 


During this time, we’ve learned from our partners that the shift to digital doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months and even years of hard work to attract and develop digitally-minded talent, adopt data-driven thinking and build an audience-first culture. Through the GNI, we want to support publishers with this transition. 


That’s why today, we’re introducing a global program to help news publishers navigate the complexity of digital transformation. The GNI Digital Growth Program is a free program aimed at helping small and mid-sized news publishers around the world develop the capabilities required to accelerate the growth of their businesses online. The program is informed by the lessons learned from GNI projects and programs, and was built in collaboration with industry experts including FT Strategies, FTI Consulting and Mather Economics, plus news industry associations including INMA, Local Media Association and WAN-IFRA


The GNI Digital Growth Program will initially focus on five topic areas: Reader Revenue, Audience Development, Advertising Revenue, Data and Product. Our curriculum includes playbooks full of real-world examples, interactive exercises to help solve business problems, workshops to bring these lessons to life and Labs to provide hands-on advisory support. At first, we’re focusing on our Reader Revenue pillar, with other topic areas coming over the next few months. Participating publishers can anticipate access to:


  • A comprehensive playbook that offers publishers strategies and real-world examples to help with building and optimizing a reader revenue model 

  • A set of interactive exercises, including an Opportunity Sizing exercise to help publishers estimate their potential reader revenue opportunity, a User Funnel diagnostic to identify areas for improvement across key reader revenue performance metrics and a Goal Setting exercise to build a plan for long-term reader revenue growth

  • Workshops led by top industry experts offering business recommendations

  • GNI Labs which provide a group of publishers with personalized support and one-on-one coaching from our industry partners


Publishers can access the free playbooks and exercises at any time on our online hub. The workshops are available on a first-come-first-served basis, while Labs will be available upon application. To sign up for our first series of workshops, please visit our GNI Digital Growth Program page


This program builds on our recently launched edition in Europe. We’ve now expanded to ten languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Polish, German, Korean, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia. And as the curriculum evolves over time, we will introduce specialty sessions for publishers, such as Print-to-Digital Transformation and Digital Startups.


Google has long invested in supporting news organizations as they adapt their business models in an evolving media landscape. That’s why widely sharing our findings with the news industry has always been a cornerstone of the Google News Initiative’s approach. Through the GNI Digital Growth Program, we look forward to working with more news companies to think differently about their digital business, unlock new revenue opportunities and build sustainable growth online.


Posted by Ben Monnie, Director of Global Partnerships Solutions, News