Tag Archives: #GoogleNewsInitiative

The Indian journalists fighting fake news

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Indian journalist Bharat Nayak knows misinformation can have dangerous consequences. He’s witnessed it too often in his home state of Jharkhand, India. 


According to Bharat, “Indian society has been gravely affected by ‘fake news’, which has  contributed to a rise in hatred and violence, and horrific incidences of lynching.” Concern about misinformation was especially pronounced around last year’s Indian general election—where more than 600 million people voted in the biggest democratic exercise in history.  


The spread of misinformation is something the Google News Initiative (GNI) India Training Network—a group of 240 senior Indian reporters and journalism educators—has been working to counteract, in their newsrooms and beyond. 


In partnership with DataLeads and Internews, the Network has provided in-depth verification training for more than 15,000 journalists and students from more than 875 news organizations, in 10 Indian languages. Using a “train-the-trainer” approach, it’s also helped support nearly all of the fact-checking initiatives launched by  Indian media over the past year. 


But Network trainers wanted to do more than train their fellow journalists - they wanted to spread the message to their communities. Bharat traveled home to Jharkhand and held workshops, not only with fellow journalists, but with community groups and students—like those in the photo above.


Today, to build on the network’s progress since 2018, we’re announcing a $1 million Google.org grant that will help Internews launch a new initiative promoting news literacy among the Indian public. The funding support is part of Google.org’s broader, $10 million commitment to media literacy, in collaboration with the Google News Initiative.  


How will it work? First, Internews will select a team of 250 journalists, fact checkers, academics and NGO workers, who will be trained on a curriculum developed by global and Indian experts, adapted to local needs and available in seven Indian languages. The local leaders will then roll out the training to new internet users in non-metro cities in India, enabling them to better navigate the internet and assess the information they find.  


“To make journalism effective again, more than the improvements in media, what is needed is media literacy,” Bharat said. “I want to make the citizens aware of how to consume media, see news and how they can play an active role in changing things for the better.”


Starting today, Internews is putting the call out for journalists, educators, community workers and others to join the new program. We have no doubt there’ll be a strong response to the new program—and we look forward to continuing to support citizens and journalists like Bharat in the fight against misinformation in India. 


Posted by Irene Jay Liu, Google News Lab Lead, APAC and Aimee Moon, News Partnerships Manager, APAC

Backing Asia Pacific’s emerging newsroom leaders

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Our 2019-2020 Fellows, as pictured from left to right, starting from the top left: Gyanu Adhikari, Phillip O’Sullivan, Akane Imamura, Betina Hughes, Danielle Cronin, Marium Chaudhry, Nitya Thirumalai, Hyuntaek Lee, Ragamalika Karthikeyan, Yusuf Wijanarko, Anisa Menur Maulani, and Lynn D’Cruz
Across Asia Pacific, a new generation of journalists is telling the region’s stories and tackling the challenges facing the news industry. The Google News Initiative (GNI) Newsroom Leadership Program, a collaboration between GNI and the Columbia School of Journalism, was established to develop the business and product expertise of these emerging newsroom leaders. Today we’re announcing the 2019-2020 Program fellows and sharing more about their projects.  


The projects they chose are as diverse as their backgrounds. These journalists hail from Pakistan to Japan, India to Australia. They’ll be looking at how digital tools can make great storytelling even better, championing socially-conscious reporting and investigating new approaches to political polling. And they’ll explore new membership and revenue models for news, helping fund the future of journalism in their countries. 


As they work on their projects, the fellows will take part in seminars and develop professional networks across the region. To find out more, we spoke to Raju Narisetti, the Director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia, who helped develop the program. 


What are the skills you think emerging newsroom leaders need to be successful today?
The most critical skill is an understanding of the business of journalism and the forces shaping the industry. They also need to hone the ability to think of content as a product, and the willingness to let data inform their decisions. These “hard” skills need to be coupled with “power skills” like developing diverse teams, leading with purpose and managing relentless change.


How do you think the GNI Newsroom Leadership Program addresses this?
The fellows will experience a mix of theory and practice in seminars during their in-residence weeks at Columbia School of Journalism.  Practitioners as well as academics will deliver the sessions, which are specifically designed for the media industry. Topics will range from revenue streams and media sustainability to building video, audience and analytics frameworks and teams for the next decade. They’ll also get hands-on workshops on developing leadership and “managing up.”


What words of advice do you have for the fellows as they prepare to go through the program?
Be really present during the in-residency classroom weeks, because your day job will still be waiting for you. Think of the other participants as a learning and sharing opportunity that can become a professional support network during the year and beyond. And have strong beliefs (about your project or the news business), but hold them loosely, so you can embrace new ideas and solutions.


Posted by Irene Jay Liu, News Lab Lead, Asia Pacific

Backing Asia Pacific’s emerging newsroom leaders

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/LsnlVi66dlG8uaMR_EBMRZE0yy6PZ2tzTXjWTjCOrZRbElh_lOccSB_D-jQ--4Ghfh5l3tnAs4v_fkv33IN4hzuEU_6faorMcFDyMPBrZg6aWE8Cp_qN-XdKgn02JnBHiRaJX0lE


Our 2019-2020 Fellows, as pictured from left to right, starting from the top left: Gyanu Adhikari, Phillip O’Sullivan, Akane Imamura, Betina Hughes, Danielle Cronin, Marium Chaudhry, Nitya Thirumalai, Hyuntaek Lee, Ragamalika Karthikeyan, Yusuf Wijanarko, Anisa Menur Maulani, and Lynn D’Cruz
Across Asia Pacific, a new generation of journalists is telling the region’s stories and tackling the challenges facing the news industry. The Google News Initiative (GNI) Newsroom Leadership Program, a collaboration between GNI and the Columbia School of Journalism, was established to develop the business and product expertise of these emerging newsroom leaders. Today we’re announcing the 2019-2020 Program fellows and sharing more about their projects.  


The projects they chose are as diverse as their backgrounds. These journalists hail from Pakistan to Japan, India to Australia. They’ll be looking at how digital tools can make great storytelling even better, championing socially-conscious reporting and investigating new approaches to political polling. And they’ll explore new membership and revenue models for news, helping fund the future of journalism in their countries. 


As they work on their projects, the fellows will take part in seminars and develop professional networks across the region. To find out more, we spoke to Raju Narisetti, the Director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia, who helped develop the program. 


What are the skills you think emerging newsroom leaders need to be successful today?
The most critical skill is an understanding of the business of journalism and the forces shaping the industry. They also need to hone the ability to think of content as a product, and the willingness to let data inform their decisions. These “hard” skills need to be coupled with “power skills” like developing diverse teams, leading with purpose and managing relentless change.


How do you think the GNI Newsroom Leadership Program addresses this?
The fellows will experience a mix of theory and practice in seminars during their in-residence weeks at Columbia School of Journalism.  Practitioners as well as academics will deliver the sessions, which are specifically designed for the media industry. Topics will range from revenue streams and media sustainability to building video, audience and analytics frameworks and teams for the next decade. They’ll also get hands-on workshops on developing leadership and “managing up.”


What words of advice do you have for the fellows as they prepare to go through the program?
Be really present during the in-residency classroom weeks, because your day job will still be waiting for you. Think of the other participants as a learning and sharing opportunity that can become a professional support network during the year and beyond. And have strong beliefs (about your project or the news business), but hold them loosely, so you can embrace new ideas and solutions.


Posted by Irene Jay Liu, News Lab Lead, Asia Pacific

Google News Initiative partners with CJF to help tackle fake news

Editor's Note: today's post is guest authored by Natalie Turvey, President and Executive Director of The Canadian Journalism Foundation 

What role will fake news play in our democracy? Even as we celebrate World News Day and recognize the important role Journalism plays in our lives, this question weighs on the minds of Canadians as we prepare to head to the polls in the fall.

40% of Canadians report finding it difficult to distinguish between truth and misinformation in the news, according to a new poll commissioned by the Canadian Journalism Foundation (with research conducted by Earnscliffe Strategy Group). It also shows that more than half of respondents (53%) have come across stories recently where they believe facts were twisted to push an agenda.

Looking to address concerns over Canadians’ capacity to identify authoritative information online, today the Google News Initiative announced a grant of $1 million to the Canadian Journalism Foundation to bring NewsWise to voting-age Canadians. The goal is simple: help all Canadians understand the difference between fact-based journalism and fake news in the digital world.

The project will support Canadian publishers in educating their audiences on how to understand and navigate an increasingly complex information environment. Developed in collaboration with experts and educators, NewsWise will deliver journalistic context that can help Canadian citizens gauge the reliability of the information they're consuming.

NewsWise builds on the success of its namesake student news literacy program, launched last year by the CJF and CIVIX (the team behind Student Vote). NewsWise is already reaching students in 98 of Canadian school boards.

Google and CJF’s commitment to fact-based journalism comes at a pivotal time for Canada. When asked if this confusion is leading people to not know which politicians to trust, 85% strongly agreed or agreed; up from 56 per cent in 2018. When asked if the average person does not know how to tell good journalism from rumors and falsehood, 74% strongly agreed or agreed; compared to 63% last year. The stakes are high.

Understanding what’s real and what’s not when it comes to the information we consume is essential to a functioning democracy. NewsWise provides Canadians the tools to be engaged and informed citizens of the digital age.