Tag Archives: News

Alalaô! Keep up with Carnaval 2020 on Google News

Break out your costumes and strike a pose: Brazil’s Carnaval starts today and lasts through February 26th. The five-day festival, which traces its roots back to the early 1700s, is now one of the largest festivals in the world with thousands of parties and millions of people celebrating across Brazil’s biggest cities. Google News is here to help you keep up with the parades and stay safe.


When you search for Carnaval on desktop and mobile devices, you’ll see an interactive topic, which will keep you updated on breaking news, help plan your schedule with parade routes and lineups, and let you rock your best look with DIY videos for costumes and make-up. You can also follow Carnaval by tapping it’s star icon on the top right corner for quick access and to receive updates directly in your For You page. 


Carnaval Keyword Phone.gif


With all the excitement also comes your safety, which is why we’ve partnered with the non-profit Think Olga to provide you with information about public safety resources and the contact information for theAssistance Center for Women in Situations of Violence and the military police. 


These features will be available across desktop, iOS and Android platforms in Brazilian Portuguese but accessible to you from anywhere in the world. 


Don’t miss a beat of the party with Google News, e se jogue na folia!

Turning it up to 11: the first Developer Preview of Android 11

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering



Android 11 Dial logo

Android has led the way towards the future of mobile, with new technologies like 5G to foldable displays to machine learning built into the core. A hallmark of our approach is a strong developer community that provides early and thoughtful feedback, helping us deliver a robust platform for apps and games that delight billions of users around the world. So today, we’re releasing the first Developer Preview of Android 11, and building on a strong feedback cycle last year, we’re making this year’s preview available to you earlier than ever.

With Android 11 we’re keeping our focus on helping users take advantage of the latest innovations, while continuing to keep privacy and security a top priority. We’ve added multiple new features to help users manage access to sensitive data and files, and we’ve hardened critical areas of the platform to keep the OS resilient and secure. For developers, Android 11 has a ton of new capabilities for your apps, like enhancements for foldables and 5G, call-screening APIs, new media and camera capabilities, machine learning, and more.

This is just a first look; like prior years, we’ll continue to share new features and updates over the coming months and into Google I/O as we work through your feedback. The most important thing for you to do right now is this: visit the Android 11 developer site, download a system image for your Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 device, and let us know what you think!

Today’s release is an early baseline build for developers only and not intended for daily or consumer use, so we're making it available by manual download and flash only. Remember, getting early input from you is crucial in helping us evolve the platform to meet your needs. Read on for a taste of what’s new in Android 11, and visit the developer site for details on timeline, how to test, and how to give feedback.

Helpful innovation

5G experiences

5G brings consistently faster speeds and lower latency to more users around the world. With 5G you can extend your Wi-Fi app experiences -- such as streaming 4K video or loading higher-res game assets -- to mobile users, or you can build new experiences designed specifically for 5G. In Android 11 we’re enhancing and updating the existing connectivity APIs so you can take advantage of 5G’s improved speeds.

  • Dynamic meteredness API - with this API you can check whether the connection is unmetered, and if so, offer higher resolution or quality that may use more data. We’ve extended the API to include cellular networks, so that you can identify users whose carriers are offering truly unmetered data while connected to the carrier’s 5G network.
  • Bandwidth estimator API - we’ve updated this API for 5G to make it easier to check the downstream/upstream bandwidth, without needing to poll the network or compute your own estimate. If the modem doesn’t provide support, we make a default estimation based on the current connection.


 Moving beyond the home, 5G can for example let you enhance your “on-the-go” experience by providing seamless interactions with the world around you from friends and family to businesses.

Moving beyond the home, 5G can for example let you enhance your “on-the-go” experience by providing seamless interactions with the world around you from friends and family to businesses.



New screen types

Device makers are continuing to innovate by bringing exciting new form-factors and device screens to market. We’ve extended support for these in the platform, with APIs to let you optimize your apps.

  • Pinhole and waterfall screens - Apps can manage pinhole screens and waterfall screens using the existing display cutout APIs. If you want, a new API lets your app use the entire waterfall screen including the edges, with insets to help you manage interaction near the edges.


People and conversations

Communicating with your friends and colleagues is the most important thing many people do on their phones. In Android 11, we are introducing changes that help developers create deeper conversational experiences, a few of which you’ll see early versions of in DP1:

  • Dedicated conversations section in the notification shade - users can instantly find their ongoing conversations with people in their favorite apps.
  • Bubbles - Bubbles are a way to keep conversations in view and accessible while multi-tasking on their phones. Messaging and chat apps should use the Bubbles API on notifications to enable this in Android 11.
  • Insert images into notification replies - if your app supports image copy/paste, you can now let users insert assets directly into notification inline replies to enable richer communication as well as in the app itself. As part of DP1 - you’ll see image copy support in Chrome and image paste support via Gboard clipboard.
Real-time, bilateral communication apps should use the sharing/conversation shortcuts API to provide People targets that Android will surface throughout the phone as well as Bubble APIs to allow users to carry on conversations while using the device in other capacities.

Neural Networks API 1.3

Neural Networks API (NNAPI) is designed for running computationally intensive operations for machine learning on Android devices. In Android 11, we’re expanding the operations and controls available to developers. In this release, we’ve added new operations and execution controls to help optimize common use cases:

  • Quality of Service APIs support priority and timeout for model execution.
  • Memory Domain APIs reduce memory copying and transformation for consecutive model execution.
  • Expanded quantization support, we’ve added signed integer asymmetric quantization where signed integers are used in place of float numbers to enable smaller models and faster inference.

See the NDK sample code for examples using these new APIs.

Watch for more coming in later preview updates. We’re working with hardware vendors and popular machine learning frameworks such as TensorFlow to optimize and roll out support for NNAPI 1.3.

Privacy and security

Privacy

Privacy has always been at the core of Android, and each year we’ve added more ways to keep users secure and increase transparency and control. These changes have been popular with users - for example in Android 10 we added the “While app is in use” permission option to give users more granular control over their location and limit background location access. So far, when given the “While app is in use” option, about half of users select it.

In Android 11 we’re continuing our focus on user privacy with new permission options, updates to scoped storage, and more. Please give these features a try with your apps right away and let us know what you think.

  • One-time permission - For the most sensitive types of data - not just location but also for the device microphone and camera - users can now grant temporary access through a one-time permission. This permission means that apps can access the data until the user moves away from the app, and they must then request permission again for the next access. More information here.


One-time permission dialog in Android 11.

One-time permission dialog in Android 11.



  • Scoped storage - We’ve continued our work to better protect app and user data on external storage, and made further improvements to help developers migrate more easily. We want to take a moment to acknowledge everyone in the Android community who gave us such helpful feedback - thank you so much for helping us make the platform better! This preview release includes several enhancements, such as opt-in raw file path access for media, updated DocumentsUI, and batch edit operations in MediaStore. Along with these technical changes, based on your input, we are also giving you more time to make the migration and the changes will apply to your apps when they target Android 11. Read more here and watch for more enhancements in subsequent updates.

In addition to these platform changes, users tell us that they want more protection on earlier versions of Android and more transparency around how apps will use this data, so we are updating Google Play Policy to ensure that apps only request location permissions when truly necessary. Read more

Security

We focus on raising the bar for security with each version of Android -- from reaching more devices with monthly security updates to building more protections into the latest platform. In Android 11, we’ve extended Android’s defense-in-depth strategies to more areas of the platform and added new features and APIs for apps.

  • Biometrics - We’ve expanded our biometrics support to meet the needs of a wider range of devices. BiometricPrompt now supports three authenticator types with different levels of granularity -- strong, weak, and device credential. We’ve also decoupled the BiometricPrompt flow from the app’s Activity lifecycle to make it easier to integrate with various app architectures, and to improve the transaction UI. All apps using biometric auth should move to the BiometricPrompt APIs, which are also available in AndroidX for compatibility with earlier versions of Android.
  • Platform hardening - We’ve expanded use of compiler-based sanitizers in security-critical components, including BoundSan, IntSan, CFI, and Shadow-Call Stack. We’re also enabling heap pointer tagging for apps targeting Android 11 or higher, to help apps catch memory issues in production. These hardening improvements may surface more repeatable/reproducible app crashes in your code, so please test your apps. We've used HWAsan to find and fix many memory errors in the system, and we now offer HWAsan-enabled system images to help you find such issues in your apps.
  • Secure storage and sharing of data - Apps can now share data blobs easily and more safely with other apps through a BlobstoreManager. The Blob store is ideal for use-cases like sharing ML models among multiple apps for the same user.
  • Identity credentials - Android 11 adds platform support for secure storage and retrieval of verifiable identification documents, such as ISO 18013-5 compliant Mobile Driving Licenses. We’ll have more details to share on this soon!


Updates and compatibility

Google Play System Updates

Since Android 10, we’ve been scaling up our investment in Google Play System Updates (Project Mainline) to improve security, privacy, and consistency across the ecosystem. Thanks to strong collaboration with device makers, we’ve made significant progress towards this goal and have expanded our infrastructure to reach a wider range of devices more safely and quickly.

In Android 11, we’ve added 12 new updatable modules, for a total of 22 modules. Highlights include a permissions module that standardizes user and developer access to critical privacy controls on Android devices, a media provider module that’s integral to our privacy efforts around Scoped Storage, and an NNAPI (Neural Networks API) module that optimizes performance and guarantees consistent APIs across devices. To learn more about Google Play System Updates, check out the Project Mainline blog post.

App compatibility

We’re also working to make updates faster and smoother by prioritizing app compatibility as we roll out new platform versions. In Android 11 we’ve added new processes, developer tools, and release milestones to minimize the impact of platform updates.

  • Minimizing the impact of behavior changes - While changes we make to Android can make the OS more helpful, secure, and better performing, some of these changes can affect developers’ apps. As we built Android 11, we made a conscious effort to minimize behavioral changes that could affect apps by closely reviewing their impact and by making them opt-in, wherever possible, until you set targetSdkVersion to 'R' in your app. We hope this gives developers more control, and leads to more apps working out-of-the-box on Android 11.
  • Easier testing and debugging - To help you test for compatibility, we’ve made many of the breaking changes toggleable - meaning that you can force-enable or disable the changes individually from Developer options or adb. With this change, there’s no longer a need to change targetSdkVersion or recompile your app for basic testing. Check out the details here.


App compatibility toggles in Developer Options.

App compatibility toggles in Developer Options.



  • Updated greylists - We’ve updated the lists of restricted non-SDK interfaces, and as always your feedback and requests for public API equivalents are welcome.
  • Dynamic resource loader - As part of their migration away from non-SDK interfaces, developers asked us for a public API to load resources and assets dynamically at runtime. We’ve now added a Resource Loader framework in Android 11, and thank you to the developers who gave us this input!
  • New platform stability milestone - Developers also told us that preparing for early app compatibility was a challenge without a clear date for final changes. So in Android 11 we’re adding a new release milestone called “Platform Stability”, which we expect to reach in early June. This milestone includes not only final SDK/NDK APIs, but also final internal APIs and system behaviors that may affect apps. We hope you can use this new milestone to plan your final development and testing. More on the release timeline is here.


Polish and quality

Connectivity

  • Call screening service improvements - call-screening apps can now do more to help users. Apps can get the incoming call’s STIR/SHAKEN verification status as part of the call details, and they can customize a system-provided post call screen to let users perform actions such as marking a call as spam or adding to contacts.
  • Wi-Fi suggestion API enhancements - We’ve extended the Wi-Fi suggestion API to give connectivity management apps greater ability to manage their own networks. For example, they can force a disconnection by removing a network suggestion, manage Passpoint networks, receive more information about the quality of connected networks, and other management changes.
  • Passpoint enhancements - Android now enforces and notifies about expiration date of a Passpoint profile, supports Common Name specification in the profile, and allows self-signed private CAs for Passpoint R1 profiles. Connectivity apps can now use the Wi-Fi suggestion API to manage Passpoint networks.

Image and camera improvements

  • HEIF animated drawables - The ImageDecoder API now lets you decode and render image sequence animations stored in HEIF files, so you can make use of high-quality assets while minimizing impact on network data and apk size. HEIF image sequences can offer drastic file-size reductions for image sequences when compared to animated GIFs. Developers can display HEIF image sequences in their apps by calling decodeDrawable with an HEIF source. If the source contains a sequence of images an AnimatedImageDrawable is returned.
  • Native image decoder - New NDK APIs let apps decode and encode images (such as JPEG, PNG, WebP) from native code for graphics or post processing, while retaining a smaller APK size since you don’t need to bundle an external library. The native decoder also takes advantage of Android’s process for ongoing platform security updates. See the NDK sample code for examples.
  • Muting during camera capture - apps can use new APIs to mute vibration from ringtones, alarms or notifications while the session is active.
  • Bokeh modes - Apps can use metadata tags to enable bokeh modes on camera capture requests in devices that support it. A still image mode offers highest quality capture, while a continuous mode ensures that capture keeps up with sensor output, such as for video capture.

Low latency

  • Low-latency video decoding in MediaCodec -- Low latency video is critical for real-time video streaming apps and services like Stadia. Video codecs that support low latency playback return the first frame of the stream as quickly as possible after decoding starts. Apps can use new APIs to check and configure low-latency playback for a specific codec.
  • HDMI low-latency mode - Apps can use new APIs to check for and request auto low latency mode (also known as game mode) on external displays and TVs. In this mode, the display or TV disables graphics post-processing in order to minimize latency.


Get started with Android 11

The Developer Preview has everything you need to try the Android 11 features, test your apps, and give us feedback. To get started, download and flash a device system image to a Pixel 2 / 2 XL, Pixel 3 / 3 XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, or Pixel 4 / 4 XL device. Additionally, you can set up the Android Emulator through Android Studio. The Android Emulator running Android 11 system images includes experimental support to run ARM 32-bit & 64-bit binary app code directly on 64-bit x86 Android Emulator system images. Lastly, for broader testing, GSI images are also available.

Next, update your Android Studio environment with the Android 11 Preview SDK and tools - you can do this from inside Android Studio. See the setup guide for complete details. To take advantage of the latest Android Studio features, we recommend installing the latest version of Android Studio from the canary channel.

When you’re set up, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Try the new features and APIs - your feedback is critical during the early part of the developer preview. We’re actively looking for your input on our new APIs, while there’s still time for use to make changes. For more on what’s new, check out the API overview, API reference, and diff report. Please let us know your feedback and requests as soon as possible!
  • Test your current app for compatibility - the goal here is to learn whether your app is affected by default behavior changes in Android 11. Just install your current published app onto a device or emulator and test all of the app flows. If you find issues, we recommend updating your app soon.
  • Test your app with opt-in changes - Like in previous releases, Android 11 has opt-in behavior changes that only affect your app when it’s targeting the new platform. It’s extremely important to understand and assess these changes early. To make it easier to assess the impact, you can now toggle the changes on and off individually. As you test, please make sure to let us know how these changes are working for your app.

For more information, visit the Android 11 developer site. You’ll find an overview of what’s new in this release, details on behavior changes, setup and migration guides, release notes, feedback channels, and more.

Preview updates

We plan to update the preview system images and SDK regularly throughout the Android 11 release cycle. This initial preview release is for developers only and not intended for daily or consumer use, so we're making it available by manual download and flash only. Downloads are here and instructions are here.

As we get closer to a final product, we'll be inviting consumers to try it out as well, and we'll open up enrollments through Android Beta at that time. Stay tuned for details, but for now please note that Android Beta is not currently available for Android 11.

Give us your feedback!

As always, your feedback is crucial, so please let us know what you think — the sooner we hear from you, the more of your feedback we can integrate, and because of timelines, we’re giving priority to input we receive in the next several weeks. When you find issues, please report them here.

How does a 140-year-old newspaper reinvent itself?

Editor’s note: This week, the GNI Subscriptions Lab will lead sessions at the Mega-Conference in Fort Worth, TX to share best practices and opportunities to grow digital subscriptions in line with reader preference. Here’s an inside look at those lessons from The Buffalo News.

Six years ago, we launched our first paywall at The Buffalo News. We had exactly one tool for growing digital subscriptions: tighten the wall. This approach was doomed to fail. We needed to do the hard work of building digital capabilities we didn’t have, while setting aside other priorities.

First, that meant getting everyone on board with digital subscriptions as the organizational focus. Through the Google News Initiative Subscriptions Lab, a program developed for North American publishers by Google, Local Media Association and FTI Consulting, we came to see how digital subscriptions could be the foundation of a sustainable business model, not just a new revenue stream. As a longtime Buffalo News publisher used to say when trying to keep his team on track, “the main thing is the main thing.” A simple financial modeling exercise during our first Lab meeting revealed the revenue opportunities and left us with one conclusion: Digital subscriptions needed to become our “main thing.”

This was no small change for our 140-year-old company. We were a print-focused, advertising-driven newspaper. Now, we’re becoming a consumer-focused, digital publishing business. Transformation has meant saying no to worthy ideas and asking everyone to sacrifice their own priorities for the common goal of growing digital subscriptions. That focus has helped reduce friction and make decision-making much crisper.

We created a team charged with growing our digital subscription business and invested in e-commerce and data expertise. Existing departments that could impact consumer revenue, from customer service to promotions, were realigned to support consumer revenue growth. Cross-functional initiatives across editorial, tech and sales became the norm in support of digital subscriptions.

The foundation for a new business was being built, but much remained unclear. What metrics should we monitor? What additional digital tools did we need? How do we set our priorities? Are we headed in the right direction?

In the GNI Subscriptions Lab, we immediately learned what metrics matter to convert readers into digital subscribers, and how we stack up against our publishing peers. We embraced the program’s push to experiment—and have been rewarded with meaningful results. With each success, we become more confident that we are on the right path.

The Lab encouraged us, for example, to launch a prompt on our homepage that asks readers to sign-up for our flagship newsletter, “Good Morning, Buffalo.” As a result, we’ve added more than 60,000 newsletter subscribers over the past six months. 

Our percentage of readers with an associated email address is six times larger now than before we began the Lab. We’ve learned that this metric is important, as known readers are not only more loyal, but also 10 times more likely to convert to digital subscribers than anonymous visitors. We’ve since focused on this audience to grow subscribers and boost engagement. More than 14 percent of our new digital subscribers since the Lab began have come from a newsletter subscriber. 

We previously weren’t tracking many of these data points; now, we’re making decisions based on how they’ll move these numbers. Most importantly, we’ve increased our number of digital subscribers by 49 percent since the start of the GNI Subscriptions Lab. Monthly digital subscription revenue is up 23 percent, while average revenue per user is up 14 percent during that same period. That growth has allowed us to invest more in consumer revenue expertise and technology.

All of this puts us on the path toward our ultimate goal: preserving in-depth journalism in Western New York.


Funding 21 news projects in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey

Finding new and meaningful ways to engage readers is a hot topic for news organizations of any size, and the first Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa prompted a myriad of different approaches. The GNI Innovation Challenges,  part of Google’s $300 million commitment to help journalism thrive in the digital age, saw news innovators step forward with new thinking. In South Africa, Daily Maverick proposed a “relevancy engine” that would aggregate data feeds about reader behavior for small and medium publishers. In Jordan, podcast startup Sowt looked to tackle the challenge with a new hosting platform for news podcasts.


We launched the Middle East, Turkey and Africa Innovation Challenge last June, and received 527 applications from 35 countries. After a rigorous review, a round of interviews and a final jury selection process, we selected 21 projects from 13 countries to receive $1.93 million in funding.


The call for applications listed four criteria: impact, feasibility, innovation and inspiration, and the successful projects clearly demonstrated all four. Here are just a few of the awardees (you can find the full list on our website):


  • Demirören Teknoloji Anonim Şirketi in Turkey wants to solve the tagging process for the Turkish language to help with the news discovery distribution process. Currently this work requires cumbersome manual work from their journalists, taking a precious share of their time. 

  • Daily news publisher Israel Hayom will be creating a loyalty scheme where online users get real-life rewards in the form of tickets or money-saving offers. 

  • Nas News wants to engage Iraq’s citizens in video debates for positive change with a mobile-first social and news platform that allows users to read and debate on local and national topics.

  • L'Orient le Jour in Lebanon wants to build a new loyalty plan to offer special and personalized privileges to subscribers via an interactive platform.

  • The National in the UAE will develop a service that converts quality text news into audio in real time, in both English and Arabic.

  • Ringier Africa Digital Publishing in Nigeria will be increasing personalization across their platform using a blend of prediction, recommendation and local information pages to increase user engagement.

A second round of theMiddle East, Turkey and Africa Innovation Challenge will open for applications later in the year: Watch for details on our website.

A home-grown news site for Peterborough

Editor’s note: Today’s guest post comes from John Baker, Chief Reporter, Peterborough Matters. 

I’ve worked in local news for 15 years and experienced how meaningful it is to a community. As I’ve walked through the city from my home in Woodston and visited local people in Cathedral Square, Bretton, Werrington and elsewhere, I’m reminded of what makes our city so vibrant and draws my friends to visit often. 

We love Cathedral Square with the iconic 17th century Guildhall, shops, and eateries, plus the Cathedral itself which is one of England’s finest Norman cathedrals. We love the many events that take place in Peterborough, like the Beer Festival, Heritage Festival, Queensgate, and the annual Perkins Great Eastern Run half marathon, to name a few. This strong sense of pride is why I’m proud to announce today’s launch of a digital news site for Peterborough. 

Peterborough Matters is the first of three local news sites launched by Archant’s Project Neon in partnership with the Google News Initiative’s Local News Experiments Project. The projects first partnered with American publisher McClatchy and launched Mahoning Matters in Youngstown, Ohio last year. These sites will test and build different editorial and business models as we work toward the goal of financial sustainability. 

Our team is proud of our Peterborough roots and eager to serve the community. I have lived in the Fens for 40 years and in Peterborough for a decade. Our reporter Shariqua Ahmed, who worked in newspapers in India before three years at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, will bring her broadcasting skills and knowledge of the city's diverse cultural heritage and communities into our newsroom. We’re also excited to introduce our other local reporter Carly Beech who grew up in Peterborough, attending Thomas Deacon Academy before studying journalism at university, followed by a stint at the Daily Star. Our content assistant Charlotte Moore was born and raised in Peterborough and worked as a library assistant for Vivacity for three years. She has a keen passion for the heritage of the city and its environmental issues. 

We will use our talents to make sure you know about important news like crime, road accidents, council meetings, and weather. We’ll also help connect the community more with compelling in-depth stories about the people, places, and events that make up the fabric of our community. You'll learn about people you don't know, stories you've not heard, and ideas you might not have considered.

This is an experiment and we will aim to earn your trust each day with each story. Our partnership with the Google News Initiative enables us to meld the best of our editorial minds with Google’s expertise in best product practices. We will work together in a transparent and experimental way and share our learnings publicly. 

Your feedback is of critical importance and we hope you will share more of what's important to you and why. We will have open-house events to engage with you where you can hear from those making the city tick.

Thank you to all of you who have helped us as we’ve prepared for this launch. Your support means a lot and we will work to be worthy of it. Join the conversation, contact us onFacebook, Twitter,or e-mail. Peterborough Matters to us and we look forward to building this together.

News Brief: January updates from the Google News Initiative

It’s only been one month of the new decade so far, but it feels more like one year. 2020 has been jam-packed. We hope you’re off to a fresh start - keep reading for a few highlights from January.


Supporting Latino journalists across North and South America

In partnership with the GNI, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is kicking off a training initiative with 12 Spanish-language newsrooms in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico. This program will include trainings aimed at strengthening journalists' technical and digital verification skills as part of the GNI's larger initiative to train journalists in all 50 states and D.C. ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections.


We’re also working with Chicas Poderosas, a global community that aims to train and empower women in media, to promote female leadership in Latin American media. This partnership will help support a training week for female media leaders from 18 countries; a mediathon bringing together 100 women from the region to collaborate on journalism projects; and an online Spanish-language course on leadership for female Latin American journalists.


Sharing learnings from online video news projects

87 news organizations from around the world have been supported through the GNI YouTube Innovation Funding, which is part of our $25 million commitment to build a strong future for online video journalism. The case studies from the first of these projects demonstrate how these newsrooms have succeeded in developing their video strategy - including Le Monde’s experimentation with new video formats in France, TV Asahi’s development of new technology to commemorate the 2011 earthquake in Japan, and more. 


Atlantic Live Behind the Scenes

A behind-the-scenes look at The Atlantic's experimentation with episodic digital content.

Elevating and empowering the next generation of news leaders

In Paris, 85 journalism students attended a networking and training event made possible through a partnership with French non-profit La Chance. This partnership aims to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds with financial support and mentoring to help prepare them for highly competitive journalism school entrance exams.  


La Chance / Google News Initiative - Paris

Journalist students attend a training event in Paris, France. Photo copyright Patrick Danino

We partnered with Poynter to help journalists from underrepresented backgrounds attend the 2020 Media Transformation Program, which is an intensive course that helps media organizations tackle challenging problems. The training focus is specific to each participant; the program is focused on driving outcomes such as reaching new audiences, increasing content engagement, developing new revenue streams, creating infrastructure to support innovation, and more.


Supporting the future of local news

33 newsrooms from around Japan attended local news events in Tokyo, Sendai, Kobe, and Fukuoka. Throughout the week, they participated in discussions related to online engagement and creating sustainable business models.

200122_kobe.jpg

Journalists from around Japan attended a training event in Kobe last month.

In the U.K., we partnered with the Association for Online Publishing to host an event focused on building investigative and digital skills for journalism.


New technologies to help create and share news 

Steve Henn, our content strategy lead for audio news, shared more about our plans to make audio news searchable and discoverable online.


In partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network, we will be working with 12 newsrooms over the next year to develop new revenue streams based on solutions reporting. Solutions journalism helps to center stories around responses to a specific problem. These projects will explore how this reporting framework can help unlock financial opportunities for newsrooms.


That’s all for January. Stay in touch through our blog and Twitter.

News Brief: December updates from the Google News Initiative

The last month of 2019 was jam-packed for the Google News Initiative. Read on for December highlights—there’s plenty to unwrap as we head into the new year.


Focusing on local news in the heartland

We hosted 32 local journalists at our Detroit, Michigan offices to kick off the relaunch of the Online News Association, the world’s largest association of online journalists, in Detroit. We also brought together 150 U.S. and Canadian news publishers and industry leaders for the first GNI Local event in Chicago, Illinois. Over two days, we focused on turning ideas into action, covering revenue sustainability and user engagement. Publishers shared best practices on audience data, inclusive storytelling, and more.

GNI Local event in Chicago

Panelists discuss how they use data to drive decision-making during the GNI Local event in Chicago.

Supporting news leaders in Brazil

We held the second GNI Summit Brazil in São Paulo with more than 120 journalists and business leaders from Brazil. The agenda focused on business models, collaborative media literacy projects and newsroom innovation. 

The second GNI Summit Brazil in São Paulo

The second GNI Summit Brazil in São Paulo

Accelerating product ideas in Asia Pacific

Over the last few months, we worked with seven publishers in Asia Pacific through our GNI Design Accelerator Program to test fresh product ideas for news. We began working with India Today to engage Indic language-speaking audiences, thought through youth engagement with Singapore Press Holdings, and brainstormed ways of empowering citizen decision making with Frontier Myanmar ahead of the 2020 Myanmar elections. Over the next few months, we’ll work with each organization to bring these ideas to life.


New technologies to support storytelling

We partnered with Cosmopolitan to launch a fun, interactive wayof watching the Netflix TV show “You”Season Two. Viewers can get behind-the-scenes info, trivia, photos, and Google Trends data as the show unfolds. This new experience creates an entertaining way for Cosmo to keep their audience engaged.  


Technology can help grow audiences in other ways. We recently partnered with Polis at the London School of Economics and Political Science to release a global report highlighting how artificial intelligence can transform journalism. We’re building on that work with new guidelines to help newsrooms approach using artificial intelligence for the first time.


Media literacy is more important than ever—and that’s a fact!

We teamed up with First Draft and the International Fact-Checking Networkto co-host the second annual Trusted Media Summit in Singapore. The weeklong event brought together 275 industry experts involved in fact-checking and fighting misinformation in Asia Pacific. We discussed new fact-checking technologies, ways of connecting trustworthy media to readers, and strategies to improve media literacy.


The Stanford Higher Education Group developed a new Civic Online Reasoning curriculum for our media literacy partner MediaWise, whose goal is to teach teens the difference between fact and fiction online. These digital literacy lessons are available to teachers for free. 


That’s a wrap for December. Stay tuned for more as we head into 2020.

How we highlight fact checks in Search and Google News

Google has highlighted fact checks in Search and News for almost three years as a way to help people make more informed judgments about the content they encounter online. Fact checks from authoritative sources are highlighted on Google Search and are labeled in Google News.

This is possible because fact-checking initiatives around the world mark up their work with ClaimReview, which allows fact-checkers to signal—and anyone online to automatically detect—that a webpage contains a fact check.

Screenshot 2019-12-17 at 12.57.46.png

A highlighted fact check as it appears in a Search result

Today we’re sharing that these fact checks appear more than 11 million times a day in Search results globally and in Google News in five countries (Brazil, France, India, U.K. and U.S.). That adds up to roughly 4 billion impressions a year. This library of over 40,000 fact checks is publicly available for anyone to consult through a dedicated search tool and for researchers to access through an open API

We’re also working with the Duke Reporters’ Lab and the International Fact-Checking Network around the adoption of structured data fields for fact checks about multimedia. (Disclosure: I was the founding director of the International Fact-Checking Network.) 

The information generated by these efforts might provide valuable context for people as they use Google products—for instance, we could surface the origin of a miscaptioned image or background on the creator of a manipulated video. In 2020, we’ll continue our work to provide users with useful context about the content they access online and offline.

Beyond highlighting fact checks on our surfaces, Google has for years supported fact-checking projects around the world. In 2020, we’ll explore new models to support the long-term sustainability of the fact-checking field. Fact-checking matters, to Google and everyone who uses our products. We’ll continue to find ways to surface and support quality journalism on our products and beyond. 

How we highlight fact checks in Search and Google News

Google has highlighted fact checks in Search and News for almost three years as a way to help people make more informed judgments about the content they encounter online. Fact checks from authoritative sources are highlighted on Google Search and are labeled in Google News.

This is possible because fact-checking initiatives around the world mark up their work with ClaimReview, which allows fact-checkers to signal—and anyone online to automatically detect—that a webpage contains a fact check.

Screenshot 2019-12-17 at 12.57.46.png

A highlighted fact check as it appears in a Search result

Today we’re sharing that these fact checks appear more than 11 million times a day in Search results globally and in Google News in five countries (Brazil, France, India, U.K. and U.S.). That adds up to roughly 4 billion impressions a year. This library of over 40,000 fact checks is publicly available for anyone to consult through a dedicated search tool and for researchers to access through an open API

We’re also working with the Duke Reporters’ Lab and the International Fact-Checking Network around the adoption of structured data fields for fact checks about multimedia. (Disclosure: I was the founding director of the International Fact-Checking Network.) 

The information generated by these efforts might provide valuable context for people as they use Google products—for instance, we could surface the origin of a miscaptioned image or background on the creator of a manipulated video. In 2020, we’ll continue our work to provide users with useful context about the content they access online and offline.

Beyond highlighting fact checks on our surfaces, Google has for years supported fact-checking projects around the world. In 2020, we’ll explore new models to support the long-term sustainability of the fact-checking field. Fact-checking matters, to Google and everyone who uses our products. We’ll continue to find ways to surface and support quality journalism on our products and beyond. 

News Brief: November updates from the Google News Initiative

November is when we ask ourselves, “Where did the year go?” This month, all of us working on the Google News Initiative continued to lay the foundation for some cool work in 2020. We can’t wait to see these programs grow.


Local news continues to be a priority. 


In September, we announced a three-year partnership with U.K. publisher Archant to develop sustainable business models for local news. We recently selected Peterborough as the first site for this project, and Peterborough Matters will launch in the spring to provide online-only, community-driven local news. We also partnered with AtlanticLive to host “Informed: The New Era of Local News” in Minneapolis, Minnesota, covering a range of topics important to the future of local. 


We’re working to crack the code on subscription growth. 


Along with our partners Lee Enterprises, we’re working to develop a new machine learning-based paywall technology. We’re applying artificial intelligence to understand how readers engage with content and ultimately make the decision to subscribe. We’ll begin developing this technology in December, and intend to share learnings with the broader media industry. 


Supporting reporters with tools to cover elections is crucial. 


We’re focused on connecting voters to information about candidates and issues, and recently partnered with the Boston Globe to develop a new elections explorer tool. Although videos enrich storytelling, producing video isn’t accessible for many publishers. Along with our partners at Stringr, we’ll support local news with cost-effective video content for the 2020 U.S. elections. Through this partnership, we’ll be supplying local and national news outlets with several kinds of political video news packages on a regular basis.


Developing new technologies to support storytelling. 


With new creation tools now in Google Earth, you can turn our digital globe into your own storytelling canvas, and create a map or story about the places that matter to you. We released new courses on our Training Center to help journalists tell engaging stories around the world. 


Stay up to date with the latest news updates on our blog, and we’ll catch you in the new year.