Tag Archives: News

How local media can attract more advertisers

Advertising dollars that support local media are declining at a dramatic rate–a trend that has only been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. At the Local Media Consortium, we’ve seen this impact firsthand. The majority of our 4,000 local media members are experiencing a 30 to 60 percent drop in advertising revenue.


This is an alarming statistic that comes at a time when local journalism is critically important.  That’s why we recently launched the “Support Local News” campaign in partnership with Google and the Local Media Association, encouraging more advertising, subscriptions and donations to fund local newsrooms.


Now, we’ve teamed up with the Google News Initiative to analyze advertiser perceptions of local media in order to identify ways for these news organizations to strengthen their digital ad sales strategies. With more people relying on journalism in their communities, these findings come at a vital time for the industry.


Today, we’re publishing the “2020 Advertiser Assessment of Local Media Digital Advertising,” a study that examines the obstacles and opportunities for local news organizations to grow their digital news offerings in line with the business goals of advertisers. Market research firm Magid led this analysis and gathered insights from national and local advertisers and agencies across the United States to understand their perception of local media.


Based on the findings, Magid developed recommendations to help local media companies better meet advertiser needs and fuel digital revenue growth. Here are three takeaways that publishers can act on now. 


  1. Strengthen sales teams’ digital expertise. 
    Magid found that more than half of advertisers think trustworthy relationships with publisher sales teams are extremely important when making investment decisions. While advertisers see value in local media because of their market proximity and unique relationship with communities, many find their digital expertise to be a barrier. This digital knowledge gap is preventing advertisers from spending more with local news

    Local media companies should prioritize equipping their teams with digital sales training, so they can more effectively provide advertisers with campaign recommendations and insights, as well as serve as credible consultative partners. Publishers can jumpstart their efforts by tapping industry partners, internal experts and external training tools, like those offered by the LMC and the Google News Initiative.

  2. Improve campaign monitoring and reporting.
    Advertisers rated performance and business results as the top factors in influencing their investment decisions. Yet a consistent theme in our research was that local media ad campaigns lacked efficient processes and in-depth reporting and analysis. Marketers expressed desire for greater guidance from publishers on their campaign metrics and how to act on them.

    To address this opportunity, local media companies should focus on developing more streamlined processes and campaign reports that are timely, intelligible and solutions-oriented. Data points that advertisers highlighted as particularly important in their buying decisions were user engagement, the viewability of their ads, article and video completion rates and unique audiences. 

  3. Identify what makes your local publication unique. 
    Local news connects people to their community and creates citizen engagement unlike any other medium. Advertisers consistently mentioned this benefit when discussing the advantages of working with local publishers. Partnering with a media organization that is trusted in their community allows brands to embed themselves within that community in a meaningful way. For advertisers, this trustworthy relationship can be as important as return-on-investment.

    Local publishers should lead with this differentiated positioning in their sales approach and provide comprehensive case studies that showcase the success of their specific audience and offerings. For example, a tribe owned casino in South Florida recently partnered with the Miami Herald to elevate their brand awareness and voice in the community. The campaign included digital brand storytelling on McClatchy’s website and creative murals in Miami, which resulted in 250 percent growth in ticket sales for the casino’s annual arts festival.

Addressing the local media advertising dilemma will help provide a path toward sustaining the trusted reporting that is so important to our communities. We hope these insights bring local publishers opportunities to drive digital revenue growth–now and in the future.  

Local publishers interested in learning more are invited to join our webinar on Friday, July 24 at 1:00 p.m. ET by signing-up on our site. For additional resources supported by the Google News Initiative, please check out their workshop series on strategies to help publishers accelerate digital advertising revenue.

News Brief: June updates from the Google News Initiative

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the news community has rapidly adjusted to new working conditions and challenges. But their core mission of providing quality information remains unchanged. We’re expanding our resources to help drive revenue growth for newsrooms, supporting journalists through fellowship programs and adapting online resources to help grow editorial and verification skills. Here’s what the Google News Initiative launched in June.

Expanding global trainings for journalists

Over the coming weeks, we’ll offer a number of free week-long training series on YouTube to help journalists grow their digital reporting skills. The sessions will be available in multiple languages and time zones. Through YouTube’s live chat, journalists will be able to interact with our trainers and get answers to any questions they have on how to use our tools for reporting. 

Across Australia and New Zealand, we worked with First Draft News and the Walkley Foundation to launch live training sessions for journalists, including one in partnership with Grow with Google. We also kicked off a regional publishers pilot program aimed at supporting regional and emerging publishers in their digital transition, and appointed Neil Varcoe, our first ever Publishing Fellow. For the next 12 months, Neil will provide training and support to regional and emerging publishers across Australia and New Zealand.

To support news organizations during the ongoing pandemic, we organized a GNI training series for Southeast Asia in English, Mandarin Chinese and Malay featuring classes like Fact-Checking for COVID-19 Misinformation, Digital Tools for More Efficient Reporting and Data Journalism for Rookies. In Vietnam, we organized a dedicated webinar for more than 100 media organizations to share how our products can help support local media.

New tools and programs to boost revenue growth for publishers

We’re partnering with the French Association of Online Publishers (GESTE) and Poool to support the Digital Media Review, a benchmark tool made available for free to all publishers to assist them with their revenue strategy.

In partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), we’re exploring new ways to help nonprofit newsrooms grow sponsorship revenue into a sustainable, cost-effective income source. Through the program, a cohort of up to 10 newsrooms will receive one-on-one coaching, and all 250 INN members will have access to a custom playbook that includes best practices for increasing sponsorship revenue. 

We’re also working with local media organizations to grow advertising revenue through cohort-based programs. In Indonesia, we worked with AnyMind Group and PT Promedia Punggawa Satu to help seven local media organizations optimize their websites, improve their user experiences and develop revenue strategies through online advertising. In North America, we’ll be working with 10up to host a four-part workshop series, sharing lessons from the GNI Ad Revenue Lab and key strategies to monetize content. The workshops will begin on July 22, and we invite all small-to-midsize news publishers to join the conversation by RSVPing on our website.

Encouraging future journalists through the GNI Fellowship program

The Google News Initiative Fellowship program seeks to bring young talent into newsrooms to help kickstart their careers in journalism. Applications are now open for the U.S. Fellowship program, created in collaboration with the National Newspapers Publishers Association, the National Association of Hispanic Publishers and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. The fall program in the U.S. is designed to address the barriers of access that students and graduates of color face when trying to get into the industry. 

The 2020 GNI Fellowship in Europe also kicked off this week as part of our ongoing work with the European Journalism Centre (EJC). Following more than 1,400 applications, leading European news organizations across 14 countries will host 40 fellows in an eight-week fellowship. The cohort of fellows includes aspiring media professionals with a range of backgrounds in fields like journalism, design, computer science and philosophy.

Collaborating with fact-checkers to combat misinformation

The seventh Global Fact-Checking Summit took place entirely online, with more than 950 participants from more than 70 countries. Most panels from the International Fact-Checking Network’s annual conference are accessible on the event’s dedicated website. The Google News Initiative has supported Global Fact continuously since 2017; earlier this year the GNI also provided $6.5M to efforts fighting COVID-19 misinformation globally.

That’s a wrap for June. Stay tuned for more updates, and follow along on social media and the GNI’s newsletter.

News Brief: June updates from the Google News Initiative

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the news community has rapidly adjusted to new working conditions and challenges. But their core mission of providing quality information remains unchanged. We’re expanding our resources to help drive revenue growth for newsrooms, supporting journalists through fellowship programs and adapting online resources to help grow editorial and verification skills. Here’s what the Google News Initiative launched in June.

Expanding global trainings for journalists

Over the coming weeks, we’ll offer a number of free week-long training series on YouTube to help journalists grow their digital reporting skills. The sessions will be available in multiple languages and time zones. Through YouTube’s live chat, journalists will be able to interact with our trainers and get answers to any questions they have on how to use our tools for reporting. 

Across Australia and New Zealand, we worked with First Draft News and the Walkley Foundation to launch live training sessions for journalists, including one in partnership with Grow with Google. We also kicked off a regional publishers pilot program aimed at supporting regional and emerging publishers in their digital transition, and appointed Neil Varcoe, our first ever Publishing Fellow. For the next 12 months, Neil will provide training and support to regional and emerging publishers across Australia and New Zealand.

To support news organizations during the ongoing pandemic, we organized a GNI training series for Southeast Asia in English, Mandarin Chinese and Malay featuring classes like Fact-Checking for COVID-19 Misinformation, Digital Tools for More Efficient Reporting and Data Journalism for Rookies. In Vietnam, we organized a dedicated webinar for more than 100 media organizations to share how our products can help support local media.

New tools and programs to boost revenue growth for publishers

We’re partnering with the French Association of Online Publishers (GESTE) and Poool to support the Digital Media Review, a benchmark tool made available for free to all publishers to assist them with their revenue strategy.

In partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), we’re exploring new ways to help nonprofit newsrooms grow sponsorship revenue into a sustainable, cost-effective income source. Through the program, a cohort of up to 10 newsrooms will receive one-on-one coaching, and all 250 INN members will have access to a custom playbook that includes best practices for increasing sponsorship revenue. 

We’re also working with local media organizations to grow advertising revenue through cohort-based programs. In Indonesia, we worked with AnyMind Group and PT Promedia Punggawa Satu to help seven local media organizations optimize their websites, improve their user experiences and develop revenue strategies through online advertising. In North America, we’ll be working with 10up to host a four-part workshop series, sharing lessons from the GNI Ad Revenue Lab and key strategies to monetize content. The workshops will begin on July 22, and we invite all small-to-midsize news publishers to join the conversation by RSVPing on our website.

Encouraging future journalists through the GNI Fellowship program

The Google News Initiative Fellowship program seeks to bring young talent into newsrooms to help kickstart their careers in journalism. Applications are now open for the U.S. Fellowship program, created in collaboration with the National Newspapers Publishers Association, the National Association of Hispanic Publishers and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. The fall program in the U.S. is designed to address the barriers of access that students and graduates of color face when trying to get into the industry. 

The 2020 GNI Fellowship in Europe also kicked off this week as part of our ongoing work with the European Journalism Centre (EJC). Following more than 1,400 applications, leading European news organizations across 14 countries will host 40 fellows in an eight-week fellowship. The cohort of fellows includes aspiring media professionals with a range of backgrounds in fields like journalism, design, computer science and philosophy.

Collaborating with fact-checkers to combat misinformation

The seventh Global Fact-Checking Summit took place entirely online, with more than 950 participants from more than 70 countries. Most panels from the International Fact-Checking Network’s annual conference are accessible on the event’s dedicated website. The Google News Initiative has supported Global Fact continuously since 2017; earlier this year the GNI also provided $6.5M to efforts fighting COVID-19 misinformation globally.

That’s a wrap for June. Stay tuned for more updates, and follow along on social media and the GNI’s newsletter.

News Brief: June updates from the Google News Initiative

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the news community has rapidly adjusted to new working conditions and challenges. But their core mission of providing quality information remains unchanged. We’re expanding our resources to help drive revenue growth for newsrooms, supporting journalists through fellowship programs and adapting online resources to help grow editorial and verification skills. Here’s what the Google News Initiative launched in June.

Expanding global trainings for journalists

Over the coming weeks, we’ll offer a number of free week-long training series on YouTube to help journalists grow their digital reporting skills. The sessions will be available in multiple languages and time zones. Through YouTube’s live chat, journalists will be able to interact with our trainers and get answers to any questions they have on how to use our tools for reporting. 

Across Australia and New Zealand, we worked with First Draft News and the Walkley Foundation to launch live training sessions for journalists, including one in partnership with Grow with Google. We also kicked off a regional publishers pilot program aimed at supporting regional and emerging publishers in their digital transition, and appointed Neil Varcoe, our first ever Publishing Fellow. For the next 12 months, Neil will provide training and support to regional and emerging publishers across Australia and New Zealand.

To support news organizations during the ongoing pandemic, we organized a GNI training series for Southeast Asia in English, Mandarin Chinese and Malay featuring classes like Fact-Checking for COVID-19 Misinformation, Digital Tools for More Efficient Reporting and Data Journalism for Rookies. In Vietnam, we organized a dedicated webinar for more than 100 media organizations to share how our products can help support local media.

New tools and programs to boost revenue growth for publishers

We’re partnering with the French Association of Online Publishers (GESTE) and Poool to support the Digital Media Review, a benchmark tool made available for free to all publishers to assist them with their revenue strategy.

In partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), we’re exploring new ways to help nonprofit newsrooms grow sponsorship revenue into a sustainable, cost-effective income source. Through the program, a cohort of up to 10 newsrooms will receive one-on-one coaching, and all 250 INN members will have access to a custom playbook that includes best practices for increasing sponsorship revenue. 

We’re also working with local media organizations to grow advertising revenue through cohort-based programs. In Indonesia, we worked with AnyMind Group and PT Promedia Punggawa Satu to help seven local media organizations optimize their websites, improve their user experiences and develop revenue strategies through online advertising. In North America, we’ll be working with 10up to host a four-part workshop series, sharing lessons from the GNI Ad Revenue Lab and key strategies to monetize content. The workshops will begin on July 22, and we invite all small-to-midsize news publishers to join the conversation by RSVPing on our website.

Encouraging future journalists through the GNI Fellowship program

The Google News Initiative Fellowship program seeks to bring young talent into newsrooms to help kickstart their careers in journalism. Applications are now open for the U.S. Fellowship program, created in collaboration with the National Newspapers Publishers Association, the National Association of Hispanic Publishers and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. The fall program in the U.S. is designed to address the barriers of access that students and graduates of color face when trying to get into the industry. 

The 2020 GNI Fellowship in Europe also kicked off this week as part of our ongoing work with the European Journalism Centre (EJC). Following more than 1,400 applications, leading European news organizations across 14 countries will host 40 fellows in an eight-week fellowship. The cohort of fellows includes aspiring media professionals with a range of backgrounds in fields like journalism, design, computer science and philosophy.

Collaborating with fact-checkers to combat misinformation

The seventh Global Fact-Checking Summit took place entirely online, with more than 950 participants from more than 70 countries. Most panels from the International Fact-Checking Network’s annual conference are accessible on the event’s dedicated website. The Google News Initiative has supported Global Fact continuously since 2017; earlier this year the GNI also provided $6.5M to efforts fighting COVID-19 misinformation globally.

That’s a wrap for June. Stay tuned for more updates, and follow along on social media and the GNI’s newsletter.

Our Startups Lab will coach aspiring news entrepreneurs

The opportunity was obvious to me: I wanted to create an email newsletter that explained complex stories to help readers make sense of what was happening in their city. So my cofounder and I created a Google Slides presentation outlining our intended audience, editorial mission and back-of-the-napkin budgeting. Our next steps? Those weren’t so clear.

That was nearly four years ago, and after bumbling my way through launching the project, I knew there needed to be a better support system for future aspiring entrepreneurs. Since joining Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, an association with nearly 300 U.S. and Canadian-based news businesses, I’ve talked with dozens of our members who at some point also thought to themselves, “OK, now what do I do?”

That’s why LION Publishers has partnered with the Google News Initiative to launch the GNI Startups Lab, a program that will help aspiring news entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada prove there is a need and audience for their idea, build their news product and set their business on the path to sustainability. 

Even as local news publications continue to shrink or even shutter, we see readers’ appetites for trustworthy news reporting only growing. We want to support our existing members, and along with the GNI, help create digital news startups. In particular, we want to create outlets for underserved communities that have not historically seen themselves reflected in their local news.

Today we’re opening applications for the first phase of our program: an eight-week, fully remote boot camp that includes live online classes, one-on-one coaching and peer learning. The boot camp will be led by advisor Phillip Smith, who has helped many media startups shape and launch their businesses through the Journalism Entrepreneurship Training Co. 

Upon graduating, boot camp participants will have either launched or further developed their news offering. They will be able to provide a realistic revenue forecast for the next six months to three years, know how to execute on a set of three-month objectives and have a deeper understanding of how the project will serve their audiences’ needs. 

The GNI Startups Lab will also collaborate with Project Oasis, a GNI-funded research project that is studying how digital news startups in North America can succeed, and will share resources like our Starter Pack with templates and guides to launch a local news business.

We’ll be accepting up to 24 teams of U.S. and Canadian-based entrepreneurs who have identified a community’s need for better news and want guidance on how to either launch or further develop a recently launched news business. Maybe that’s a podcast covering a city government or a site with in-depth reporting on local immigrant communities. We want to know what entrepreneurs think their communities need. 

Also, while we expect participants to commit to their startup over the eight-week boot camp, we’ve designed the program to accommodate those who need to continue to work a full-time job. 

We are especially interested in applications from entrepreneurs who are underrepresented in media and/or driven to serve underrepresented communities. While we will prioritize entrepreneurs focused on a geographically-based community, we will also consider applications that cover a single topic instead, like Chalkbeat, The Plug or Grist

As part of the GNI Startups Lab, we’ll also be creating an online community of practice and peer learning open to anyone interested in journalism entrepreneurship. Sign up on our website to receive more details.

Phase two of the GNI Startups Lab, launching later this year, will offer boot camp graduates and other entrepreneurs a six-month opportunity to learn the fundamentals of operating a journalism business and receive peer mentorship, with the goal of developing loyal customers and recurring revenue. 

The GNI Startups Lab provides critically needed opportunities for passionate news entrepreneurs who care deeply about serving their communities. We look forward to introducing the world to their journalism projects in the coming months.


Our Startups Lab will coach aspiring news entrepreneurs

The opportunity was obvious to me: I wanted to create an email newsletter that explained complex stories to help readers make sense of what was happening in their city. So my cofounder and I created a Google Slides presentation outlining our intended audience, editorial mission and back-of-the-napkin budgeting. Our next steps? Those weren’t so clear.

That was nearly four years ago, and after bumbling my way through launching the project, I knew there needed to be a better support system for future aspiring entrepreneurs. Since joining Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, an association with nearly 300 U.S. and Canadian-based news businesses, I’ve talked with dozens of our members who at some point also thought to themselves, “OK, now what do I do?”

That’s why LION Publishers has partnered with the Google News Initiative to launch the GNI Startups Lab, a program that will help aspiring news entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada prove there is a need and audience for their idea, build their news product and set their business on the path to sustainability. 

Even as local news publications continue to shrink or even shutter, we see readers’ appetites for trustworthy news reporting only growing. We want to support our existing members, and along with the GNI, help create digital news startups. In particular, we want to create outlets for underserved communities that have not historically seen themselves reflected in their local news.

Today we’re opening applications for the first phase of our program: an eight-week, fully remote boot camp that includes live online classes, one-on-one coaching and peer learning. The boot camp will be led by advisor Phillip Smith, who has helped many media startups shape and launch their businesses through the Journalism Entrepreneurship Training Co. 

Upon graduating, boot camp participants will have either launched or further developed their news offering. They will be able to provide a realistic revenue forecast for the next six months to three years, know how to execute on a set of three-month objectives and have a deeper understanding of how the project will serve their audiences’ needs. 

The GNI Startups Lab will also collaborate with Project Oasis, a GNI-funded research project that is studying how digital news startups in North America can succeed, and will share resources like our Starter Pack with templates and guides to launch a local news business.

We’ll be accepting up to 24 teams of U.S. and Canadian-based entrepreneurs who have identified a community’s need for better news and want guidance on how to either launch or further develop a recently launched news business. Maybe that’s a podcast covering a city government or a site with in-depth reporting on local immigrant communities. We want to know what entrepreneurs think their communities need. 

Also, while we expect participants to commit to their startup over the eight-week boot camp, we’ve designed the program to accommodate those who need to continue to work a full-time job. 

We are especially interested in applications from entrepreneurs who are underrepresented in media and/or driven to serve underrepresented communities. While we will prioritize entrepreneurs focused on a geographically-based community, we will also consider applications that cover a single topic instead, like Chalkbeat, The Plug or Grist

As part of the GNI Startups Lab, we’ll also be creating an online community of practice and peer learning open to anyone interested in journalism entrepreneurship. Sign up on our website to receive more details.

Phase two of the GNI Startups Lab, launching later this year, will offer boot camp graduates and other entrepreneurs a six-month opportunity to learn the fundamentals of operating a journalism business and receive peer mentorship, with the goal of developing loyal customers and recurring revenue. 

The GNI Startups Lab provides critically needed opportunities for passionate news entrepreneurs who care deeply about serving their communities. We look forward to introducing the world to their journalism projects in the coming months.


Our Startups Lab will coach aspiring news entrepreneurs

The opportunity was obvious to me: I wanted to create an email newsletter that explained complex stories to help readers make sense of what was happening in their city. So my cofounder and I created a Google Slides presentation outlining our intended audience, editorial mission and back-of-the-napkin budgeting. Our next steps? Those weren’t so clear.

That was nearly four years ago, and after bumbling my way through launching the project, I knew there needed to be a better support system for future aspiring entrepreneurs. Since joining Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, an association with nearly 300 U.S. and Canadian-based news businesses, I’ve talked with dozens of our members who at some point also thought to themselves, “OK, now what do I do?”

That’s why LION Publishers has partnered with the Google News Initiative to launch the GNI Startups Lab, a program that will help aspiring news entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Canada prove there is a need and audience for their idea, build their news product and set their business on the path to sustainability. 

Even as local news publications continue to shrink or even shutter, we see readers’ appetites for trustworthy news reporting only growing. We want to support our existing members, and along with the GNI, help create digital news startups. In particular, we want to create outlets for underserved communities that have not historically seen themselves reflected in their local news.

Today we’re opening applications for the first phase of our program: an eight-week, fully remote boot camp that includes live online classes, one-on-one coaching and peer learning. The boot camp will be led by advisor Phillip Smith, who has helped many media startups shape and launch their businesses through the Journalism Entrepreneurship Training Co. 

Upon graduating, boot camp participants will have either launched or further developed their news offering. They will be able to provide a realistic revenue forecast for the next six months to three years, know how to execute on a set of three-month objectives and have a deeper understanding of how the project will serve their audiences’ needs. 

The GNI Startups Lab will also collaborate with Project Oasis, a GNI-funded research project that is studying how digital news startups in North America can succeed, and will share resources like our Starter Pack with templates and guides to launch a local news business.

We’ll be accepting up to 24 teams of U.S. and Canadian-based entrepreneurs who have identified a community’s need for better news and want guidance on how to either launch or further develop a recently launched news business. Maybe that’s a podcast covering a city government or a site with in-depth reporting on local immigrant communities. We want to know what entrepreneurs think their communities need. 

Also, while we expect participants to commit to their startup over the eight-week boot camp, we’ve designed the program to accommodate those who need to continue to work a full-time job. 

We are especially interested in applications from entrepreneurs who are underrepresented in media and/or driven to serve underrepresented communities. While we will prioritize entrepreneurs focused on a geographically-based community, we will also consider applications that cover a single topic instead, like Chalkbeat, The Plug or Grist

As part of the GNI Startups Lab, we’ll also be creating an online community of practice and peer learning open to anyone interested in journalism entrepreneurship. Sign up on our website to receive more details.

Phase two of the GNI Startups Lab, launching later this year, will offer boot camp graduates and other entrepreneurs a six-month opportunity to learn the fundamentals of operating a journalism business and receive peer mentorship, with the goal of developing loyal customers and recurring revenue. 

The GNI Startups Lab provides critically needed opportunities for passionate news entrepreneurs who care deeply about serving their communities. We look forward to introducing the world to their journalism projects in the coming months.


Understand how COVID-19 is impacting your community

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting different communities in different ways. As cities and towns across the world respond with local policies and guidelines, the need for timely and authoritative local news and information is paramount. To help people navigate these complexities, we’re working across our news products to highlight the latest local guidance and surfacing more content from local news publishers so users can understand how the virus is affecting their community.

Access the latest guidance in your community with Google News

Finding consolidated and trustworthy COVID-19 guidance can be challenging. To help each community be prepared for what’s next, the Google News app is piloting a new feature in partnership with local news publishers. We will test this in a few geographic areas in the COVID-19 special section of the app, where users can view community reopening timelines, plus updates around business and school openings. They can also see the status of the local healthcare infrastructure, public transportation, events and sections with resources for residents looking for or wanting to help families in need. This feature is available in more than 21 areas, ranging across both small and large newsrooms from The Raleigh News & Observer, NOLA.com, CBS Chicago, Oregon Live and Gothamist. We will also continue to expand our coverage across the U.S. and Canada, and plan to bring this feature to products beyond the Google News app in the future.
Google News local updates

Find local information on Search and Google Assistant

We’re also working to ensure that reliable local news and information about the coronavirus is easily discoverable in Google Search and Google Assistant. When people look for coronavirus information in Search, they’ll see the existing top stories carousel of articles, in addition to a new dedicated local news carousel highlighting timely, accurate news about their community. We’ve also expanded a new carousel highlighting tweets from local and health authorities so these important and up-to-date announcements are more easily available. This feature is now available in more than 30 countries.

Local news carousel

A new carousel in Search surfaces timely, authoritative local news about COVID-19.


With people increasingly seeking out local news to understand COVID-19 in their community, we’ve seen a significant uptick in people tuning into local radio on Google Assistant. To listen, just ask for your local station by its channel name or frequency on any Assistant-enabled device—say something like “Hey Google, play 1010 WINS” or “Hey Google, play 88.5.” With Google Assistant, we’re now also able to provide answers to requests for local COVID-19 information in many cities across the U.S. Just say, for example, “Hey Google, play news about coronavirus in Boston” on any Assistant-enabled smart speaker or Smart Display like Nest Mini or Nest Hub Max, and a mix of stories relevant to your community will begin playing. 


The past few months have reinforced the critical role that local news plays in keeping communities informed. Google is dedicated to supporting and promoting local journalism both within and outside of our products. Recently, we provided emergency funding for more than 5,300 local news organizations and launched a Support Local News campaign to encourage people and businesses to subscribe, donate and advertise across local news outlets in the U.S. and Canada. Through our efforts, we hope to help people and communities continue to safely move forward with up-to-date and trusted local information.

News Brief: April updates from the Google News Initiative

Like many others, news organizations are navigating new ways of working remotely. This month, we’re looking at how technology can support and elevate the efforts of journalists who are delivering essential information to their readers.

Supporting fact checking efforts around the world 

Our fact check information panel on YouTube is now available in the United States. The information panel, which launched last year in India and Brazil, highlights fact check results from third-parties in search results for relevant queries, so viewers can make their own informed decision about claims made in the news. In addition, YouTube committed $1 million through the Google News Initiative to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) to bolster fact-checking and verification efforts across the world. 


Fact check_Covid + ibuprofen (1).png

The fact check information panel on YouTube highlights fact checks in search results

Additionally, we worked with the designers at Polygraph to help create a visual database of COVID-19 fact-checking efforts led by the IFCN. This global collaborative project brought fact-checkers together to jointly combat misinformation about the pandemic, collecting a dataset of more than 4000 fact checks (and counting).

Supporting a more diverse global media industry

The Racial Equity in Journalism fund, created in partnership with Borealis Philanthropy, has awarded $2.3 million in grants to 16 news organizations serving communities of color across the U.S. The Fund’s inaugural grantee cohort all serve audiences who have been historically underserved by mainstream media. 

In partnership with the GNI, Chicas Poderosas launched the Ambassador Leadership Training, a global program to strengthen and promote a more diverse media industry. The training will focus on tools and leadership skills to build, support, and sustainably run organizations and foster women's leadership in the media. The program will involve women from 17 countries throughout Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and the U.S.

Using StoryShare to collaborate on local COVID-19 reporting

AP StoryShare, a project supported by the Google News Initiative, allows newsrooms to share content and coverage plans. Editorsin Colorado and Oregon are using StoryShare to collaborate on coronavirus reporting, assuring greater breadth of coverage and less duplication of effort at a time of dwindling resources. About 75 news organizations are participating in initial pilots throughout Colorado, Oregon, and New York.

Online trainings to help journalists find, verify and tell news stories


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The global team of GNI Teaching Fellows led online training courses using tools like Google Earth

As journalists around the world adjust to new ways of working, we’re making more training resources available online. We held 27 livestream training sessions in nine languages to help journalists find, verify and tell news stories during the pandemic, with additional tools added to the Google News Initiative Training Center.

In partnership with journalism network Outriders, we’re also offering free tools, training, and support for journalists across Central and Eastern Europe. Live online workshops are offered on a range of topics, from Verification to Geo Tools and Environmental Reporting. An overview of upcoming sessions can be found here, and new sessions will be added on a regular basis.

Insights from Asia Pacific case studies

News organizations in Asia Pacific are using GNI data tools like Realtime Content Insights and News Consumer Insights to grow their audience and build loyalty. In the Philippines, Rappler empowered its news organization with better user data to help achieve digital sustainability. In India, Dainik Jagran improved engagement during India’s General Election by taking advantage of a cultural moment.

The power of words

In Japan, we launched “The Power of Words,” a collaborative reporting project with 24 national and local news organizations. Through the words of athletes, the website delivers uplifting messages, creating an immersive storytelling experience. The website is also accessible, optimized for visual readability, and text voiceover thanks to a screen reader. 

That’s all for April. Stay in touch with @GoogleNewsInit on social, and sign up for the GNI newsletter for more updates.


Growing Colorado’s local news in a time of crisis

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Mandy Jenkins, General manager of the Compass Experiment which is partnering with theGNI’s Local Experiments Project. 

As millions of Americans navigate the new reality brought on by COVID-19, they’re relying on local news for information on coronavirus cases, how to seek help for financial hardships and how to offer support to others in their communities. In cities with limited sources of local news, those searches may be coming up short. 

With this in mind, next month The Compass Experiment will launch its second newsroom called The Longmont Leader, a new source for vital local news and information for the people of Longmont, Colorado. 

The Compass Experiment is a local news lab founded in partnership between McClatchy and Google, and part of the Google News Initiative’s Local Experiments Project. The project’s goal is to launch and operate three digital-only news operations in small to mid-sized U.S. communities. These are aimed at locales with limited sources of local, independent journalism with the desire to make each financially self-sustaining. The Compass Experiment’s first site, Mahoning Matters, debuted in Youngstown, Ohio in October of last year. Now we’re focusing on Longmont. 

Located 33 miles north of Denverr, Longmont has a unique blend of the new and traditional, city and country, longtime Coloradoans and new imports. It is home to a thriving tech industry, nationally-known breweries, outdoor sports, and a breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains. The city itself is named after Long’s Peak, which we incorporated into the logo of The Longmont Leader. 


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Over the last decade, the population of Longmont has grown by roughly 12 percent, but the availability of local news has not kept pace. In conversations we’ve had over the last few months, people in the community and local business leaders have expressed a great deal of support for a new, Longmont-focused local news site. 

We have no illusions that there are challenges ahead and that social distancing means we can’t get out into the community and properly introduce ourselves. But the mission is too important to wait until the pandemic has passed. 

Fortunately, we’re following in the footsteps of the Longmont Observer, an all-volunteer community news site which has been publishing news by and for the people of Longmont since 2017. But the team also runs the city’s public access TV and is stretched by the demands of doing both. That’s why they’re transferring the Longmont Observer site to Compass and The Longmont Leader to focus on their TV work. 

The Longmont Leader is currently hiring business and editorial staff in the area. We’re working to get to market as fast as we can, so please follow our progress as we prepare The Leader for launch.