Tag Archives: News

Spot misinformation online with these tips

The COVID-19 pandemic. Elections around the world. Fact-checkers worldwide have had a busy year. More than 50,000 new fact checks surfaced on Google Search over the past year, with all fact checks receiving more than 2.4 billion impressions in Search in that timeframe. 


A growing body of external research suggests that fact checks can help counter falsehoods. In a new report supported by the Google News Initiative published today, researchers Ethan Porter, Thomas Wood and Yamil Velez found that corrections in the form of fact checks reduce the effects of misinformation on beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine.


Fact-checking isn’t just for the professionals, however. Every day, people seek evidence to confirm or refute a piece of information they’re uncertain about. Over the past 12 months, Google searches in India for “is it true that...” were higher than “how to make coffee,” and that’s saying something given last year’s Dalgona craze


We're committed to supporting all users as they look for reliable information online, and sharing our insights with other organizations to strengthen fact checking.


With that in mind, and ahead of International Fact Checking Day on April 2, here are five simple tips to help you ask the right questions so you can better spot misinformation online. 


  1. Check if an image is being used in the right context.


A picture is worth 1000 words, as the old adage goes. But a picture can also be taken out of context or edited to mislead. You can search with an image by right clicking on a photo and selecting “Search Google for Image.” You can do the same on mobile by touching and holding the image. This will look for the picture to check if it has appeared online before, and in what context, so you can see if it has been altered from its original meaning.


See how an image is being used in context online. You can search with an image by right clicking on a photo and selecting “Search Google for Image.” This is a simulated example to illustrate how this product works and not the actual experience. 



  1. Look for news coverage.


What’s better than one source? Several! See how (and whether) different news outlets have reported on the same event so that you can get the full picture. Switch to news mode or search for a topic in news.google.com. Make sure to click through to “Full Coverage” if the option is available.


Looking for news on if Earth was visited by aliens? In this simulated example you can see how you can click to find Full Coverage on a topic, and see what other news orgs are covering it.  This GIF is a simulated example and is not the full experience of how the product works


  1. Consult the fact-checkers.


Fact-checkers may have addressed that random story your relative sent you in the group chat – or a similar one that will point you in the right direction to find out what really happened. Try searching for the topic in the Fact Check Explorer, which collects more than 100,000 fact checks from reputable publishers around the world. 


In this simulated example see how you can use Fact Check Explorer to find out if an online claim has been fact checked. This is a demonstration of how the product works and not the full experience.  


  1. Use Google Maps or Earth to verify the location.


False stories about events happening in far-off places can spread due to our lack of familiarity with their location. If you want to get a sense of whether a photo is actually from the place it claims to be from, try checking Google Earth or look at the Street View of a location on Google Maps in regions where it is available.


Say your friend sends you a story about Bigfoot strolling by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Searching for the Eiffel Tower on Street View will at the very least confirm that the tower doesn’t have a big red cowboy hat at the top (like it does in Paris, Texas). If that part doesn’t check out, the rest of the story might be fishy, too.



In this simulated example, you can see how you can find the differences between the real Eiffel Tower in Paris, France and the one in Paris, Texas. This is just a demonstration and not the full product experience. 


We’re committed to helping people spot misinformation online and supporting the fact-checking ecosystem. 

Most recently, we provided $3 million to journalistic efforts fact-checking misinformation about the COVID-19 immunization process. We're supporting a broad collaborative project led by The Quint in India that will seek to source hyper-local misinformation and distribute fact checks through a grassroots network of rural women. 

We will also be launching the first GNI University Verification Challenge across Asia and in India to boost awareness and knowledge among journalism students.

Through our philanthropic arm, we've been supporting Interviews and Dataleads with their FactShala program. Through this training program, 253 journalists, fact-checkers, media educators, non-profit workers and community radio representatives have come together as trainers to educate more than 23,000 people across the country leading over 540 virtual and in-person workshops in at least 15 languages. FactShala has also collaborated with more than 200 radio stations reaching approximately 1.3 million people across 8,400 villages.

For more tips and best practices, check out the resources put together by the International Fact-Checking Network at factcheckingday.com. And if you’re a journalist, check out the GNI Training Center.


Posted by Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead

Google News Showcase is launching in Italy

Google News Showcase, our new product experience and licensing program for news, will begin rolling out with local, national and independent publishers in Italy starting today. News Showcase is backed by our recent $1 billion investment in news around the world. Globally, there are now close to 600 news publications in News Showcase in over a dozen countries including Australia, Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, the U.K. and Argentina, with discussions underway in a number of other countries. Over 90% of our publication partners are considered local, regional or community newspapers.

In Italy, this experience is powered by a series of licensing agreements covering more than 70 national and local publications from publishers including Caltagirone Editore, Ciaopeople, CityNews, Edinet, il Fatto Quotidiano, Il Foglio, Il Giornale Online, Monrif, RCS Media Group, ilSole24Ore, TMS Edizioni, Varese web. These agreements for News Showcase take into account the rights outlined in Article 15 of the European Copyright Directive for specific online uses of press publications, which do not apply to hyperlinks and very short excerpts.

“We are pleased to have signed this agreement, which governs the issue of related rights and acknowledges the importance of quality news and the prestige of our titles,”says Urbano Cairo, Chairman and CEO of RCS MediaGroup, international multimedia publishing group based in Milan. “A new piece in the partnership with Google that enhances the RCS newspapers and offers a further boost to the growth of our customer base, supporting it with an increasingly broad news coverage.”

“The agreement with Google is a further recognition of the value of quality information such as that of Il Sole 24 Ore,”says Giuseppe Cerbone, CEO of Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian leading newspaper in business, financial and regulatory information. “The remuneration of information, including the rights related to the distribution of digital content, is a front on which our publishing group is committed at the forefront with the aim of protecting our heritage of high added value content.”

An image showing the logos of some of the Italian News Showcase publisher partners

With News Showcase, news organizations can curate their content to help readers get more context about a story and direct them to the full articles on their websites. This drives valuable traffic to publishers’ websites, enabling them to grow their audiences and deepen their relationships with readers. News Showcase panels display an enhanced view of an article or articles, giving participating publishers more ways to bring important news to readers and explain it in their own voice, along with more direct control of presentation and their branding. 


A GIF that shows some of the News Showcase partner panels

An example of how News Showcase story panels will look with some of our publishing partners in Italy.

News Showcase content from our publisher partners will automatically start to appear in panels in Google News and on Discover starting today. People will see panels from publishers they follow in their personalized feeds, and they might also see panels from publishers they’re less familiar with, presented as suggestions in the Google News “For You” feed and inside “Newsstand,” the discovery area of Google News. 

As part of our licensing agreements with publishers, we're also paying participating publishers to give readers access to a limited amount of paywalled content. This feature gives readers the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s content than they would otherwise have access to, while enabling publishers to encourage readers to become a subscriber.

“The agreement we have reached, also on the subject of neighbouring rights, is important for the authoritativeness and quality of Varesenews editorial project and for the recognition of the value of local journalism,”says Marco Giovannelli, Director of Varesenews, hyperlocal online publisher founded in 1997.

“The Showcase program opens a new season of relationships with Google, because it addresses the issue of rights connected to the distribution of digital content,”says Michela Colamussi, Director of Transition to Digital and Innovation of Gruppo Monrif, publisher of national and regional newspapers. “It allows us to promote the quality journalism of our publications and to accelerate the digital transformation of editorial processes and the development of revenues by subscription.”

“The agreement reached with Google is part of the digital strategies of our publications,” says Azzurra Caltagirone, Vice President of Caltagirone Editore, publisher of national and regional newspapers. “The initiative is an important step that will allow publishing companies to identify new sources of remuneration for quality content while ensuring the independence of a vital sector for contemporary society.”

An image showing examples of different New Showcase panel layouts from our publishing partners in Italy.

An example of New Showcase panel layouts from our publishing partners in Italy. 

News Showcase is part of a broader set of initiatives that represent Google’s long-term commitment to supporting journalism. Since 2015, Google has invested 11 million euros in Italian journalism projects through the Innovation Fund of the Digital News Initiative. For example, SESAAB, the Italian publisher of L’Eco di Bergamo newspaper, used artificial intelligence to create personalized newsletters and online content recommendations. In 2016, Google signed a three-year agreement with Italian news association FIEG that led the company to invest over 16 million euros on a number of strategic sectors for digital publishing. And in 2020, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Google News Initiative offered financial support to over 300 Italian newsrooms through its Global Emergency Fund for Local Journalism

News Showcase underlines our larger commitment to journalism. Through the Google News Initiative, which includes $300 million in funding, we’ve supported more than 6,250 news partners in 118 countries. Our ad technologies enable news organizations to sell their ad space to millions of advertisers globally — including advertisers they wouldn’t have access to without these services. Google also sends 24 billion free visits each month to publishers' sites around the world through its platforms, which publishers can monetize with online advertising and subscriptions on their websites and apps.

Our new News Showcase agreements represent an important step forward in how Google is supporting Italian journalism and publishing. We are happy to contribute to the development of the digital ecosystem for the publishing world and to strengthen our commitment to quality journalism.

Some first numbers on how News Showcase is working

For the past two decades, we’ve worked closely and collaboratively with the news industry on helping publishers evolve in the digital age. One of the major ways we support journalism is through Google News Showcase, our new product and licensing program that pays news publishers to curate content across Google News and Discover, fueled by our recent $1 billion investment in news. News Showcase also benefits readers by helping them understand complex stories and find the news organizations covering the issues, both locally and nationally, that matter most to them. 

In the past six months, we’ve launched News Showcase in the U.K., Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Germany and signed deals with close to 600 publishers in over a dozen countries; over 90% of the publishers are considered local, regional or community newspapers. Today, we started rolling out News Showcase to users in Italy

Now that publishers have been able to use News Showcase for a few months, we wanted to give an update on how it is working for the news organizations currently live on the product. 

First, we’re thrilled by the amount of quality content our publisher partners are providing to readers through News Showcase. News organizations from the Evening Standard and The Financial Times in the U.K. to The Canberra Times, The Illawarra Mercury and The Saturday Paper in Australia, to Infobae, Página12, and El Día in Argentina, Der Spiegel, Stern and Die Zeit in Germany and Folha de S.Paulo and A Crítica in Brazil are producing more than 7,000 panels per week, ensuring there is a wide variety of timely, in-depth stories for readers. 


An image showing different panels from News Showcase partners

An example of how different News Showcase story panels will look with some of our publishing partners.

Many of the panels that are currently being created are aimed at helping to inform users at the start or end their day, a choice that publishers are able to make thanks to the flexibility of the product. This variety and flexibility ensures publishers have control over their voice, storytelling and ability to reach readers, a choice that publishers make on their own sites that they can now do inside Google products with News Showcase. In an era of fast-paced news, News Showcase publishers are helping readers by highlighting the news they may have missed and getting them up to speed on the day’s events. 

In Google News, readers can follow a publisher when they want to see more content from them. When that happens, it tells us the product is working: The reader found a publisher they liked enough to want to hear more from every day. Since we launched, users have followed news publishers more than 200,000 times thanks to the features we launched alongside News Showcase. This is a huge increase, and we’re looking forward to seeing these new relationships develop.

We’re constantly looking to improve News Showcase’s contribution to a sustainable news ecosystem, and these early signs are encouraging. Our first news partners recently launched our extended access feature, which pays participating publishers to allow readers to access some of their paywalled content provided through News Showcase. This preview of publishers’ premium content can help users realize the value of being a paying subscriber, and we’re looking forward to users growing and strengthening their relationship with publishers as a result of this new feature. 

"The experience of working together with Google has been surprisingly fluid and enriching,” says Daniel Dessein, President of La Gaceta, a regional newspaper that covers the province of Tucuma in Argentina. “The process of setting up News Showcase was much more agile than we originally thought and we received support from high-level developers who gave us valuable insight and learnings for La Gaceta. Extended access has opened up new, exciting ways for audiences to connect with our content.”

People who deeply understand the value of their favorite publishers’ journalism are much more likely to subscribe, and it’s these users who do the most to help support the creation of great journalism. News Showcase is already delivering value for both users and publishers and we will continue to actively partner and solicit feedback to build on this effort.  

News Showcase is just one of the numerous ways we work with news publishers to help them grow their business, their audience and their skills.  Examples include Subscribe with Google, a product built for and with news publishers to make it easier to turn readers into loyal subscribers, as well as the Google News Initiative, where we provide a wide range of tools, training and grant funding.  Over the years we’ve provided billions of dollars to support quality journalism and remain invested in contributing to a sustainable future for the news industry. 

Identifica la información falsa en línea con estos consejos

La pandemia de COVID-19. Elecciones alrededor del mundo. Los verificadores de hechos han tenido un año ajetreado. Más de 50.000 verificaciones de hechos aparecieron en la Búsqueda de Google el último año y recibieron aproximadamente 2.400 millones de impresiones en la Búsqueda de Google en dicho tiempo.

Una investigación externa sugiere que las verificaciones de hechos son efectivas para corregir percepciones erróneas. En un nuevo informe publicado hoy y con el apoyo de Google News Initiative, los investigadores Ethan Porter, Thomas Wood y Yamil Velez encontraron que las correcciones en forma de la verificación de hechos eliminan los efectos de la información falsa en torno a las creencias sobre la vacuna para COVID-19.

Sin embargo, la verificación de hechos no es sólo para los profesionales. Todos los días, las personas buscan evidencia para confirmar o refutar un hecho sobre el que tienen dudas. Durante los últimos 12 meses, el número de búsquedas de Google para "es cierto que ..." fue mayor que para "cómo hacer pan", y eso es significativo dada la locura por la masa madre del año pasado

Estamos comprometidos en apoyar a todos los usuarios en su búsqueda de información correcta en línea y a compartir nuestros aprendizajes con otras organizaciones para fortalecer la verificación de hechos.

Con eso en mente, y en el marco de la celebración del “Día Internacional de la Verificación de Hechos” que se celebra el 2 de abril, compartimos cinco consejos simples que te ayudarán a realizar las preguntas correctas y detectar información errónea en línea. 


1. Obtén más información sobre la fuente 

¿Alguna vez te has encontrado con una historia sorprendente de un sitio web del que nunca has oído hablar? Primero, revisa si la fuente en sí es correcta. Puedes simplemente buscar el nombre del sitio web, pero si quieres ver sólo lo que otros tienen que decir al respecto, solicita a Google que elimine los resultados del dominio en sí. La consulta se vería así:  -site:youtube.com. ¿Quieres refinar tu búsqueda aún más? Encuentra más consejos en nuestra página de soporte


2. Comprueba si una imagen se está utilizando en el contexto correcto

Una imagen habla más que mil palabras, como dice el viejo adagio. Pero una imagen también se puede sacar de contexto o editar para confundir. Puedes buscar con una imagen haciendo clic con el botón derecho en una foto y seleccionando "Buscar imagen en Google". Puedes hacer lo mismo en el móvil tocando y manteniendo presionada la imagen. Esto buscará la imagen para verificar si ha aparecido en línea antes y en qué contexto, para que puedas ver si se ha alterado su significado original.


Observa cómo una imagen está siendo utilizada en contexto en línea. Puedes buscar con una imagen haciendo clic derecho en una fotografía y seleccionar “Buscar en Google una imagen”.

Observa cómo una imagen está siendo utilizada en contexto en línea. Puedes buscar con una imagen haciendo clic derecho en una fotografía y seleccionar “Buscar en Google una imagen”. Este es un ejemplo simulado para ilustrar cómo funciona este producto y no la experiencia real.  

3. Busca la cobertura de noticias

¿Qué es mejor que una fuente? ¡Varias! Ve cómo (y si acaso) diferentes medios de noticias han informado sobre el mismo evento para que puedas obtener un panorama completo. Cambia al modo de noticias o busca un tema en news.google.com. Asegúrate de hacer clic en "Cobertura total" si la opción está disponible.


En este ejemplo simulado puedes ver cómo puedes hacer clic para encontrar cobertura total sobre un tema, y ver qué están cubriendo otras organizaciones de noticias. Este GIF es un ejemplo simulado y no es la experiencia total de cómo funciona el producto.

¿Buscando noticias para saber si la tierra fue visitada por extraterrestres? En este ejemplo simulado puedes ver cómo puedes hacer clic para encontrar cobertura total sobre un tema, y ver qué están cubriendo otras organizaciones de noticias. Este GIF es un ejemplo simulado y no es la experiencia total de cómo funciona el producto.

4. Consulta a los verificadores de hechos

Los verificadores de hechos pueden haber abordado esa historia aleatoria que tu familiar te envió en el chat grupal, o una similar que te guiará en la dirección correcta para encontrar lo que realmente sucedió. Intenta buscar el tema en el Explorador de verificación de hechos, que recopila más de 100.000 verificaciones de hechos de medios acreditados alrededor del mundo.


En este ejemplo simulado puedes ver cómo usar el Explorador de verificación de hechos para conocer si una reclamación en línea ha sido verificada. Esta es una demostración de cómo funciona el producto y no la experiencia total.

 En este ejemplo simulado puedes ver cómo usar el Explorador de verificación de hechos para conocer si una reclamación en línea ha sido verificada. Esta es una demostración de cómo funciona el producto y no la experiencia total.

5. Utiliza Google Earth o Street View para verificar la locación.

Los eventos que suceden en lugares lejanos pueden engañarte o confundirte de manera particularmente fácil. Si la historia que estás leyendo tiene imágenes del evento que te interesa, o cualquier forma de descripción visual, busca ese lugar en Google Earth o en Street View en Google Maps

Digamos que tu amigo te envía una historia sobre Bigfoot paseando por la Torre Eiffel en París, Francia. Buscar por “Torre Eiffel” en Street View al menos te confirma que la torre no tiene un sombrero grande rojo de baquero en la punta (como sucede en Paris, Texas). Si esa parte no funciona, el resto de la historia puede ser sospechosa también. 


En este ejemplo simulado, puedes ver cómo encontrar las diferencias entre la Torre Eiffel real en Paris, Francia y la de Paris, Texas. Esto es una demostración y no la experiencia total del producto.

En este ejemplo simulado, puedes ver cómo encontrar las diferencias entre la Torre Eiffel real en Paris, Francia y la de Paris, Texas. Esto es una demostración y no la experiencia total del producto.

Estamos comprometidos en ayudar a las personas a detectar información errónea en línea y en apoyar el ecosistema de verificación de datos.

Recientemente entregamos  3 millones de dólares a esfuerzos periodísticos enfocados en verificación de datos de información falsa sobre el proceso de inmunización de COVID-19, con un foco especial en proyectos que tienen como objetivo alcanzar audiencias poco representadas. También, Google.org anunció que ha ayudado a la organización sin fines de lucro Full Fact a través de apoyo en fondos y siete ingenieros pro-bono para aumentar el número de reclamaciones que podrían detectar.

Para más consejos y mejores prácticas, visita factcheckingday.com que tiene recursos puestos a disposición por el International Fact-Checking Network. Si usted es periodista, lo invitamos a visitar el Centro de Entrenamiento de GNI.


Spot misinformation online with these tips

The COVID-19 pandemic. Elections around the world. Fact-checkers worldwide have had a busy year. More than 50,000 new fact checks surfaced on Google Search over the past year, with all fact checks receiving more than 2.4 billion impressions in Search in that timeframe. 

A growing body of external research suggests that fact checks can help counter falsehoods. In a new report supported by the Google News Initiative published today, researchers Ethan Porter, Thomas Wood and Yamil Velez found that corrections in the form of fact checks reduce the effects of misinformation on beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fact-checking isn’t just for the professionals, however. Every day, people seek evidence to confirm or refute a piece of information they’re uncertain about. Over the past 12 months, Google searches for “is it true that...” were higher than “how to make bread,” and that’s saying something given last year’s sourdough craze

We're committed to supporting all users as they look for reliable information online, and sharing our insights with other organizations to strengthen fact checking.

With that in mind, and ahead of International Fact Checking Day on April 2, here are five simple tips to help you ask the right questions so you can better spot misinformation online. 


1. Find out more about the source. 

Have you ever stumbled across a surprising story from a website you’ve never heard of? First, see whether the source itself checks out.  After searching for the website, you can tap on its menu icon to learn more about the result (in English in the United States only, for now). 


This is a GIF showing a simulation of how you can use the "about this source" feature to learn more about a website

In this simulated example, you can see how to learn more about a result you find online. In this case you can see our imagined Mars Robot News site doesn’t have accurate information about the planet.

If you click on the result, you can see how the site describes itself on its “About” page, but you may want to get a second opinion. You can do that by asking Google to remove results from the domain itself. The query would look something like this: about youtube -site:youtube.com. Want to refine your search even further? Find more tips on our support page


2. Check if an image is being used in the right context.

A picture is worth 1000 words, as the old adage goes. But a picture can also be taken out of context or edited to mislead. You can search with an image by right clicking on a photo and selecting “Search Google for Image.” You can do the same on mobile by touching and holding the image. This will look for the picture to check if it has appeared online before, and in what context, so you can see if it has been altered from its original meaning.

This GIF shows a simulation how you can check to see how an image was originally used online

 See how an image is being used in context online. You can search with an image by right clicking on a photo and selecting “Search Google for Image.” This is a simulated example to illustrate how this product works and not the actual experience.

3. Look for news coverage. 

What’s better than one source? Several! See how (and whether) different news outlets have reported on the same event so that you can get the full picture. Switch to news mode or search for a topic in news.google.com. Make sure to click through to “Full Coverage” if the option is available.

This GIF is a simulation of how you can check for more news sources on a story you might see online

Looking for news on if Earth was visited by aliens? In this simulated example you can see how you can click to find Full Coverage on a topic, and see what other news organizations are covering it.  This GIF is a simulated example and is not the full experience of how the product works.

4. Consult the fact-checkers.

Fact-checkers may have addressed that random story your relative sent you in the group chat – or a similar one that will point you in the right direction to find out what really happened. Try searching for the topic in the Fact Check Explorer, which collects more than 100,000 fact checks from reputable publishers around the world.

This GIF shows a simulation of how you can use Fact Check Explorer to see if an online claim has been fact checked.

 In this simulated example see how you can use Fact Check Explorer to find out if an online claim has been fact checked. This is a demonstration of how the product works and not the full experience.

5. Use Google Maps, Earth or Street View to verify the location. 

False stories about events happening in far-off places can spread due to our lack of familiarity with their location. If you want to get a sense of whether a photo is actually from the place it claims to be from, try checking Google Earth or look at the Street View of a location on Google Maps.

Say your friend sends you a story about Bigfoot strolling by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Searching for the Eiffel Tower on Street View will at the very least confirm that the tower doesn’t have a big red cowboy hat at the top (like it does in Paris, Texas). If that part doesn’t check out, the rest of the story might be fishy, too.

This GIF shows a simulation of how you can use Google Earth to check to see how a location looks

In this simulated example, you can see how you can find the differences between the real Eiffel Tower in Paris, France and the one in Paris, Texas. This is just a demonstration and not the full product experience.

We’re committed to helping people spot misinformation online and supporting the fact-checking ecosystem. 

Most recently, we provided $3 million to journalistic efforts fact-checking misinformation about the COVID-19 immunization process, with a concentration on projects that aim to reach audiences underserved by fact-checking. We also launched a GNI University Verification Challenge across Asia to help the verification skills among journalism students. In addition, Google.org helped the nonprofit Full Fact through grant funding and seven full-time pro-bono engineering fellows to boost the number of claims they could detect.

For more tips and best practices, check out the resources put together by the International Fact-Checking Network at factcheckingday.com. And if you’re a journalist, check out the GNI Training Center.

A path forward for sustainable news startups

Camille Padilla Dalmau and Mackenzie Clark are doing similar work, 2,244 miles apart.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, Camille creates stories for the 9 million Puerto Ricans who live around the world through 9 Millones. Mackenzie recently launched the Lawrence Times in Kansas, funded by an online campaign that brought in more than $8,000 over six days.

Camille and Mackenzie are part of a new wave of local news sites launching across the U.S. and Canada. Some 266 local news organizations have started over the last five years, at a rate of 50 per year. That’s explosive growth in the field and it’s happening with no coordinated support, even though — as we know — this is hard work.

Today LION Publishers and theGoogle News Initiative are announcing the findings of Project Oasis, first-of-its-kind research which provides information about the paths these entrepreneurs take — and points to the way forward to a sustainable future for local news. This project was undertaken in partnership with the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Douglas K Smith (architect of Table Stakes), and with support from Michele McLellan (creator of Michelle’s List). The results are a database and research report that illustrate the state of the local news industry, as well as a step-by-step guide for aspiring news entrepreneurs on how to get started.

The Project News Oasis database features rich information on 711 publishers across the U.S. and Canada, including breakdowns of their distributional, editorial and financial operations. We’ll use it to help existing publishers, who can add or update their information at any time, as well as to inform the next generation of news entrepreneurs.

Next, the Project Oasis research report puts our research findings in context — it highlights the  revenue streams publishers use to fund their newsgathering, the communities they aim to serve and the size of the teams they hire to do the work. It also provides benchmarks designed to help new startup publishers develop their own practical goals for what their operation can look like three years out.

So how might we encourage responsible growth in the local news industry? That brings us to the third resource we’re releasing today: The GNI Startups Playbook. The playbook will demystify the process of launching a digital news startup and, by tackling key activities such as building a product, growing an audience and developing a revenue stream, it will help news entrepreneurs build a business that’s financially viable and has a positive journalistic impact on local communities. 

This comprehensive resource, which will soon be available in Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian, includes contributions from GNI, LION and a small army of experts. The playbook itself will provide the basis for much of GNI’s and LION’s joint programming moving forward, including the GNI Startups Lab and Boot Camp, as well as our collaboration with Tiny News Collective, a low-cost platform and set of shared services aimed at helping news entrepreneurs build a news organization from scratch.

The database, the research report and the playbook are intended to be living resources that will be updated regularly. We’re committed to working with the Google News Initiative to fully capture the experiments and learnings of this rapidly evolving field, and over the coming months we’ll collaborate once again to help the GNI conduct a global series of live workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs on the Digital Growth Program site. After you’ve looked at these resources, we'd love your input: What’s valuable? What would you like more information about? We’ll incorporate your feedback into the next editions.

Our goal is to ensure the next Camille and the next Mackenzie will have a smoother, better-lit road ahead of them. We’re confident that as this work continues, and the path is made clearer, we’ll build a sustainable future for local digital news by focusing on what founders and organizations need along the way.

These global projects expand the reach of fact-checks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Our ongoing commitment to supporting journalism

Google has always been committed to providing high-quality and relevant information, and to supporting the news publishers who help create it. We are one of the world’s leading financial supporters of journalism. We’ve shared billions of dollars in revenue with news publishers via our ad network, helped news organizations develop new business models and revenue streams, and committed $1 billion over the next three years to license news content through Google News Showcase.  

We welcome the discussion of ways to create a better economic future for quality journalism, especially as the news media business model has been facing increased challenges for many years. But proposals that would disrupt access to the open web (such as requiring payment for just showing links to websites) would hurt consumers, small businesses, and publishers. That’s why we’ve engaged constructively with publishers around the world on better solutions and will continue to do so. 

We also believe that this important debate should be about the substance of the issue, and not derailed by naked corporate opportunism … which brings us to Microsoft’s sudden interest in this discussion. We respect Microsoft’s success and we compete hard with them in cloud computing, search, productivity apps, video conferencing, email and many other areas. Unfortunately, as competition in these areas intensifies, they are reverting to their familiar playbook of attacking rivals and lobbying for regulations that benefit their own interests. They are now making self-serving claims and are even willing to break the way the open web works in an effort to undercut a rival. And their claims about our business and how we work with news publishers are just plain wrong.

This latest attack marks a return to Microsoft’s longtime practices. And it’s no coincidence that Microsoft’s newfound interest in attacking us comes on the heels of the SolarWinds attack and at a moment when they’ve allowed tens of thousands of their customers — including government agencies in the U.S., NATO allies, banks, nonprofits, telecommunications providers, public utilities, police, fire and rescue units, hospitals and, presumably, news organizations — to be actively hacked via major Microsoft vulnerabilities. Microsoft was warned about the vulnerabilities in their system, knew they were being exploited, and are now doing damage control while their customers scramble to pick up the pieces from what has been dubbed the Great Email Robbery. So maybe it’s not surprising to see them dusting off the old diversionary Scroogled playbook.

Microsoft is the second-largest company in the U.S. by market capitalization and the owner of LinkedIn, MSN, Microsoft News and Bing, all of which are places where news is regularly consumed and shared. But their track record is spotty: They have paid out a much smaller amount to the news industry than we have. And given the chance to support or fund their own journalists, Microsoft replaced them with AI bots

Microsoft’s attempts at distraction aside, we’ll continue to collaborate with news organizations and policymakers around the world to enable a strong future for journalism. We're doing a lot to support journalism, and will do much more. We look forward to continuing to engage with regulators and news publishers to ensure a thriving and healthy publishing industry.

Get the full news story with Full Coverage in Search

This past year has reminded us that the most important news stories are often complex and ever-evolving. Stories like the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. elections played out over many months, with myriad threads and developments all happening at once. People are hungry for context that helps them break down and understand these complicated stories from multiple perspectives.

In 2018, we first introduced the Full Coverage feature as part of Google News. With just a tap, people can see top news, local headlines, in-depth pieces, explainers, interviews and more on a developing news story. We’re now bringing Full Coverage to Search, making it easier for more people to explore all aspects of a story from a variety of perspectives. 

When you’re searching for information on a timely topic, you see a carousel of articles at the top of your Search results highlighting relevant news. Now for big, developing news stories, you can tap into a Full Coverage page after scrolling to the end of the top stories carousel or by selecting “More news on...” right below the carousel. 


A GIF showing the new experience of Full Coverage in Search

Explore different angles of a news story with Full Coverage in Search.

With this launch, we’re introducing new technology that is able to detect long-running news stories that span many days, like the Super Bowl, to many weeks or months like the COVID-19 pandemic. We then organize the Full Coverage page to help people easily find top news along with additional content like explainers and local coverage that are helpful to understanding these complex stories.

Full Coverage in Search is available today on mobile devices, beginning with English in the U.S. and rolling out to more languages and locations in the coming months.


News Brief: February Updates from the Google News Initiative

At the Google News Initiative last month, we felt the love for new publisher tools, training programs and newsroom success stories. See February updates below.


One World Media Fellowship opens for applications

The One World Media Fellowship is a year-long, GNI-supported program aimed at aspiring journalists and filmmakers who seek to report on stories from countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Working in film, print, audio or multimedia, fellows’ projects bring together integrity and creativity to present underreported stories that break down stereotypes and build cross-cultural connections.

Applications are open until April 7, and we particularly encourage submissions from underrepresented ethnic groups, applicants who identify as women, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities ands people from and based in the global south.


Fostering diversity in Latin American newsrooms

We supported the Diversity in News and in Newsrooms course, developed by the Knight Center. More than 1700 journalists from 12 countries participated in the four-week course, which addressed the challenges of diversity, equity and equality and how to cover these issues. Special guests Keith Woods, NPR's Chief Diversity Officer, and Krissah Thompson, Diversity Editor of the Washington Post, among others, shared their experience and best practices.

Screenshots of The San Francisco Chronicle's simplified new mobile subscription process

San Francisco Chronicle improves mobile subscriptions rate by 54%

The San Francisco Chronicle usedNews Consumer Insights (NCI), a free data tool for news organizations, to grow their mobile subscriptions by 54%. Using NCI, the San Francisco Chronicle team discovered new opportunities to grow subscriptions through their newsletter and developed a simplified mobile subscription process.
GNI Canada event brings together local newsrooms

GNI Canada event brings together local newsrooms

We hosted a GNI Canada event focused on supporting and engaging with the Canadian news industry, enabling connection, learning and growth. More than 100 attendees from local Canadian newsrooms participated in sessions focused on training journalists, growing audience engagement with News Consumer Insights and increasing revenue. 

The Frenchand English sessions are available to view on demand, and Canadian publishers can access resources from the event online.

Taiwanese publisher READr uses audience participation to boost reader engagement

Taiwan’s READr relies on its audience to support its fact-checking platform. Teaming with GNI’s Design Accelerator program in Asia Pacifc, READr boosted reader engagement through opportunities for audience participation, allowing readers to interact with content and provide feedback. The changes grew page views 400% in the first week, increased time spent on site, and helped add 40,000 new users in the first two months. 

That’s all for February. Check back next month for more updates, and follow along through our newsletter and social for more newsroom resources.