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1 year of Google News Showcase in India: 130 publications part of programme

Google News Showcase now supports 8 Indian languages

by exchange4media Staff
Published - May 26, 2022 8:22 AM  |  5 min read

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Tech giant Google has signed deals with 80 media partners representing more than 130 publications for Google News Showcase, an online news experience programme. Launched last year in India with 30 publisher partners, Google News Showcase has completed one year in the country.

The tech giant's partners include Times Group, The Hindu Group, HT Digital Streams Ltd, Indian Express Group, ABP LIVE, India TV, NDTV, Zee News, Amar Ujala, Deccan Herald, Punjab Kesari, The Telegraph India, IANS, and ANI.

"This time last year, we announced a package of investments to support India’s news ecosystem, including launching Google News Showcase - our new product experience for readers and licensing program for news publishers," Google's Kate Beddoe, Director, News Partnerships, APAC, and Durga Raghunath, Head of India News Partnerships, said in an official blog.

"Since Google News Showcase launched in India last year, we’ve signed deals with more than 80 partners representing more than 130 publications, including national, regional, and local news organizations like Times Group, The Hindu Group, HT Digital Streams Ltd, Indian Express Group, ABP LIVE, India TV, NDTV, Zee News, Amar Ujala, Deccan Herald, Punjab Kesari, The Telegraph India, IANS and ANI. We continue to work towards adding more partners."

Google News Showcase has also expanded to more languages over the past year and now supports a total of 8 languages, including Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Bengali - along with English and Hindi. "We’ve also continued our work providing training and resources for news businesses and journalists, for example, GNI Startups Lab, GNI Newsroom Leadership Program, and GNI Advertising Lab," the blog reads.

GNI Startups Labs

Google recently concluded the GNI Startups Labs programme in India, with 10 news media start-ups participating in the four-month programme designed to support and contribute to the acceleration of the news ecosystem in the digital environment. The programme began in December 2021 and participating news start-ups had access to mentorship, training and workshops on topics such as audience-centricity, digital products, business models, marketing, strategy, community building, and fundraising.

One of the participants, Karma Paljor, a journalist who co-founded EastMojo in 2018 said: “The Startups Lab came at a time when we were working on ways to level up from our current position. There were many questions on our quantity vs quality, expansion to other states, new content buckets, and most importantly monetisation. Through the Lab, we were able to test new content products and also launched our support model. We would eventually want to grow to a subscription model.”

Another participant, Bhanupriya Rao from BehanBox said: “The biggest win for us was the shift in our own mindsets from a journalist thinking to a product and business thinking. This thinking is helping all our future innovations and taking our journalism to bigger audiences.”

GNI Advertising Lab

Google has just completed the GNI Advertising Lab, a six-month effort launched in partnership with Dataleads and Mediology (Readwhere) to support more than 200 small and medium news organizations in their digital advertising journey. The goal of the GNI Advertising Lab is to help publishers increase their advertising revenue with product training and technical implementation.

Saj Kurian, Managing Director of Southlive, a Malayalam-language news portal said, "Southlive is very thankful for this opportunity given to us by GNI. The Ad Lab program has been truly insightful for our team. The support and guidance provided to us about revenue making and boosting the overall performance of our website has been tremendously helpful. Upon completion of the program, Southlive has been able to make an upward shift in its overall performance. Before we joined this program, we were in a position where we could not generate ad revenue. However, with the positive guidance from your team, we are currently able to generate a Google Ad revenue of approximately $1500/month. In addition to the same, the workshop has empowered the whole team of Southlive. We are now able to put forward our needs clearly to our developers which is crucial to our performance enhancement."

Meanwhile, Lavanika Vemula, Digital Manager at Mid-Day.com said, "We had an excellent experience with GNI, very knowledgeable and good learning. It is important for a partner to be accessible and flexible to have measurable results, which GNI could be for us. There was an excellent collaboration with numerous suggestions on increasing advertising revenue. We can easily say that was the most valuable aspect of the collaboration."

GNI Newsroom Leadership Program

GNI Newsroom Leadership Program in collaboration with Columbia School of Journalism kicked off in April 2022 with its first India-only cohort, comprising fellows from a variety of newsrooms, both legacy and digital native. The program aims to strengthen the leadership skills and decision-making capacity of newsroom leaders working and living in India, with a particular focus on applied technology, audience understanding, design thinking, data applications, emerging business models, and editorial innovation.

The projects that the fellows have chosen to work on focus on topics like citizen journalism, managing a remote workforce, environment and climate change reporting, artificial intelligence, podcasting, and subscriber growth among others.

Expanded support for newsrooms to combat misinformation

Google said it continues to work to strengthen digital skills in newsrooms and journalism schools across India. Last year, it announced that it will train 50,000 journalists and journalism students, with a focus on verification and tools to combat misinformation online.

"We’ve also expanded programs to connect Indian journalists and fact-checkers, building on our existing work with the GNI India Training Network in partnership with DataLeads. To date, it has trained over 39,000 Indian journalists in 10 languages, touching more than 1,200 news organizations and more than 1100 universities. We also supported Ekta Coalition, a consortium of six independent fact-checking groups, and Meedan, a global technology non-profit, to run a media literacy and fact-checking training and fellowship for journalism students," the blog notes.

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