Google flags off program for digital news startups, expands News Showcase in India

The Google News Initiative has been created in partnership with global innovation lab Echos and DIGIPUB News India Foundation

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Sep 9, 2021 1:19 PM  | 3 min read

Tech giant Google has launched Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab India to support digital news startups besides adding four new languages for Google News Showcase, Kate Beddoe, Director of News Partnerships, Google Asia Pacific informed in a blog post.

Created in partnership with the global innovation lab Echos and DIGIPUB News India Foundation, the GNI Startups Lab India program will support high-quality reporting for local and underserved communities. "We welcome applications from news startups publishing in all Indian languages," Beddoe said. 

The applications for GNI Startups Lab Applications will be open from 9 September until 18 October and 10 independent digital news publishers will be selected to participate in the first cohort in India. GNI Startups Lab Applications is a four-month program that seeks to help independent local or single-subject journalism organizations find a pathway to financial and operational sustainability through intensive coaching, skills training and other support.
The 16-week program is tailored to the needs of startup newsrooms in India, and participants will benefit from Echos' experience in supporting media startups and from DIGIPUB's network and community with workshops and coaching.

“DIGIPUB is excited to partner with Google News Initiative Startups Lab to make the digital media ecosystem robust and sustainable. Digital news media is the future of news in India and collaborations like these will ensure that new entrants receive the support they deserve,”  Dhanya Rajendran, Chairperson of  DIGIPUB News India Foundation commented.

Beddoe also announced that Google News Showcase will not support Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu in addition to Hindi and English. More than 50 partners representing more than 70 publications have been onboarded for the program.

“In May, we announced the expansion of Google News Showcase, our online experience and licensing program to support news organizations and readers, to India. Today, we are pleased to add support for four new languages  - Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu -  in addition to English and Hindi in dedicated News Showcase panels in Google News and on Discover, to help more readers get access to quality news in their own languages. With the addition of these new languages and new partners today, we now have onboarded more than 50 partners representing more than 70 publications,” Beddoe noted.

“We continue to work with publishers of all kinds -- from digital natives to regional media in India, to help them to engage with readers and deliver trusted information across our platforms. We are delighted to partner with the Indian news industry and support new digital formats and innovations to build a sustainable, independent and diverse news ecosystem,” she added.

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