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Regional journalism and small publishers to benefit from new initiatives

An image of the Google News Initiative logo

For two decades, Google has provided financial, technical and training support to the news industry because we know it plays a vital role in society and the community.

Many of these initiatives in Australia have been focused on helping and building capabilities in regional areas, where news organisations are crucial in keeping people informed.

This week, we’re building on that commitment with a new training initiative that will benefit news professionals in regional areas as well as support for small and independent publishers.

Digital News Academy Launch

After extensive planning, Google Australia and News Corp have launched the Digital News Academy - a program that will provide digital journalism training to 750 news professionals across the country.

Many of the trainees will come from local newsrooms from outlets across News Corp and Australian Community Media, with other independent regional publishers to join in the future.

The Academy will build capabilities using the latest digital insights on everything from data journalism and audience measurement, right through to highly-specialised topics like podcasting and mobile journalism.

In addition to the main training program, the Academy will also create 60 new 12-month journalism traineeships in regional Australia over the next three years.

The highly regarded Melbourne Business School, which is the University of Melbourne’s graduate school in commerce and economics, has been selected to deliver the curriculum.

The Digital News Academy builds on the significant support Google has provided to the Australian news industry and we look forward to seeing the impact the training will have in the future.

Google News Showcase: 170 publications have now signed agreements with Google

Today, we’re also announcing that we’ve signed a number of significant new agreements with small and independent Australian publishers to join Google News Showcase, our dedicated product experience and licensing program for news, to readers and publishers all around the world.

This includes Region Group, Central Coast Newspapers, and Star Observer.

It’s been less than a year since we launched News Showcase in Australia and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to partner with publishers representing 170 Australian titles - including ABC, AAP, Nine, Seven West, Times News Group and Country Press Australia members.

More than 100 of those outlets are small or regional publishers like the Ballarat Times, Byron Shire News, the Kimberley Echo and the Launceston Examiner.

Here’s what our newly joined partners are saying about the program:

  • “Region Media is delighted to engage with Google's News Showcase. Their willingness to collaborate in providing locally grounded, independent and balanced news is most welcome,” Michael McGoogan, Co-CEO & Director, Region Media.
  • “Central Coast Newspapers is delighted to partner with Google Australia to support local news journalism. We are now the only source of regular local news stories in our region and while we are committed to publishing our three local print mastheads every week this digital partnership is a key element of maintaining a viable platform going forward.” Ross Barry, Publisher, Central Coast Newspapers

News Showcase is providing publishers with a means to reach new audiences, while helping readers to find and follow news organisations. We look forward to building on these efforts in the future.