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News Brief: December updates from the Google News Initiative

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The last month of 2019 was jam-packed for the Google News Initiative. Read on for December highlights—there’s plenty to unwrap as we head into the new year.

Focusing on local news in the heartland

We hosted 32 local journalists at our Detroit, Michigan offices to kick off the relaunch of the Online News Association, the world’s largest association of online journalists, in Detroit. We also brought together 150 U.S. and Canadian news publishers and industry leaders for the first GNI Local event in Chicago, Illinois. Over two days, we focused on turning ideas into action, covering revenue sustainability and user engagement. Publishers shared best practices on audience data, inclusive storytelling, and more.

GNI Local event in Chicago

Panelists discuss how they use data to drive decision-making during the GNI Local event in Chicago.

Supporting news leaders in Brazil

We held the second GNI Summit Brazil in São Paulo with more than 120 journalists and business leaders from Brazil. The agenda focused on business models, collaborative media literacy projects and newsroom innovation. 

The second GNI Summit Brazil in São Paulo

The second GNI Summit Brazil in São Paulo

Accelerating product ideas in Asia Pacific

Over the last few months, we worked with seven publishers in Asia Pacific through our GNI Design Accelerator Program to test fresh product ideas for news. We began working with India Today to engage Indic language-speaking audiences, thought through youth engagement with Singapore Press Holdings, and brainstormed ways of empowering citizen decision making with Frontier Myanmar ahead of the 2020 Myanmar elections. Over the next few months, we’ll work with each organization to bring these ideas to life.

New technologies to support storytelling

We partnered with Cosmopolitan to launch a fun, interactive way of watching the Netflix TV show “You” Season Two. Viewers can get behind-the-scenes info, trivia, photos, and Google Trends data as the show unfolds. This new experience creates an entertaining way for Cosmo to keep their audience engaged.  

Technology can help grow audiences in other ways. We recently partnered with Polis at the London School of Economics and Political Science to release a global report highlighting how artificial intelligence can transform journalism. We’re building on that work with new guidelines to help newsrooms approach using artificial intelligence for the first time.

Media literacy is more important than ever—and that’s a fact!

We teamed up with First Draft and the International Fact-Checking Network to co-host the second annual Trusted Media Summit in Singapore. The weeklong event brought together 275 industry experts involved in fact-checking and fighting misinformation in Asia Pacific. We discussed new fact-checking technologies, ways of connecting trustworthy media to readers, and strategies to improve media literacy.

The Stanford Higher Education Group developed a new Civic Online Reasoning curriculum for our media literacy partner MediaWise, whose goal is to teach teens the difference between fact and fiction online. These digital literacy lessons are available to teachers for free. 

That’s a wrap for December. Stay tuned for more as we head into 2020.

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